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review 2018-01-19 14:34
Words fail me
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

Alright, there is a lot going on in this little piece of poison dripping, mind-fuck of a story, and I don't know that I'm up to the task.

 

First of all, because it's the immediate, I call bullshit on that end (I'm talking of the 21th chapter that was cut-out of the USA version; if you've not read it, this paragraph will make little sense). I read the author's introduction and explanation, and I more or less agree that our empathy and sympathy tends to grow as we mature (and we are more or less savages as kids and teens), but having read the book, I don't believe this level of inner cruelty and utter disregard for other people, or the length it was self-indulged and brought out onto the world can be called "a folly of youth" and hand-waived like that. I do not believe that level of monstrosity is something that can be redeemed, worked out, grow bored out of, and the person just go on to be some well adjusted adult.

 

I also do not know what is to be done with such a person to be honest, even if my knee-jerk reaction if I was the victim would be to kill them. Brain-washing into effectively loosing their free will does not seem to be the answer though.

 

Next: There is a very strong undercurrent of the battle of the generations going on here. The way money is treated, those articles in the diary, and the mention of day hour and night ours, and whom the street belongs to, and even, who has the power in the first part vs. the second, and what it consist on.

 

Actually, the three parts are distillate poison on abuse of power: young hooligans for first, then the police and other punishing/correctional institutions for second, politicians in the third. Everyone screws everyone over, and in the end I hated the lot, little Alex, and his little followers, and the police, and the jailers, and the priests, and the doctors, and the politicians, and the social fighters, and even his victims.

 

Shit, I wouldn't recommend this one, even if I found it oddly compelling *shudder*. It is interesting, and effective, but a vicious way to provoke thought, maybe unnecessarily.

 

Done. Onto "I am Pusheen the Cat", ice-cream and a helping of crack fics for the soul.

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text 2018-01-19 09:59
Reading progress update: I've read 150 out of 213 pages.
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

I'm still reading. Oh, my God, I'm still reading.

 

If the first part was trigger fest and violence slide-show (I almost wrote horror-show and then decided it was too twisted), and some bits (and not even the most violent, mind you) gave me real anxiety (it was how close to life some of the situations, initial set ups and general descriptions felt), this second part was the sickening counter-push, just as violent and disturbed, only in a different manner.

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text 2018-01-05 20:12
Reading progress update: I've read 5 out of 213 pages.
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

I'm reading the version published outside USA, with it's extra chapter and, in this one, a very interesting introduction about the difference. It really puts it on it's head, doesn't it? What I'm left thinking on (and there is quite a bit touched upon in the author's words), is the bit where he calls the truncated version a fable, and the full one a novel, because I would point out that in there, besides the movie, resides the persistence of this book. After all, we have proof that we hold onto our fables and archetypes for millennia.

Page one: Ok, whut? Should I point out, yet again, that English is not my first language, or is this as heavy in slang that it's almost incomprehensible to everyone else too?

 

And yeah, I'm alternating this and "A Wrinkle in Time", with "Men explain things to me" around for non-fiction. Nice salad, huh?

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review 2017-10-23 21:20
Still horrorshow
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

It must have been more than ten years since I first read A Clockwork Orange and I still remember what a struggle I had with this one! Thanks to all the nadsat expressions I didn’t pony cul as our little droog Alex would say. I have to admit that now, after having learned Russian (at least to a certain degree) this was a walk in the park, although at the same time some of the magic of the unusual and futuristic language definitely got lost.

 

Also, reading A Clockwork Orange at the age of fifteen or sixteen (being practically the same age as the protagonist) and now at the age of 27 makes a huge difference. I had planned on re-reading this one for three years now, but I never found the time – also, because I remembered it being much longer than it actually is and I was afraid that I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I did. Because unfortunately this happens a lot to books I really loved when I was younger – but not this time!

 

A Clockwork Orange is one of the few books that really stuck with me since the moment I first read it and now I can rest assured, that it will keep doing that in the future. Bolshy great yarblockos to our droogie Burgess!

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review 2016-11-10 17:57
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

This is a book that is easy to read and discount for its violent content, but if one is willing to look deeper there are important themes that we can learn from, as exist in all great dystopian novels.

"Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness?"

That is the central question asked in A Clockwork Orange. Alex is a violent, yet intellectual teenager. He doesn't easily fit into any stereotypes of criminals who are too ignorant to know better. The truth may be even worse, he simply enjoys it.

While Alex's actions are abhorrent, there are also hints about his youth and the poor state of the communist society that cause him to be the way he is. When he is incarcerated, we learn that the 'good guys' who make it their goal to rehabilitate him are no better.

This is a book that could be read quickly, but you will miss out on the way it can provoke you to think differently about deeply held beliefs and the role of government in society. The use of Burgess' own cockney/Russian language for Alex give it an otherworldly atmosphere that assures the reader that this isn't the world we live in . . . . but could it be?

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