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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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text 2016-11-01 12:18
November TBR
Reginald Pole: Prince and Prophet - Thomas F. Mayer
The Sunne in Splendour - Sharon Kay Penman
The Cost of Discipleship - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Edward VI: The Lost King of England - Chris Skidmore
The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
The Bookseller's Tale - Ann Swinfen
The Private Lives of the Tudors: Uncovering the Secrets of Britain's Greatest Dynasty - Tracy Borman
Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey - Nicola Tallis
Tudor: The Family Story - Leanda de Lisle,Leanda de Lisle

You can pretty much look at my 'currently reading' shelf to know what my TBR for this month is because I have way too many books in progress. A few of these are slow reads that I had no intentions of getting through in a single month, others are just suffering from my recent distractedness. Hopefully, I can get through more than four of them this month.

 

I also think I'm going to start doing something new, maybe a 'Books on my Radar' post or something instead of a TBR because it's kind of boring to create a post of what's already on my currently reading shelf.

 

Anyway, happy reading to all!

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review 2016-03-06 00:00
A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess Reviewing my favourites, #1

Like a lot of people my age and from my tiny place of the world, I came to this book through punk music. A Clockwork Orange had already gained some kind of kult following in the punk scene, when the German band Die Tote Hosen did the soundtrack for a Clockwork Orange stage play. The resulting album, „Ein kleines bisschen Horrorschau“, was extremely popular; the Single „Hier kommt Alex“ was so popular, it even reached my little backwater country. And while I didn't understand every single word, I got the essence of it. The wrath, the aimlessness, the helplessness, and the boredom too, all culminating in a wish to do... something, but never knowing what exactly. And while I watched the world falling apart around me, the need for violence, for lashing out grew. Without really understanding, I understood.

Fast forward, four years later, different country. The world had resettled a bit (doesn't it always?), but the punk music inspired by Burgess' work was still popular with my peers. Somehow, someone of us got hold of Stanley Kubrick's film. We were around 12, 13 back then – of course it blew our minds. I still didn't understand every word, being still pretty new to the language; but I didn't need to, because Burgess' evocative Nadsat slang worked on a deeper level beyond mere understanding, just like the music did (maybe it set the spark for me working with language? But that might be giving it a bit too much credit here). And the pictures burned themselves into my mind.
(Years later, we re-watched the film in school, when we did a term on utopia/dystopia. We had to read [b:Brave New World|5129|Brave New World|Aldous Huxley|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1433092908s/5129.jpg|3204877], which is immensely inferior to Burgess' work. But that's school for you.)

I actually just read the book about ten years later still, in my mid-twenties – in English then, first without, then with the last chapter (and no, I can't say which version I prefer). It still worked. Maybe it worked even better with some punk music next to Beethoven in my head and Kubrick's pictures in my mind.

Last but not least, Burgess introduced something to me that should become one of the things which always work to make me feel completely uncomfortable. And also one of my favourite plot devices in literature. I'm talking about the Ludovico technique, of course. The thought you can fuck with someone’s mind so completely that you can alter their personality, their very being, should stick with me and haunt me from there on. In quite a few of my favourite books, similar techniques get employed.

Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?
I've seen and experienced some of the evil human beings can do to each other, so the answer to this questions doesn't come easy. While I see free choice as the most important thing, I've seen it becoming perverted. Does the good cause justify evil means? Does the possibility of something good becoming perverted justify viscous counter-measures? More of these questions. I have no answers.
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text 2016-01-31 22:46
My January 2016
High Witch (High Witch Book 1) - Mona Hanna
Girl Online On Tour - Zoe Sugg
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Ms. Marvel Vol. 3: Crushed - G. Willow Wilson,Adrian Alphona
The Secret to Letting Go - Katherine Fleet
Blood Bound - K. Carter
Harry Potter und der Gefangene von Askaban - J.K. Rowling,Klaus Fritz
All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
High Witch (High Witch Book 1) - 3 stars
Girl Online On Tour - 4 stars
A Clockwork Orange - 3 1/2 stars
Ms. Marvel Vol. 3: Crushed - 5 stars
The Secret to Letting Go - 5 stars
Blood Bound - 2 stars
Harry Potter und der Gefangene von Askaban - 5 stars
All the Light We Cannot See - 5 stars

 

Favorite book(s) of the month:The Secret to Letting Go, Harry Potter (duh!!!), All The Light We Cannot See

 

Books started this month but haven't finished yet: Scintillate (how many months am I dragging this book with me now. UGH), Scardust, Throne of Glass

 

8 BOOKS. Yess. I think that's a really good start into the new reading year.

4 of these books were review copys, 3 were on my normal tbr pile and 1 was a reread.

If I would have finished Throne of Glass, I would have actually read the whole tbr pile I made for January. But oh well, I'm still really proud of myself.

Content wise it was a really up and down, there were some books that I absolutely loved and then there were books that I didn't even really enjoy at all.

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