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review 2018-07-03 03:58
A Clockwork Orange -- wow.
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

I'm now going to allow myself to see this film, now that I've read the entire book, including the redemption/change final chapter that was so gallingly removed from the US versions for so long. I've never seen Kubrick's film because I knew I wanted to read the book first. This is marked as "dystopia" and I'm having a bit of trouble differentiating it from regular old life.. Not sure what that says about me.

 

For some reason the entire time I read this - from the very first scene, I kept thinking "what if these were girls?," "What if Alex was an Alexa?" (or just a female Alex, actually.) Every section I saw both the way Burgess wrote it and then I'd sit back and wonder how it would be perceived if the narrator was female. Would this be a classic novel if Alex was a 17/18-year-old girl? And what would we think of the Ludovico technique if it was used on a girl? I mean, we do use this technique - not exactly, but some very similar techniques, for various reasons still (as troublesome as that is.) I'll let you all play that little gender game on your own, but I couldn't stop doing it (which is sort of maddening, actually.) 

 

I've only read two other books by Anthony Burgess (Earthly Powers and A Dead Man in Deptford.) From what I've read, he could probably easily have written this with a female narrator - he was versatile. His introduction to this corrected American edition is pretty awesome all by itself, and he shares that this is not one of his favorite works.

 

I'm actually just sort of gobsmacked by this novel. I have no idea how much I liked or disliked it. I don't know that I felt like or dislike, but I'm really really glad to have read this story because it's just amazingly original -- despite having read many rip-offs, and the ethical questions are overwhelming. I'll be puzzling through them for quite some time, actually. 

 

I'm glad the final chapter was included in the version I bought (I'd been trying to buy it for a while and kept ending up w/ old copies that lacked the final metanoia.) I've had a period of life-change come from pure exhaustion myself. I wasn't murdering people, but I was not doing good things either. There is a point when the trouble to make trouble (for oneself or others) actually can just be too much. 

 

Oh, I have so many thoughts on this & I'm too beat to write more tonight. I wanted a place-holder b/c I finished another book too, and this needs to come before it in my blog.  I'll try to rent the film by next week, & maybe I'll amend this with a book/film review.

 

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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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