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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 2017-10-03 17:55
$ Money, Money, Money $
One Hand Clapping - Anthony Burgess

One Hand Clapping is a book about many things – love, money, convictions, the world going to shit, marriage, luck, family, the search for happiness and much more. To be honest, I am a bit baffled after finishing it.

 

First of all, Burgess amazes me. This book is written out of the perspective of Janet, a young British every-day girl from a small town, she’s quite beautiful, although not the sharpest tool in the shed, but hey, who needs to know that Cuba is not a part of Africa, eh? Anyway, Burgess nails this perspective in every way through syntax, lexis, emotions and even perception if that makes any sense.

 

Secondly, I loved Burgess’ take on wealthiness and the life of the filthy rich, as Hemingway would surely call them. Howard (Janets husband) and Janet win the big money and from this point on, everything changes, because he is desperately trying to give his wife the kind of life he thinks that she wants. At one point, Howard (Janets husband) even sends her out to get her milk or mink, because he forgot what it was they were talking about and money doesn’t matter anyway. I especially love Burgess for making Janet realise fairly soon that money isn’t everything and spending a ton of it won’t make you happy.

 

Besides that point, there is also the very apparent theme of the ongoing Americanisation of Britain and I don’t want to know what Burgess would think of our world today in this regard. But I think this quote pretty much sums it up:

 

„I’ve nothing against Americans, and we‘ve seen them at first-hand for ourselves, but I don’t want to to see English people turned into second-hand Americans. But it’s not just that. It’s this spitting in the eye of everything we used to stand for.“

 

So, apparently, the world is not only going to shit right at this moment, but has been in a downward spiral ever since.

 

I have to admit, that some parts of One Hand Clapping were a bit tedious and empty, especially all this rambling about horse races, but overall it’s an enjoyable read, which can be appreciated on many different levels.

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text 2017-10-03 12:12
Reading progress update: I've read 139 out of 224 pages.
One Hand Clapping - Anthony Burgess

"But what really can you do with money after you’ve got a certain amount? There’s a limit to the amount you can eat and drink, and on one occation that week I was really sick."

 

Just beautiful so far.

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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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