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Posted January 14, 2013
Posted November 28, 2011
A Clockwork Orange
I had mixed feeling about this book. Seeing the film before reading the novel, I had an idea of what I was getting myself into. But the book was a lot more detailed and explicit then I remembered from the film. Some pretty brutal and nasty scenes where left out of the film for obvious reasons. This was the reason I disliked the book, it took my mind to places I didn¿t want to go. It took me into to the mind of a sick a demented character, and author. But as I got used to the sick and disturbing visuals this book described, it got easier to read without crenching.
Another part of the book that I found hard to get used to was the slang he used. I had to keep on turning to my ¿Word Guide to A Clockwork Orange¿ everytime I came across a word I didn¿t know, and there was a lot of them. It got easier as I read on, because I was getting to know some of the vocabular and was able to fill in the blanks when I came across foreign words. So without the guide it can be a difficult read, unless you are fluent in Russian or Slavic slang, and Burgessian.
As I got deeper in the book I realized why this work was so popular. I could see the artfulness in his writing, using controversial subject matter to get a specific point across. Taking the reader into a place that some of us forget about, a place of violence and madness where some think that it¿s okay. And how through disciplinary techniques some lose the freedom to choose and are forced to change. But with time, we all grow up and make the right decision to do so.
The questional material in the book mixed with the underlining, but somewhat hidden message, it has, leaves my gladly sick that I have read it.
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Posted December 18, 2010
I recommend it, but...
Really unique and interesting, but if you can't handle violence, this is not for you.
The use of Russian slang was very cool, because I know Russian, and it didn't make it more difficult to read, but I don't know how others would feel about having to infer words from context clues.
Overall, I'm glad I read it.
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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Posted August 31, 2014
The paths of violence navigate through a forest of moral choices
The paths of violence navigate through a forest of moral choices-what is the worth of the automatic man?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Review: The depth of this work is not fully realized in a passing read. Indeed, the author himself dismisses it as much to pedantic too be artistic. Yet, the work does seem to have layers with which the reader can be drawn into thoughtfulness. It is a violent work, born in part, from a violent act. Burgess's wife suffered an attack not unlike one of the horrendous acts which the main character perpetrates. This fact alone make the work mind-boggling and curious. Why would the author write a work like this, told from the perspective of the actual criminal mind?
And yet, he distances himself from all the violence. Blurring the heinous crimes with a hypnotic made-up language that populates the book. Burgess admitted this. The language of this book, perhaps a bit difficult to get through at first, becomes more and more familiar as we are sucked along in little Alex's head and all his misadventures. It covers over the violence and keeps the reader from being completely turned away. Perhaps we even feel a strange sympathy for the main character when he is being used by the political forces in this world? As we might be sucked in by any charismatic criminal.
Moral choice? In the book, the main character is evil, but the government attempts to make him good by physically disabling him from doing bad. The religious figure, a prison Chaplin, decries this saying that without freewill a person ceases to be a person. By contrast a prison warden scorns that the government's action is missing the point - for where is redemption without punishment "an eye for an eye" and all that. The government officials in the conservative party say that the only point of all this is to lower the crime rate (and in so doing to get reelected). The scientists who invent the special technique which transforms the main character don't even want to get into ethics at all. But what about Alex's parents and former social worker? They all sort of seem perplexed by him or maybe indifferent. And the main character himself is unconcerned with all this - he just wants to get back to his old ways as quick as he can.
If you read the 21st chapter (the one originally cut out in the American version) you end on a different note. The character grows up. Seemingly all on his own. His change appears to come from within. Yet, I feel it is not completely from within - for at the end - he has a job doing something he likes (which is not destructive), and he is now earning money NOT stealing it. Back in his crime-filled sprees it was easy come - easy go. Yet little Alex, now big Alex is not so quick to part with his cash when he's been meant to become a part of society and earn his keep. So, when Alex gets set up doing something he likes (associated with his love of music) his destructive ways are diverted.
But compare this with Alex's companions: George, the droog who had a notion to take over leadership - falls victim to his own criminal ambitions. Dim, a lack-witted brute, throws in with Alex's enemy- perpetrating his old violent tricks now as a corrupt (or sadistic) police officer. Then there is Pete who was the least violent in the group, who renounces his old ways and finds a girl--moves on--matures--grows up. We are led to believe that Alex might follow in Pete's footsteps. Did he come to this conclusion on his own? Did the government help him to it by providing him a way of making a living with something positive he is interested in? Or did it just become tired of being a criminal (or more mature). After all, the last chapter is the "21st" chapter and made to be symbolic with the coming of age at 21 years.
In Alex's world, everyone connected with the criminal way seems to be using everyone else. Alex and his droogs use people by preying on them. Then Alex is preyed upon by the government for political reasons and exploit. Despite Alex's unforgivable lifestyle, we are still left feeling unsatisfied with the government's solution. Somehow we can't quite swallow turning someone into an automaton. Burgess makes sure of this by making the governments technique have the side effect of causing him pain and awful discomfort whenever he hears music (his one arguably redeemable quality). And this side effect is then exploited to cause Alex to try to "snuff it" (end his own life). This would be unacceptable, for if the government had wanted that, then they simply could have administered capital punishment in the first place.
This book is very successful in sucking you in to a sort of comfortable and hypnotic read of things that would otherwise jolt you off the page, and then after you've gone too far into the character's head it's too late to turn back. You are caught in the bright and harsh lights on the big moral issues at stake surrounding crime, morality, maturity and freedom of choice.
Podcast: If you enjoy my review (or this topic) this book and the movie based on it were further discussed/debated in a lively discussion on my podcast: "No Deodorant In Outer Space". The podcast is available on iTunes or our website.
Posted May 13, 2012
This novel takes place in a dystopian London around 1995, 20 yea
This novel takes place in a dystopian London around 1995, 20 years in the future when it was written. The main character is Alex, who is a typical teen of the time. For fun he and his friends go out and terrorize, torture, and even murder them. Once his friends, or "droogs" as he calls them, start to go against him, the beat him up and turn him in to the police. The police harass him, beat him, and throw him in a cell. When he is tried for his crimes, he is sentenced to 14 years in prison. After two years, an experimental program turns up that says it can rid people of their evil. Alex is put up for the program. he is viewed images up people dying and people being beat and is put through sickness, to put the two together in his mind. He is released from prison after he has showed that he is "cured". Once he is released he must decide between good and evil, and moral choices. I like this book and the theme it takes on over being able to make decisions by yourself. I would recommend this book, it is pretty hard to get into at first and the made up language of "Nadsat" will be hard to pick at first, it gets very interesting and easier to understand.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 5, 2012
A Look into the Future
This novel is as relevant today as it was when it was first written. Alex, the sociopath, is a case study into gang members today. And his treatment by the government a metaphor for how the government addresses crime, treating the effect and not he cause. If you haven't read this book, you should. It is an eye-opener.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 19, 2011
Read this book. Just read it.
This is a review of a very interessovatting book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
That was nadsat, a combination of Russian and Cockney English, and the chosen slang of the main characters of this book. Our main friend, or "droog", if you prefer, is a 15-year-old boy named Alex. Alex is not a complicated fellow- not to say that he is unintelligent, merely single-minded-and seems to take pleasure only in violence and "other" types of abuse. If you get my meaning.
The story starts with a basic introduction to Alex and his "group of friends", which is honestly more of a traveling warband than a cluster of chums. They begin a tour of destruction and chaos, beating many people and stealing and generally being nasty. Once home, Alex begins blasting classical music while fantasizing of the next day's bout of chaos.
Alex, being the kind of creep he is, skips school the next day. Bringing some girls home to his flat, he administers some type of roofie to them, and oh god we all know where this is going. After that...event, let's call it, Alex returns to his droogs to find them rather mutinous, challenging him for leadership of the group. Alex injures the two, but shows some generosity to the beaten boys and takes them to the bar they were in during their introduction.
Alex decides to go through with the idea of robbing a rich old woman, but unfortunately for Alex, the women is killed, Alex knocked unconscious and left by her body. After a quick time skip, we find Alex in prison for murder. Obviously his cellmate doesn't survive for long.
After his unfortunate roommate's death, Alex is subjected to something called "Ludocivo's Technique", where he is injected with a chemical that causes extreme nausea and sickness, and then forced to watch violent movies for hours upon hours, and his brain evetually makes a connection between the feelings and violence. As a result, his brain is rewritten and he is no longer considered a threat to society, due to inability to even THINK about violence without crippling sickness, and released from prison, beginning a long chain of misfortune for him.
This is a book that disgusts me with some of it's content yet is such an interesting story that it's impossible to put down. Although the book is very, VERY disturbing in sections, I would recommend it to any fans of short stories. It's a very well-written book, and the slang that most of the dialogue in provides a great challenge for advanced readers.
I loved the book personally, but I need to give you a disclaimer. THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH OR FAINT OF HEART. IT CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE, VIOLENCE, AND...THAT OTHER THING.
I highly recommend this wonderfully inglorious book to any mature readers out there.
Posted September 13, 2011
At first i thought this was the dummest book ever read but then that wat people think about the maury show! Its kind of like that. You tell urself to stop reading this stupid book then you find out that you just cant stop reading. Its like a guilty pleasure. And the fact the the author put it in a code i think is pure smarts!
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Posted August 20, 2010
Posted February 13, 2010
A real horrorshow book!
This book was a really good read. It's kind of hard to get into, what with the slang and all, but once you get deeper into the story you won't be able to stop reading.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 21, 2008
Raul a young writer
It was a good book. It was written well and the characters all sound different which is great. The author does a great job in writing this novel.Not scary but great.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 22, 2007
A Chilling and Intriguing Novel
'A Clockwork Orange' takes place in futuristic city ruled by a totalitarian super-State, in a dystopia if you will. The novel focuses on the initial impression of the individual in this future, as well as the growth in character that gradually emerges over a duration of time. Our protagonist is Alex, only 15 years old but already involved in a life of crime. He along with his gang, whom he is the leader of, wander the streets, taking advantage of every opportunity to cause any type of chaos possible. The boys have no problems about attacking the helpless, and find immense pleasure in attacking those who are considerably more helpless than others. Despite the heinous crimes they have committed, they manage to remain oddly innocent and likeable. They aren't doing any of this out of any ill will toward their victim, they are creating mayhem just because it's a source of amusement for them. Eventually the tides turn, when one particular break-in goes haywire. Alex's gang turns on him when he attempts to escape from the scene of the crime and he is detained by the police. Due to the severity of the crime, Alex is sentenced to fourteen years of prison. Although prison is difficult in the beginning he manages to create an illusion of good behavior, despite the obvious fact that he has made zero progress. Two years later, he is chosen for a new, experimental rehabilitation program, called the Ludovico Technique, to rid him of any desire to indulge in, or to remotely think about, any acts of violence. However, this treatment has left Alex incapable of deciding the difference between what he considers right and wrong. This in particular is a central theme of the novel. Can we as individuals be good people, if we cannot make a conscious choice to do the right thing? The most intriguing part of the novel, are the connections to past and present reality. Alex's gang, as well as the setting for the piece was inspired by the communist run Soviet Union, and the gangs that were prevalent in that area, called Stilyagi. For those interested, 'A Clockwork Orange' seems to be one part fantasy, one part truths, and most disturbing, one part 'What if'. Each interpretation is different, and it is up to the reader to make that specific decision at their own discretion.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 22, 2007