A Clockwork Orange

( 380 )

Overview

"Anthony Burgess reads chapters of his novel A Clockwork Orange with hair-raising drive and energy. Although it is a fantasy set in an Orwellian future, this is anything but a bedtime story." -The New York Times

Told by the central character, Alex, this brilliant, hilarious, and disturbing novel creates an alarming futuristic vision of violence, high technology, and authoritarianism. Anthony Burgess' 1963 classic stands alongside Orwell's 1984...
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Overview

"Anthony Burgess reads chapters of his novel A Clockwork Orange with hair-raising drive and energy. Although it is a fantasy set in an Orwellian future, this is anything but a bedtime story." -The New York Times

Told by the central character, Alex, this brilliant, hilarious, and disturbing novel creates an alarming futuristic vision of violence, high technology, and authoritarianism. Anthony Burgess' 1963 classic stands alongside Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World as a classic of twentieth century post-industrial alienation, often shocking us into a thoughtful exploration of the meaning of free will and the conflict between good and evil. In this recording, the author's voice lends an intoxicating lyrical dimension to the language he has so masterfully crafted.

"I do not know of any other writer who has done as much with language as Mr. Burgess has done [in A Clockwork Orange]." -William S. Burroughs

Recognized as one of the literary geniuses of our time, Anthony Burgess produced thirty-two novels, a volume of verse, sixteen works of nonfiction, and two plays. Originally a composer, his creative output also included countless musical compositions, including symphonies, operas, and jazz. The author's musicality is evident in the lyrical and dramatic reading he gives in this recording. Anthony Burgess died in 1993.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

After his youthful adventures of raping and pillaging, Alex finds himself in prison. When he volunteers for an experiment, his sentence is commuted to two weeks. The experiment leaves him physically incapable of doing wrong and releases him back into the world. However, when he repeatedly runs into people he has wronged in the past, his real suffering begins. This audiobook gives new life to Burgess's tale of recklessly violent youth, free will and true redemption. While Malcolm McDowell forever infused viewers with the look of Alex in the film, Tom Hollander performs an even more amazing feat. With a smooth, almost lyrical, crisp voice, Hollander delivers Burgess's "nadsat" dialect to readers with such rhythmic cadence that listeners will easily understand the extensive slang used throughout the book. This unabridged production also includes the 21st chapter, which was not dramatized in the film or in the book's original U.S. publication. The audiobook opens with a brief note by Burgess on living with the book's legacy. The final CD features selected readings by Burgess from a previous recorded abridged version. While it's interesting to hear the older and gruffer voice, it does not compare to Hollander's performance. A Penguin paperback. (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
The New York Times
Anthony Burgess reads chapters of his novel A Clockwork Orange with hair-raising drive and energy. Although it is a fantasy set in an Orwellian future, this is anything but a bedtime story.
William S. Burroughs
“I do not know of any other writer who has done as much with language as Mr. Burgess has done here — the fact that this is also a very funny book may pass unnoticed.”
Time
“Looks like a nasty little shocker, but is really that rare thing in English letters: a philosophical novel.”
New York Times
“A brilliant novel... a savage satire on the distortions of the single and collective minds.”
Roald Dahl
“A terrifying and marvelous book.”
Irvine Welsh
“One of the most groundbreaking and influential novels of all time—and one of the best.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786246441
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Series: Perennial Bestsellers Series
  • Edition description: LARGEPRINT
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony Burgess (1917–1993) is the author of many works, including A Clockwork Orange, The Wanting Seed, Nothing Like the Sun, Honey for the Bears, The Long Day Wanes, The Doctor Is Sick, and ReJoyce.

Andrew Biswell, PhD, is the author of The Real Life of Anthony Burgess.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 380 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(255)

4 Star

(80)

3 Star

(28)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 380 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    ALL TIME FAVORITE, VERY IMPRESSIVE

    This book goes after some truly weighty subjects in a short time frame. Burgess tells the story of his narrator, Alex, who is a clearly intelligent young man who has focused his youthful talents on setting out each night to terrorize the innocent citizens of a futuristic London. <BR/>The book is famous for Burgess' heavy use of a made-up slang that a committed reader will pick up quickly using context clues. It actually serves to focus your attention on the book rather than as a distraction. Further, Burgess uses the slang to differentiate groups of characters within the book and, in some of the book's most interesting moments, one side of a character from another side within himself. The dichotomies created are very clear without being ham-fisted. Very well done. <BR/>Burgess really creates a gritty, enveloping sense of place and mood as Alex and his pals meander through the city. As the reader, you simultaneously feel their sense of power (empty though it may be) and the victim's sense of fear and helplessness. Another great exploration of the duality of character within each of us, and yet this is still just a warm up for the main event! <BR/>The story hits its peak once Alex is sold out by his pals and captured by the police (who aren't really good guys). Alex volunteers/is chosen for a new procedure which will "cure" him of his evil tendencies. The scenes of brainwashing that follow are wonderfully crafted and this whole segment of the book artfully asks whether it is better to have a choice between good and evil when only a portion of us will choose good, or whether it is better for all of us to be good even at the cost of our free will. It's a tremendous look at freedom vs. authoritarianism in all its forms. <BR/>As Alex is released back into the world, we see the flip side of his original self, someone incapable of any form of evil. The string of events that follows brings up as many penetrating questions for the reader as any other portion of the book. Alex finishes (if you get a book with the 21st chapter - make sure you do) slightly older, with more perspective on his situation. <BR/>A book about the two sides, we all have within us and the freedom some of us have, and some of us lack to let the two sides out. Highly recommended, you can see why this one has stood the test of time.

    28 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2011

    A Clockwork Orange

    The reason I started reading this was because someone gave me a shirt with Stewie from Family Guy dressed as Alex, not know that was who he was potraying. Anyway, one of my teachers recognized it and told me I shouldn't read the book or watch the movie because of it's content. I didn't listen- I was too intreged- and went out and got the book. I am so glad I did what I did. I read it cover to cover, then read it again. I was so shocked at the boldness and brilliance of a simple novel- scratch that, it's not simple at all. It is riviting. I am still only a child- a teenager, if you will- and I have to say this is probably going to be one of my all time favorite books. The use of the slang, Nadsat, is quite clever and even catchy. After reading it, I spoke in mild Nadsat for quite a while- I still am. Anyway, this is a near perfect novel. I absolutly love it. It is even shocking. A warning, though- this is not a book for the faint at heart. If you can't take some graphic sence and brutal honesty without a trace of shame to be told (sometimes), I will not suggest you partake in this literary adventure. For everyone else, read the book!

    20 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2010

    A Clockwork Orange, An Awesome Read

    A book potent with unchecked violence, A Clockwork Orange addresses the need of the presence of evil in order for good to exist. Alex, the epitome of such malevolence, is a barbaric character that captures the essence of a criminal's need to instill fear and harm in others. As the story unfolds, Alex's moral choice is ripped away via classical conditioning: music, in which he once found a twisted pleasure, causes him physical pain instead, preventing him from unleashing any more harm on his fellow human beings. Despite his apparent 'treatment', Alex is still thrust into malignant situations. Written by a prominent Catholic, the book depicts an absence of religion and morals in a future society. By doing so, Anthony Burgess directly answers a question asked by many: if a god exists, why does he permit the world to live in such an evil state? He insists that man needs to have the choice of doing something right in order for it to be done in pure righteousness. Religious views aside, many people would be able to get into reading this book. The language is unlike any other written before it, as the criminal youth speak in a fictional dialogue that depicts their unrefined, savage nature. The manner in which life is governed in the book, whether bullied by Alex and his 'droogs' or the government's unethical rehabilitation of criminals, raises questions about the treatment of others. Despite the sometimes-disturbing images in this book, I definitely recommend this book to those who wish to read in order to gain something. A Clockwork Orange has much to offer.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2010

    A wild ride through morality.

    I have currently started a list of books that I want to read before I die. The list includes many classics as well as books that I have read or am fond of reading. When I picked this book up and read the introduction by Mr. Bugess, I was immediately sucked in by his speech on morality. After reading this book, I can say nothing but wow. Honestly, I am not sure if I have ever read a book like A Clockwork Orange. It stretches the mind and opens one's eyes to the luxuries of free will. Definately a must read.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2012

    A Classic. Very thought provoking. Original.

    I was shocked at first at the honesty of this book. But after I got past this and learned the language which is a bit rough, I went on an incredible journey. First, questioning the innocence of youth and then hating the "solution" to the problem. I was very thankful for the happy ending and cannot imagine the book without its 21st chapter. I have no idea what the orginal American publisher was thinking by not including it. This book becomes a great story in its last chapter.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I read this book in college after a friend's recommendation. H

    I read this book in college after a friend's recommendation. He was also a fan of Phil Dick, who was the topic of discussion for writing dark, futuristic dystopias. This story was in a similar theme. It was a difficult at first, but then I remembered that I took a class in Russian - which helped with the slang then it was a quick read. I enjoyed the pace and matter of fact storytelling from the main character. He is a complete sociopath and his reformation is just as disturbing as his criminal lifestyle.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    My appy polly loggies

    I might not know much about literature, or Anthony's philosophical views. But I do know that I'm a teenager who encounters all this so called "drama" and "backstabbing". My life is, of course, not as brutal as Alex's, but if you think about it, most kids my age posses that kind of...Hostility, towards life and people surrounding them. I'm only 15 years old, and all I hear is; My, did you hear about those kids who raped and murdered that woman?! Where's justice? Fairness?! For the love of God! What's wrong with these kids?!? I hear this all the time, adults stop and stare at me in horror, thinking I want to skin them or something, ridiculous! Two months ago, two of my friends plotted, and almost succeeded in killing one of their parents, you might have heard it in the news, Eric Stone. It makes me sick knowing that I sat next to them in class. I knew their motives. Silly! No one ever believed they would do such a thing. I know this is supposed to be a review for the book, but guess we could call this "a second point of view", it's scary how close to reality Anthony came. I mean, I do wear the highest of fashions amongst my droogs, and luckily, I'm no one of the many psychotic teenagers out there, but I can guarantee you, I'm one of their best friends.
    Either way, amazing book. Beautiful slang. As real as it gets.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    .

    .

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Love it

    I read this book my senior year of high school, almost two years ago. I read it for a project on banned books. Honestly, this book should not be banned anywhere. This is an amazing book. I read it over and over and over. I absolutely love this book. It didn't take me long to figure out the slang. This book is too good to not read.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2011

    Rcommended

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Violent Looney Tones (A Timeless Classic)

    From it's first publishing in 1962 to now, A Clockwork Orange has become one of the most infamous satirical novels to emerge from Twentieth Century literature. From it's violent context, moral ambiguity, and it's slang; the novel was bound to be misunderstood especially due to it's timely publication. The novel, in likes of Eugene Zamiatin's We and Orwell's 1984, sets a very dystopian look of the future. The novel's protagonist/antihero is Alex, the leader of a gang of four "droogies". At night the gang sets out doing a number of amoral activities that would make most eyes pop if it weren't for the crude satirical humor that Burgess peppers the text with. The book also contains quite a bit of sly commentary on public institutions and those that abide by and/or oppose it. The doctors supposedly "curing" Alex, Alex's parents, and etc. all seem to follow a fine line of orthodoxy without much contemplation. Much like Kafka, Burgess outlines the absurdity of hollow traditional values and there negative affects. The main message of the story mostly lies on Alex. In that although Alex actions reflect violence and sexual debauchery, he seems to be the only one to make a involved moral decision in his life. Not one based off religion, political associations, or money, but because he likes it. While any of his decision are hard to relate to, he remains to be the freest man in the story. Anthony Burgess may have enjoyed writing his other novels, but A Clockwork Orange is definitely his most effective and critically-acclaimed work. Also Another Note: The last chapter was omitted until 1986, long after the Kubrick film was released.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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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.

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  • Posted December 6, 2010

    A Clockwork Orange - great read and a great challenge -

    I read a Clockwork Orange in about 2 days and after getting through the fist couple of chapters and use to the language/slang used by the central character/Alex thought it was a great read. It really is a story of a thug- Alex and what a detriment/or just an outright criminal he was to society and how they fealt it should be dealt with. I had mixed emotions on this matter. While the story theme is to almost make Alex out to be the "victim" here let's NOT forget he was a criminal thug and DESEREVED the punishment he received but not to the extreme the story displays. TOO often today criminals today receive a nice college education and a gym and 3 meals a day - AT THE TAXPAYERS EXEPENSE! = PUNISHMENT SHOULD MEAN PUNISHMENT!!! If they hav eto break rocks with a sledgehammer then so be it! In any case as the story relates Alex a s a result of his behavior both in socity and prison is used a "test model" for a new type of therapy/slash drug to take away his ability of "choice" to do somthing bad and ONLY do/think good things thus almost programming his like a machine and not a human being any longer- Frankenstein like and this method has to be questioned. Man ceases to be man any longer. The characters- Dim, Georgie boy,Pete, Alex's parents all were put together perfecly in this story and added to an extent to Alex's problems and why he had such a bad life till the end of the story. Inthis casde Alex realizes/grows up and decides ther's more to life than being evil and gets that all important 2nd chance. Enjoy this great read in my opinion. Could not put down.
    DNC

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2010

    viddy this my droogs

    A great novel, filled with an unusual language based on russian slang (be ready to use your context clues) A clockwork orange begs the question if good is not a moral choice, then is it actually good, or just as bad as actually being evil? You take a dive into the mind of a young hoodlum, Alex who leads a gang of misbehaving droogs. Alex finds little in life he loves and destroys other peoples lives. A major theme in this book is music. Beethoven's 9th symphony is the actual structure of this book. read the chorus of the ninth before you read the book, it is very interesting. also, read the introduction, many people don't, but you will get a lot more out of the book. Also, the book is very different than the movie. overall, this book is a good read. lots of people find it disturbing, and at points it is, but stomach past it and look at the underlying message of freewill and moral choices.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2010

    What an Experience

    What an interesting experience it was to read this novel! When I first picked up A Clockwork Orange, I had already heard a few things about it. First, that the book contains graphic scenes and violence. And second, that the language in the novel is difficult to get used to. Both are true and both are crucial to the merit of the novel as a whole.

    With respect to the violence of the main character and his "droogs," I found meaning for these actions in the curiosity towards their motives that I subsequently developed. Why are the characters so incessant in committing acts of violence? Do they openly flout the moral codes of society or are they unaware that such a moral code exists? How has society come to be this way? These unanswered questions are what catapult you through the pages as you continue to listen to Alex, your "friend and humble narrator," continue with his story.

    As far as the language in concerned, do not allow yourself to be intimidated by the first page. Consider it a puzzle to be solved with the surrounding contexts and through you own perception. I must warn you of becoming frustrated with not knowing the meaning to all the slang terms spoken in the novel. Do NOT merely give up and go searching on the internet for the slang dictionary as you would not go searching for the answer key to a crossword puzzle after you encounter a question that you do not know. Instead, persevere so that ultimately the novel holds both meaning and pleasure in solving the puzzle.

    Reading this novel is like immersing yourself into a whole new world. Learn as you go and enjoy your discoveries as you finally uncover the underlying moral truths hidden in both the title, A Clockwork Orange, and the story itself. All in all, I wholeheartedly recommend this book to any reader that is up for the challenge.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    crazy book

    this was a crazzzyy book&gt;&gt; the imagery and the vivid and disturbing descriptions of these morally off fellows is pretty strong. I liked it alot though because it casts you into what would be a society at the point of no ethics or morals&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt; you know how most people find it disturbing when the strong prey on the weak??? well this is that at its worst extent... great book for discussions because it questions if many of the punishments we give those who are clearly deserving of them are morally right?? it basically takes the evil heartless one and flips the tables....and then you see it and feel it all over again all that feeling sorry but for the one who acted savagely on a poor victim. its a great read however, its highly interactive with the reader.... you are reading from a perspective of a totally different age of society and time cast into the future into a group of young punks with different slang that you hav never heard of&gt;&gt;you learn to "hang" with them and their slang as you progress......

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2001

    Utterly Brilliant

    The entire book was stunning. All the literary elements flow to create a clear, timeless picture of a chaotic future. It is parable of free will that will have you thinking, questioning, and empathizing with it's protagnist (Alex).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    A clockwork orange is an amazing book that makes you think alot

    A clockwork orange is an amazing book that makes you think alot about yourself as a human being.eeverything about the book interested me from the gritty dark envoirment of the city at night to the charming anti-hero alex.the way the book portrayed the city at night gave me a great idea about the currrent society in the book and about how the innocent were often victimizd by the wicked crimes of the gangs of youth that roamed about the night.i got a great feeling of interest learning about this world that comes out during sundown.Also another thing that kept me hooked was the character alex and how he handle issues and went through life.and how everything got resolved in the long lost last chapter of this read.~Bradley

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    A Clockwork Orange is a very interesting and exciting book. I wo

    A Clockwork Orange is a very interesting and exciting book. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading as well as
    people who may not like reading but are interested in topics involving crime and the law system. A Clockwork Orange takes place in
    a dystopian society where a teenager, Alex, and his three “droogs” or friends commit crimes on a daily basis. Part one of the book is
    full of action and something exciting and crazy can happen at any given moment. Alex and his friends often feel no remorse for the
    crimes they commit and just do it for fun. While Alex and his friends commit crimes the police have come up with a new technique to
    stop crimes. The technique involves inducing sickness onto the patient and having them watch something violent so the acts of
    violence are directly associated with their sickness and it is meant to deter them from committing any further crimes. This book uses
    a very unique dialogue in which Alex and his friends use slang words in almost everything they say. Alex refers to his friends that
    commit crimes with him as droogs. Alex and his friends are the only people who use these slang terms which can make them
    identifiable to others even though they wear masks whenever they commit more serious crimes. I do recommend this book but you
    must be aware of the violent acts that take place and the detail that goes into each scene of the book. 

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