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A Clockwork Orange | [Anthony Burgess]

A Clockwork Orange

A vicious 15-year-old droog is the central character of this 1963 classic, a frightening fable about good and evil, and the meaning of human freedom. In Anthony Burgess' nightmare vision of the future, where the criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends' social pathology.
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Publisher's Summary

A vicious 15-year-old "droog" is the central character of this 1963 classic. In Anthony Burgess' nightmare vision of the future, where the criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal, invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends' social pathology.

A Clockwork Orange is a frightening fable about good and evil, and the meaning of human freedom. When the state undertakes to reform Alex to "redeem" him, the novel asks, "At what cost?"

This edition includes the controversial last chapter not published in the first edition, as well as Burgess' introduction, "A Clockwork Orange Resucked".

©1962, 1986 The Estate of Anthony Burgess; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"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." (William S. Burroughs)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (882 )
5 star
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4.4 (495 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Grant NANTUCKET, MA, United States 10-15-12
    Grant NANTUCKET, MA, United States 10-15-12 Member Since 2008

    caffeinated

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Horrorshow."

    After reading this novella, it is easy to see why Kubrick was drawn to the material. It is cinematic in every way. Except for the age of Alex, the main character, and the ending which Kubrick likely did not know about if he only read the American version.

    This work was written 50 years ago, and takes place in the future — a future that supposedly has already taken place, but perhaps has not yet come to be. And Burgess' ability to see into the future of politics, religion and correctional institutions and envision a modern day Willie Horton story with a twist makes this piece worth a listen despite the age of the material.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shane GRAND RAPIDS, MI, United States 07-10-12
    shane GRAND RAPIDS, MI, United States 07-10-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyed and annoyed"

    I loved this book and the movie as well but I found the ending odd. To me if felt like (And this could easily be considered a spoiler so stop reading if you don't want to know a very small portion of the story) the writer was trying to end it with some kind of notion that raping/killing/and stealing was just part of being a teenage. That aside it was a great book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lydia Huntsville, TX, United States 05-03-11
    Lydia Huntsville, TX, United States 05-03-11
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    "**** a real "horrorshow" book"

    I was a little apprehensive about picking up this book because of the sociopathic violent weirdness I had heard about. I was pleasantly surprised at how well written and narrated it is! Very horrorshow! Which, by the way is just a slangily anglicized Russian word "horosho"- good! I was several chapters into the book before I realized that, and it slowly dawned on me that I understood 99% of Alex's slang, because it is mostly picked up from Russian. Very cleverly disguised and humorous for the most part. chellovek = "vek" = man. adinoky = alone. moloko=milk. platies=dress, or clothes, used loosely. karman=pocket. And so on and on. Great listen! I only give 4 stars because the subject matter is really not my chashka of chai (cup of tea).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalia P. Valdes South San Francisco, CA USA 02-28-10
    Natalia P. Valdes South San Francisco, CA USA 02-28-10 Listener Since 2007

    Natalia

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    "Dobby Slooshy"

    Malenky malchick Alex has his own language and after a few minutes you are immersed in it. I love that this book contains the missing 21st chapter as well as Burgess' introduction, "A Clockwork Orange Resucked". Having the author explain some of the intentions behind the story makes it even more ... i dunno... just MORE. This is not your typical anti hero protagonist story. The characters violently shape this story into it's own unique box. I watched the movie version right after finishing the read and was amazed at how true to the book it stayed. Very entertaining read and also it is a bit on the funny side once you get your Nadsat vocabulary in place. Careful the slovo's are addicting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nelson Mostow Cleveland ohio 12-02-07
    Nelson Mostow Cleveland ohio 12-02-07 Member Since 2007
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    "A must read"

    This is a classic science fiction/commentary on civilization type story in the style of the book "1984".
    This is truly a classic book and should be read. It is not particularly long and worth the read. An excellent book for high school or college reading courses.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan tampa, FL, USA 10-19-07
    Jonathan tampa, FL, USA 10-19-07
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    "excellent"

    What a great audiobook. I found this reading to be very well read and the characters really came to life. It is difficult with a book like this to separate authors intent from the more recognizable film depictions. Kubrick did a great job, but the last chapter in the book was far to important to have been discarded. It is violent and horrific; but, that is only one element to the story.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin carrollton, TX, USA 08-13-07
    Martin carrollton, TX, USA 08-13-07 Member Since 2006
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    "Brilliant!!!"

    Welly welly welly welly welly well.. What a fine piece of work.

    As a twelve year old I found this book under my aunts bed and of course, went straight to the photos in the middle. Years later I vidded the flick and was fascinated.

    I thoroughly enjoyed listneing to this, after watching the movie a million times over the last 25 years. The final chapter makes so much sense

    Real horrorshow..Thanks

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 09-14-14
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 09-14-14 Member Since 2012

    AUDIBLE MAKES READING POSSIBLE AND EASY FOR ME...I AM VISUALLY IMPAIRED. I WISH THEY HAD ALL THE BOOKS I WANT I WOULD SNAP THEM UP!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "NOT A BOOK FOR EVERYONE"
    If you could sum up A Clockwork Orange in three words, what would they be?

    NOT PLAIN ENGLISH


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I HAD NO FAVE.


    What does Tom Hollander bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    IT MUST BE HARD TALKING IN CODE ENGLISH. TOOK A WILE TO FIGURE THINGS OUT.


    If you could take any character from A Clockwork Orange out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    ALEX'S PARENTS AND ASK THEM WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO HAVE A SON LIKE ALEX THEY WERE AFRAID OF HIM.


    Any additional comments?

    IT WOULD BE MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE WITH PLAIN ENGLISH. IT WAS QUITE VIOLENT. I WOULD LIKE TO UNDERSTAND WHY THESE KIDS WERE SO SADISTIC.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Burch 09-06-14
    K. Burch 09-06-14

    Speculative fiction is my genre. Narrative voice (the voice the author wrote the tale in) is very important to me. I love good dialogue.

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    "The Audiobook is Best"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Sure. It's a fun read that tackles an interesting theme, and the language is a joy to listen to (although it gets a bit repetitive). I actually had an easier time listening to it than I did trying to read it several years ago.


    Which character – as performed by Tom Hollander – was your favorite?

    Alex. When a writer can get you to sympathize with a scumbag, you know you've just read something good.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T Cyr Missoula, MT United States 09-02-14
    T Cyr Missoula, MT United States 09-02-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Excellent! Vibrant! Insightful!"

    Amazing reader who brought this story to life. Had tired to read before but was so tripped up by the new language Burgess created for the character Alex that I could not get into it and gave up. But Hollander speaks it with such clarity creating depth and understanding to this masterpiece! It was utterly brilliant heard read out loud!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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