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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 (1065 )
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Performance
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  •  
    James 01-17-13
    James 01-17-13 Member Since 2014

    I loved reading about King Arthur and Knights of the round table when I was a wee lad. Now I am older and love Game of Thrones!

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    "Interesting Read!"
    Would you listen to A Clockwork Orange again? Why?

    Yes, the distinct language and meaning of the words throws you back, and by mid way of the story, you as a reader are interpreting what the words mean. Its like being stranded in a strange land and picking and learning a new second language.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Interesting plot, and a different technique used in telling of it. Gripping and interesting all the way thru.


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

    Of course the lead charactor.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Its been done.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish Audible would have first played a glossary of terms at the beginning. I was disapointed after hearing for years about it, then the prefix was Mr. Burgess telling a bit about it, and how he wears this like an anchor around his neck, how he always has to talk about the book, which he considers was not one of his greatest work. I am sorry, but if you wrote a book, and it gets included in the top 100 reads of the century.. take it and be humbled that people chose you.
    I enjoyed it, but the prefix took away from the beginning pleasure to it. I would have rather read the book, then heard his interview after the story. All in all a good book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grant NANTUCKET, MA, United States 10-15-12
    Grant NANTUCKET, MA, United States 10-15-12 Member Since 2009

    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
  •  
    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 Member Since 2015

    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 2011
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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
  •  
    12-22-08
    12-22-08 Member Since 2012
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    "Incredibly well read and written... A must read!"

    It's been several years since I read this book in both forms (U.S. and U.K. versions). Listening to this audiobook brings back memories of why I love it so much.

    To begin with, it is incredibly well written, and of course is an excellent story... I consider this a must read. Our humble narrator (Tom Hollander) is absolutely perfect as Alex! His accent is perfect, and he does the other voices well, too. The way he blends the definitions of the made-up teen slang (Nadsat) is natural rather than disruptive. I don't think there could be a better narrator for this book. He roped me in and mesmerized me. I couldn't put my iPod down until it was finished (and I've read both versions of the book many times).

    If you haven't read the book but have seen the movie, you should get this audiobook. The last chapter, omitted from the movie and the book's original U.S. release and for many years of reprints after, changes the book into a wonderful work of literature.

    4 of 6 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 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    william b stanton Orem, Utah United States 06-02-15
    william b stanton Orem, Utah United States 06-02-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Has the last chapter"
    What did you love best about A Clockwork Orange?

    I like how it shows that the "Authorities" are not much better than the street thugs as far as morals go, only in perception. I loved the movie, and the book just fills in the details that you can't fit into a 90 film.


    What other book might you compare A Clockwork Orange to and why?

    Taxi Driver, it has a similar main character


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

    He does really well with the accent and makes the character come to life. (I only wish there were a few more actors and sound effects, think old radio and I will give 5 stars)


    If you could rename A Clockwork Orange, what would you call it?

    Ultra Violence


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth your time

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Publicagent 05-17-15
    Publicagent 05-17-15 Member Since 2015

    Publicagent

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    "Dim being really dim..."

    My favorite part is Tom Hollander's voice for Dim. Absolutely hysterical.

    After the audiobook finishes, there are an extra two chapters of Anthony Burgess reading a Clockwork Orange! Although I was not ready to listen to this after finishing the entire text, I really appreciate the extra piece of audio and will listen to it another time. Although not as entertaining as Hollander, it's always interesting to hear the author read their own work.

    I agree that audiobooks seem like a good format for this text because you don't allow yourself to get caught up in the meaning of inventive, mind-bending words.

    (Good intro written by author placing film and American version in context and contrast with the author's intent

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    iamuong 04-14-15
    iamuong 04-14-15 Member Since 2015
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    "What a horrorshow book!"

    Nadsat is tough to get used to at first, so having a dictionary up while listening is probably a good idea. A lot of the words are used multiple times (viddy, rooker, plot, veck), so those are easy to pick up.

    Great performance by the *humble narrator* and the various voices that he does.

    **SPOILERS**
    About the 21st chapter: I liked it omitted. There are enough options where the main character comes of age. Those who argue that the denouement happens in the last chapter say so because they want to believe that there is good in everyone and some people just grow up. I think that the denouement comes with Alex getting his choice back late in the 20th chapter. The motif of freedom is much more important than the motif of coming of age.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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