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
"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)
Obviously, this is a very tough read, both for content and writing. But by listening to this audio book, I was able to understand the fascinating language that Burgess created a lot more than I had while trying to read it myself. Lots of violence, yes, but a very interesting take of what Burgess calls a clockwork orange - someone who has no choice when it comes to good or evil. They are simply either good or evil without any thought to the other. I liked that that the audiobook included Burgess' introduction as well as his reading of the first 4 chapters.
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.
Taxi Driver, it has a similar main character
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)
Well worth your time
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
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.
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.
I had not a clue what I was getting in to. All I knew was that CwOrange was a literary classic and that I'd never read it or had a clue what it was about.
Wow!! What a difficult read!! By about the second chapter, you'll become familiar with some of that slang that's used, and the book gets a lot easier to read from there.
Can't say enough good things. The performance has made me earmark the narrator and see what else he's read.
I'd love to get into more detail, but I hate reviews that give away plot points.
Absolutely worth the credit.
Listening to the book, in this invented language of Anthony Burgess made it possible to get through the story. The language used to tell the tale of Alex always made me feel like reading it would be a chore of my patience and attention. Listening, I will tell you, was all the enjoyable I expected reading it I would miss. The specifics of each moment, shrouded in Burgess' creole, washed over me and, without even meaning to or having to pay the story any extra mind, I found myself following along. I even found myself thinking that more books needed to be written in some Malchick code or other, to break up the monotony of knowing what's happening all the time. Sometimes, it felt like the story would have been too over-the-top if it were plain English; but that isn't quite right. My imagination wouldn't have had as much to do with traditional text, and it felt good to stretch it. I think it would feel good to stretch it once in a while, so more text like this would be nice. The narrator was spot-on. For this version, do not overlook the 22nd chapter, where Burgess himself reads portions. I always find the text in the author's voice revealing, and this certainly was. Highly recommended.
Best narration ive had the pleasure of listening to. You forget you are listening to an audio book --
and instead are whisked away to the front row of a playhouse where the cast come alive. Excellent books can become a chore to listen to when the voice is not matched well to the material. This voice and book marriage is undeniably the stuff of dreams.
I wanted to love this book. I liked this book but I definitely didn't love it. The topic, setting, and characters sounded right up my alley. I think the execution of this story falls short. Of course the somewhat alternate language makes it hard to relate but I don't think that's what put me off. I think the story isn't well paced. I found certain parts to last too long, while other somewhat important parts were glazed through. To be honest I can't quite put my finger on my full issue with this book, it just didn't pull me in enough.
A Clockwork Orange is a fascinating exploration of the moral decisions faced by culture.
Prepare yourself to be subtly charmed and horrified by the protagonist. The author shines light on some compelling ethical and political realities that modern cultures struggle with and embraces absurdity in a very existential manner. (The protagonist, while believing himself to be existentially responsible, betrays those values at key moments. Make of it what you will.)
I found the ending to be somewhat Pollyanna. I was expecting the satisfying bashing of idealism or the emptiness of a tragic conclusion. The author did neither of these and I found his ending to be rather trite following the questions the book has addressed head on in the story.
I would, however, recommend it to anyone. There's much to be found here if you are willing to plumb the ethical and philosophical depths as you think back on it.
The reader's performance is top notch! I'll be looking for other performances by him.
Absolutely. The narrator was fantastic and the story was fast-paced and relentless. I loved the use of Russian words (but I speak Russian so it was more fun for me than I imagine it would be for most others) and the final chapter.
I don't think I've ever read anything quite like this before. It was required for a class and far outside my comfort zone.
I loved his accent and his (in places) monotone style. It was ironic.
"Might Just Change Your Perspective on Teenage Boys"
It was cool. I learned quite a bit from this book.
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