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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Adrian
  • COLUMBIA, SC, United States
  • 01-23-15

A true classic...ten times better than the movie.

Loved this title...unfortunately I saw the Stanley Kubrick adaptation film before I read it...but to my surprise I enjoyed the book much more than the film...a real mind blowing experience.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

violence lovers; must read

Where does A Clockwork Orange rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

4th out of the 17 audio books i have listened to

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

hard to compare to other books because it is so characteristic and unique.

Which scene was your favorite?

when he was fighting with the old woman in her house before he was arrested

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

the scene where the main character returns to the house that he victimized in the past

Any additional comments?

violent content

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • T Cyr
  • Missoula, MT United States
  • 09-02-14

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!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • S
  • Toms River, NJ, United States
  • 05-02-14

The Performance Enhances the Story

What did you love best about A Clockwork Orange?

The "humble narrator" is incredible in this reading. He really brings the dialect to life.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Bryan
  • ANTIOCH, CA, United States
  • 03-06-14

Not as good as I thought it would be

Would you consider the audio edition of A Clockwork Orange to be better than the print version?

I have not read the print version but I would have probably enjoyed it better. There were too many slang words being said that I don't know how to spell so I can't look them up. Hearing a really British accent saying British slang didn't make for easy listening.

What did you like best about this story?

I really liked the descriptions of the clothes and fashion of the era.

Have you listened to any of Tom Hollander’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This was my first time listening to Tom Hollander. He did a great job of bringing an excitement to the narration that fit the storyline.

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

Clearly it would be Alex. Although lethal, he'd be fun to talk about music with.

Any additional comments?

The last hour of the narration is of the author reading 3 chapters from the book. So the actual story isn't as long as described. It also has a pretty long introduction that is important to hear because it tells the listener an important fact about the end of the UK novel, US novel, and film.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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Stellar, to all fans of the movie this is a must.

What made the experience of listening to A Clockwork Orange the most enjoyable?

That i knew the movie really well and how close some of the dialogue matched made it even better. The narrator was awesome.

What did you like best about this story?

The dialogue

Have you listened to any of Tom Hollander’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No i haven't

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

Stanley did it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Tend to agree with Kubrick

Would you listen to A Clockwork Orange again? Why?

Marvelous vocal performance by Tom Hollander. Alex is the ultimate unreliable narrator though, so I think I would hear something new in the story each time I listened to it.

What did you like best about this story?

Burgess takes you completely inside little Alex's head, until his language, which is a strain to follow to begin with, becomes familiar and logical.

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

Alex is outstanding, but the accent and persona Tom gave the prison chaplain made me laugh, and brought a character I had not paid a lot of attention to when I read the book, to the forefront.

Any additional comments?

In the introduction of the edition that Tom reads, Anthony Burgess explains why there is a different ending to the novel than those who have only seen the film would expect, and expresses his disagreement with Kubrick's decision to end the story where he did. I must admit that I found the chapter that Kubrick decided to omit hard to believe, given what came before, and I felt it to be the weakest part of the book. I'm not saying that Alex would not grow up in some way, but his rumination on the topic ultimately came across as twee, not consistent with the narrator we had come to know.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Grant
  • NANTUCKET, MA, United States
  • 10-15-12

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 2 people found this review helpful