A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

March 21, 2016 Audio Books, Classics 14

Greetings Bookworms,

I’ve got a seemingly endless list of well known classics that I’ve been planning to read forever and I finally got around to tackling one. Yaaaaay Katie! I like to congratulate myself sometimes. High five, me! Yeah, so, A Clockwork Orange happened. It doesn’t seem like the sort of book that I can say I “read.” It’s more the sort of book that happened to me. Via my earholes. This was probably a wise decision, given the adventurous language. I might have gotten frustrated with the slang had I not the appropriate inflections to guide me. Audio books, FTW!

aclockworkorangeYou know how everyone is always lamenting teens these days? It’s the favorite past time of everyone over the age of 25. They’re either too soft or turning vicious. But, uh, the fifteen year old protagonist of A Clockwork OrangeIt’s a whole new nightmarish level of horrifying. Little Alex and his gang of “droogs” go around beating the crap out of people, thieving, raping, and pillaging. It’s… Intense. When Alex inevitably gets caught, he’s sent to prison learning to do little more than become a more efficient criminal. Toward the end of his sentence, Alex signs up for a rehabilitation program, the methods of which are nearly as horrifying as Alex’s pre-prison activities. I’m not going to sugar coat it. This book is a pretty traumatic read. It’s a creepy parable about good and evil and human freedom… And slang. So much slang.

Before you ask, nope. I never have seen the Stanley Kubrik film. I’m not sure that I will now that I know the source material because there are things I simply don’t need to see on screen. The intro to this audio book ranted about several things, among them the movie adaptation, and the fact that the American version of the novel was published without the last chapter. The British version did have it, as did the version I listened to. I’ve got to say I think the final chapter added a new level of brain food to the book. If you’re going to pick it up, try to get a version with the chapter included. Should you read this book? Probably. I mean, if you want to be well versed in all the things. Still, if you’re going to read it, go in knowing that it’s not for the faint of heart, okay?

Talk to me Bookworms! Who has seen this movie? Read the book? Was anyone else traumatized by it?!

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14 Responses to “A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess”

  1. Megan M.

    I’ve seen the movie. I wish I hadn’t. I’ve read that Burgess hated what the movie did and wished he hadn’t written it at all, but I don’t think I’ve heard about the missing last chapter before. How did that happen? How does it change the story? Now I’m all intrigued.

  2. Jenny @ Reading the End

    Never read it AND never saw it, and I must say that nobody has ever said a single thing to me that made me think I should revise my policy and read/watch it. It’s just one of those classics that I might have forced myself to read when I was in high school or college, and since that didn’t happen, the ship has pretty much sailed. I AM FINE WITH IT.

  3. Michelle

    I saw the movie but blocked it from my mind. I tried listening to this one but the slang was too much for me. I am hoping to read it one day.

    I will say that my friends and I are over the age of 25 and we certainly do not comment about teenagers today. I try not to think about teenagers at all in fact. I cannot wait for my teenager to go off to college. 😉

  4. Jennine G.

    I have this book, but can’t recall if it has the extra chapter or not. How many chapters should the book have including the last one? I think, like you, I can read it, but wouldn’t be able to watch the movie without it haunting me.

  5. ThatAshGirl

    I actually loved this book in High School. It was one of the few curriculum reads that I enjoyed. The movie is pretty amazing as well.

Talk to me, Bookworms!

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