A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

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“What’s it going to be then, eh?”

— Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

     This is hands-down one of my favorite reads of 2016. It blows my mind how much it’s innovative, thought-provoking and dreadfully disturbing. It blends good and evil as if they weren’t water and oil. It succeeds in delivering a criminal-ridden dystopia while exposing the very essence of morality. It contemplates a fascinating take on freedom while drenched in a dark, sinister and hopeless world. Insanely lyrical and compelling, A Clockwork Orange brings us the cruelly painful and vomit-inducing adventure of 15 year-old Alex. Accustomed to theft, murder and ultra-violence, our young protagonist is also familiar with a nad-sat language. This vocabulary that mastermind Anthony Burgess has created for his very novel doesn’t only provide a beautiful and singular experience for readers, but succeeds in creating a fun and insightful look at Alex’s character and his peculiar thoughts. Absolutely enigmatic, the novel doesn’t easy up on the disconcerting scenes or the bizarre language. But oddly enough, every single moment and word grows on you and makes this classic unforgettable.

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“Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?”

— Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

     Was it just me or did anyone else, upon reading the last words of this masterpiece, lay down the book in awe? It’s not only frightening, but completely devastating in its accuracy to depict humans. Anthony Burgess doesn’t fail in emphasizing his certainty that humans are defined by their ability to choose, to decide and to act on this freedom. A Clockwork Orange doesn’t shy away from exploiting this subject with meticulous precision. Truth is, this novel makes sure to leave a well-inflicted wound to your psyche. Although the protagonist takes joy in inhuman and bile-rising behavior, it is clear that every act is done with pleasure and choice. Alex rejoices in these actions and explains these decisions similar to how a kind Samaritan would justify his good deeds. It’s these violent and immoral acts that will be subject to change as the novel progresses and brings light to even more enlightening revelations on good and bad. In fact, Anthony Burgess’ biggest theme revolves around the idea of imposed good and chosen evil. If anything, I praise his take on the subject and vouch that this novel does immense justice on the idea divulged.

     It wasn’t enough for this book to ace it on the writing and themes end, its general construction is quite astonishing too. Split in three separate parts, where the middle is life-changing and the last part, eye-opening, this book thrives in hooking readers from cover to cover. Free as a wild animal, Alex’s first adventures illustrates him as a teenager with a never-ending desire to chase after thrills and establish his own egotistic leadership among his gang. He goes out to complete awful crimes, while having classic music—a fundamental and meaningful pleasure—as his catalyst. It’s by playing on Alex’s ability to choose, his right to freedom, that the book develops and builds its premise. What better way to do so but introduce the famous Ludovico Technique; also very popular due to the scene from the movie. Essentially, A Clockwork Orange knows what it is and lays out its motives clearly upon the final lines of the book.

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“When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.”

— Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

      A political, action-packed and imagery-filled classic, A Clockwork Orange is a novel that deserves infinite praise. While giving out a critique of a necessary institution (government), investigating the nature of freedom and exploring the core of adolescence and immaturity, this novel is blindingly beautiful. It’s creative and difficult argot will take time to adjust to—I needed to consult a glossary to quickly unveil the beauty the novel hides—but once you’re a couple chapters into the first part of the book, the nad-sat language quickly grows on you and you’ll inevitably be able to go through the book with more fluidity than you would’ve ever thought. This classic is without a doubt a challenge. Not only on the writing aspect, but also on the weight of its content. The images are violently vivid and there’s no escaping the harsh and ugly world Alex lives in. Some might even say he’s the result of his environment, while others would believe his age is a crucial factor. If anything, this masterpiece delves into every possible facet and presents us with one of the most satisfying books of all time.

As if the book wasn’t enough, the movie stands as one of the most popular and hit movies out there. If reading isn’t your cup of tea, how about you try this classic movie out instead? I know I can’t wait to do so! 😀 Check out the trailer below. Careful. It might give you a headache! 😉

Did you read A Clockwork Orange? What did you think about this classic?

You haven’t, you say? How about you read this masterpiece for yourself!

You can purchase a copy of the book  Amazon / Indigo  by clicking on these hyperlinks !

Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comment section below, as well as like and follow us so we can get you guys more reviews to enjoy!

MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★★/

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 11.24.49 PM

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31 thoughts on “A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

    • transhaan says:

      I know right? Totally agree. I had so much fun with the language. So unique and challenging.😀😀 Thank you so much! (My bad, my reply turned out to be a comment instead. Had to rectify that asap!)

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Thank you so much! I’m definitely going to watch the movie somewhere in the month of April.. as soon as possible! 😀 I hear it’s different from the book, but I’m not that surprised. Can’t wait to find out how the book translates to the big screen. Thank you again for checking out my review! 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Karina Pinella says:

    This is one of the classics I have yet to read and your review is so good that I might just pick this up sooner than I think. I also have not seen the movie. I think it’s because there’s an image in the preview that make me cringe and I might wait until I finish the book. By the way, I like that plateful of macaroons in the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Ohhhw! You have to try this book out. It’s a fun yet disturbing adventure. I have yet to watch the movie, but from the severe madness in the book, I wouldn’t be surprised by the level of craziness in the movie! I can’t wait to check it out and find out for myself. Thank you so much for the kind words, I’m really happy to hear that my review piqued your interest for the book! 😀 😀 As for the macaroons… I don’t think they lived to see another day… 😉

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy says:

    The list of classic I need to read grows daily! I have in the past tried to watch the movie version of Clockwork Orange but truthfully I just found it way to disturbing .I’m a rainbows, unicorns and dragon kind of girl, not a rape murder and walking nightmare type of person! You have completely sold me on the novel though! I shall see about getting a copy! Glad it touched you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      I’m really happy to hear that! I hope you get the chance to read and enjoy it as much as I did! 😀 I couldn’t agree more, the tone of the movie is quite…disturbing. It would probably be quite a stunner if you jumped into it without knowing all the cruel things that happen! XD The book is just as nasty, but the ride was worth it. Thank you so much for checking out my reviews, truly appreciated! 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  3. someorganisedchaos says:

    I studied A Clockwork Orange for my A-Level Literature coursework and I had so much fun with it. I was honestly expecting it to have been overhyped when I started it, but everything from the characters to the political and social commentary drew me in. Burgess was incredibly clever with his use of language, and the more I think about it the more I really want to reread it…

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Oh maaaan, that’s so cool. My English classes weren’t… heavy at all on literature. I guess it’s expected when you’re in a French education system. I’m glad I was able to discover it through reading and blogging. Would’ve been so much fun to see what classmates/teachers had to say about the book though! Totally I agree with you, this novel delivers everything with perfection. It’s definitely a novel I’d wish to forget just to reread it like if it was the first time! Thanks for dropping by and checking out my review. 😀

      – Lashaan

      Like

  4. Chris Evans says:

    Awesome review, once again complemented perfectly by the wonderful photography! I’ve always loved the Kubrick film which is visually arresting but I’ve always been captivated by the ideas presented in the story.

    I’ve heard a lot about Brugess’s original novel over the years and it’s one I’ve always intended to delve into (but always get sidetracked) and this excellent overview has made it a high priority.

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Thanks man, I strongly recommend the novel. It’s unique in so many ways and clearly shoves fascinating questions and answers in our faces. The nad-sat language is also brilliantly used and helps make this ride an unforgettable one.

      I do plan on watching Kubrick’s movie adaptation as soon as possible (somewhere in April) and I can’t wait to experience the visual adaptation of this novel.

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

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  6. Anastasia says:

    I liked this book, it was unique and it had Nadsat language and it was very different reading experience, yet I rated it only 2 stars. It was maybe just too odd for my liking and Nadsat language gave me creeps because it’s so much like Russian except it’s twisted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      You’re the only one who’s mentioned the Russian similarities! I’ve been wondering if anyone saw it and could tell. I’ve read about Nadsat having some Russian influence in it, I’m happy to hear you say this!

      The book is 100% different/creepy. It’s definitely hard to appreciate when you don’t expect it/are used to it. Glad you still liked the book though! 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anastasia says:

        😀 I know Russian so Nadsat had definitely many similarities, many of the words were basically the same: mesto, moloko…Haha yeah I know that creepy is not necessarily bad

        Like

  7. Read Diverse Books says:

    I have always wanted to read this book, but I have heard that it’s very difficult to get into and very challenging. One day I will have to read it, though. I can’t ignore it for ever!

    Was this a book that you could read very quickly and easily, or one that you had to savor and read very slowly to understand it fully?

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      It’s a classic that’s worth visiting when you’re in the mood for a nice little challenge. I was too thrilled to read it and was ready for anything it was going to throw at me, so I had nothing to worry about when it came to pace. I indulged every chapter with passion and couldn’t stop being amazed by the novel. Like I’ve mentioned in my review, you’re going to need to consult a glossary to get the hang of the vocabulary. But after some getting used to, you quickly understand the language and end up finishing the book faster than you thought you would.

      I’m not the fastest reader out there (Trang reads at least 128 times faster than I do), but I do savor my classics and enjoy it thoroughly at a slower pace. I hope you get the chance to read it and enjoy it as much as I did! 😀

      – Lashaan

      Like

      • Read Diverse Books says:

        I have owned A Clockwork Orange for years. It’s in my home library alongside books published in the second half of the 20th century. I have such a huge collection of them, I just never got around to it. My home library is huge! Perhaps I will read it one day too. I really hope so, but I do agree that the movie was excellent.

        Liked by 1 person

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