A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess || Review

2018-02-09 11.20.55

Title: A Clockwork Orange
Author(s): Anthony Burgess
No. of pages: 141
Genre: Modern Classic, Science-Fiction, Dystopia
Publication date: 1962
Date read: February 8th 2018
5/5 ★


A vicious fifteen-year-old droog is the central character of this 1963 classic. In Anthony Burgess’s 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. And when the state undertakes to reform Alex to “redeem” him, the novel asks, “At what cost?”


We’ve discussed this book a couple of times in uni, but only a little. Just enough to make me really curious about this “disturbing” read.

I was kinda scared that I would be experiencing a lot of difficulties with the slang (which was really genius!) that Ales and his “droogs” use throughout the book, but I kind of made the promise to myself not to let myself be distracted by that and somehow … it worked! Once I got the hang of the slang it wasn’t that hard to read anymore and I could actually imagine the story.

And yes, it was quite a disturbing read, but since I’m kinda used to reading disturbing books I wasn’t really that disturbed. I’ve been told though, that the film is much much worse when it comes to violent images, so well … I’m really looking forward to watching the film (but I’m also not?).

A Clockwork Orange is definitely a new favourite (modern) classic of mine. I’d love to read into it and I definitely will if I can get my lazy ass to do it. If you like 1984 by George Orwell, I think you’d like A Clockwork Orange as well. Mainly because there’s also a lot of mindfrickery going on in this one.

13 thoughts on “A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess || Review

  1. “A Clockwork Orange” is a masterpiece of literature. I love how it’s a philosophical text in the skin of a novel. The issue of free will and cruel and unusual punishment is an issue that has vexed me for a long time. One can’t help but wonder if Burgess wrote this book to smack philosophers such as B.F. Skinner in the face. Skinner, a man who promulgated the notion of hard determinism, didn’t believe in free will, and that every choice we made was not of our own free agency but other factors. Needless to say, Skinner would have approved of Alex’s operation, in which they strip him of free will, not finding it to be robbing the character of free will at all, but only redirecting the character’s behavior. Needless to say, I love the novel “A Clockwork Orange,” and can’t stand Skinner.

    Now, I must speak up for Anthony Burgess’s other novels. “A Clockwork Orange,” is merely one book out of the library that Burgess wrote. He hated the novel, too. Why? Because it was “A Clockwork Orange” this, “A Clockwork Orange” that, while the author’s other writings had been and still are ignored. It’s sad, really, because Burgess has written many books that are just as good as “A Clockwork Orange” if not better. I highly recommend “End of the World News” and “Any Old Iron.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoy reading your reviews! They are short, but helpful and interesting. The pictures also are very beautiful. For some time now I thought of reading “A Clockwork Orange” but never knew if it would be something for me, partly because of the `slang´ too. So this review helped to convince me to finally read it, especially that you mentioned “1984” which is one of my favorite books!

    Liked by 1 person

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