A vicious fifteen-year-old "droog" is the central character of this 1963 classic, whose stark terror was captured in Stanley Kubrick's magnificent film of the same title. In Anthony Burgess's nightmare vision of the future, where 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 and Burgess's introduction "A Clockwork Orange Resucked."
I absolutely fell in love with this book! It was lent to me by a good friend with a fair warning: “Don’t get thrown off by the language”. That’s what I want to warn you about too. I was actually on the verge of putting this book down after only the first chapter because of all the slang – it is just so hard to understand. It’s not your usual slang…its some sort of mix of old century Shakespearean language with words that you’ve never even heard of before…I know it sounds weird, but it is SO worth it! Believe it or not, by the end of the novel, I felt like I knew a whole new language!
A Clockwork Orange is based around this idea: imagine an orange in front of you. It looks beautiful; you can bet that it’s juicy and delicious on the inside. But when you go to eat it, you find out that it’s just a clock – a mechanical machine that does the same thing as all other clockwork machines. Disappointing, right?
In this novel, this premise is exactly what the government is using to try to train prisoners to never be bad again. They mess with the prisoners’ minds so that when they are released from jail, they might look normal on the outside, but inside, they’re all the same. No free will – Machines.
This book deals with God, free will, good vs. evil, and the way society changes with every generation. Even though it was first published in 1962. I think its message is even more pertinent to today’s teenagers. Read it! Let me know what you think!
4 ½ out of 5 stars (took off a little for the language)