REVIEW: A Clockwork Orange

BOOK: A Clockwork Orange 9780141182605
AUTHOR: Anthony Burgess
PAGES: 141
PUBLISHER: Penguin Classics
MY RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★ (4/5)

Told by the central character, Alex, this brilliant, hilarious, and disturbing novel creates an alarming futuristic vision of violence, high technology, and authoritarianism. Anthony Burgess’ 1963 classic stands alongside Orwell’s1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World as a classic of twentieth century post-industrial alienation, often shocking us into a thoughtful exploration of the meaning of free will and the conflict between good and evil.

I fancy this a real horrorshow novel!

I’m actually quite proud of myself for picking up something new and a bit out of my average range of reading (I love my fantasy), but I’ve grown quite fond of this book! It was a pretty quick read for me, and honestly a bit more tame than I had anticipated (thought certainly not lacking in violence). I imagine a lot of the hype comes more so from the film that I’ve begun watching as it was quite racy for it’s time.

Burgess brings up a strong debate when he asks if it is better to choose to perform violent acts than be conditioned towards only good behavior. Thus comes the exploration of the morality of free will.

One of my most favorite quotes from this book is “Goodness comes from within, 6655321. Goodness is something chosen. When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.”

Alex, o my brothers, is a character that you want to dislike right from the beginning, and yet you find yourself sympathizing with his struggle. Burgess did a wonderful job at bringing his character to life and showing us that Alex wasn’t some downtrodden thug from the wrong side of the tracks, but rather an educated young man who chose to behave the way he did simply because he liked to.

I’m still forming coherent thoughts on where I stand, and what it is exactly that speaks to me about this book. It certainly gets you thinking. I’m really glad I picked it up.


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