Modern Classics A Clockwork Orange by Anthony BurgessModern Classics A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Modern Classics A Clockwork Orange

byAnthony BurgessForeword byBlake Morrison

Paperback | February 22, 2000

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Fully restored edition of Anthony Burgess' original text of A Clockwork Orange, with a glossary of the teen slang 'Nadsat', explanatory notes, pages from the original typescript, interviews, articles and reviews Edited by Andrew Biswell With a Foreword by Martin Amis 'It is a horrorshow story ...' Fifteen-year-old Alex likes lashings of ultraviolence. He and his gang of friends rob, kill and rape their way through a nightmarish future, until the State puts a stop to his riotous excesses. But what will his re-education mean? A dystopian horror, a black comedy, an exploration of choice, A Clockwork Orange is also a work of exuberant invention which created a new language for its characters. This critical edition restores the text of the novel as Anthony Burgess originally wrote it, and includes a glossary of the teen slang 'Nadsat', explanatory notes, pages from the original typescript, interviews, articles and reviews, shedding light on the enduring fascination of the novel's 'sweet and juicy criminality'. Anthony Burgess was born in Manchester in 1917 and educated at Xaverian College and Manchester University. He spent six years in the British Army before becoming a schoolmaster and colonial education officer in Malaya and Brunei. After the success of his Malayan Trilogy, he became a full-time writer in 1959. His books have been published all over the world, and they include The Complete Enderby, Nothing Like the Sun, Napoleon Symphony, Tremor of Intent, Earthly Powers and A Dead Man in Deptford. Anthony Burgess died in London in 1993. Andrew Biswell is the Professor of Modern Literature at Manchester Metropolitan University and the Director of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation. His publications include a biography, The Real Life of Anthony Burgess, which won the Portico Prize in 2006. He is currently editing the letters and short stories of Anthony Burgess.
Anthony Burgess was born in Manchester in 1917 and educated at Xaverian College and Manchester University. He spent six years in the British Army before becoming a schoolmaster and colonial education officer in Malaya and Brunei. After the success of his Malayan Trilogy, he became a full-time writer in 1959. His books have been publish...
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Title:Modern Classics A Clockwork OrangeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 7.75 × 5.06 × 0.42 inPublished:February 22, 2000Publisher:Penguin UkLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0141182601

ISBN - 13:9780141182605

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Customer Reviews of Modern Classics A Clockwork Orange

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from A bit of a difficult read. The story is narrated in a nearly unintelligible slang called Nadsat, and is full of scenes of obscene violence. Almost all of the characters are bastards in this book. Throughout the whole story, we were just introduced to more and more terrible/violent/scheming people, but through all of that the author manages to bring on a potent idea: a dystopian take on the topic of brainwashing for the "greater good".
Date published: 2017-06-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really Good I had to read this a few times due to it being a little confusing, but it was worth it. Really good read.
Date published: 2017-06-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not my cup of OJ Personally, I'm not a fan of the anti-hero trope, but Alex had absolutely no redeeming qualities and I found it difficult to sympathize with him even in the worst of situations
Date published: 2017-05-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Real Horrorshow Although this is a difficult read once you start, it immediately gets better. Alex and his gang are always up to no good. This novel really shows the hidden rebellion in a group, and the effects of trying to be too powerful.
Date published: 2017-05-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What'll it be than eh, other than a Clockwork Orange I was looking for a provocative read and decided to go for A Clockwork Orange. Having seen the film some years back, I thought it might just be a book based on the realities of youth violence and the consequences of a neglectful government. I was looking for something that , wouldn't require the mindset for academically oriented non fiction. I also wanted something and yet culturally familiar, so this book made sense. What I found was a story that was deeply disturbed and yet cloaked in some of the most relevant and important themes for the generation past and yet to come. This book is deeply political and provides the reader with an important social commentary on the realities and adolescence and an age where innocence is lost.
Date published: 2017-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Viddy Well Amazing read. Great sci-fi
Date published: 2017-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unique read Ready to test your brain? Clockwork Orange will give it a good workout. Not only are the psychological themes between good and evil a brain melt but the Nadsat will make your head spin. It's crazy how easily you can pick up the slang in this book if you just relax and let your brain do the work. Starting it is intimidating, but trust me you'll connect the dots eventually.
Date published: 2017-04-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book! This is the only case where I can say the movie is better than the book. However, the book really deals with very interesting concepts in the freedom of the individual and the morality of the justice system.
Date published: 2017-03-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not an easy read, but worth it After reading this book I now have a fully annotated copy. I found it much easier to translate and annotate as I read. Makes reading it a second time much easier.
Date published: 2017-02-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brainwashes you This book is violent and full of awful people but I love it. The most incredible thing about this book is that half of it is not English but rather slang that Burgess created. A little while into the book and you will be able to understand the phrase "I viddied a devotchka peeting moloko" without even pausing. I reread it as soon as I finished it.
Date published: 2017-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic Classic dystopian novel to place beside Orwell and Huxley
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Sadly Disapointed Although this book gets rave reviews its normally not noted that you need to understand a whole made up language. This made the book far more difficult to get in to and stay interested in.
Date published: 2017-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Clockwork Orange Loved the book and I loved the movie. The book is a bit more disturbing as it's really brought home how young Alex and friends are.
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Honestly one of my favourite novels. The language comes on thick, but after getting into it is barely noticeable. Read it, you won't be disappointed
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great children book read this to your little girl before bedtime.
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Language! I loved the writing style - all the made up words & substitutions for words were great, especially since the story still made perfect sense. Anyone who loves messing around with language will enjoy this.
Date published: 2016-12-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Have you seen the movie? Don't get me wrong, this is a fantastic book but I was introduced to the movie first which made it easier to understand. The language is unique at times which may make it difficult to comprehend exactly what the narrator is saying. I'd say a safe bet is to watch the film first...but that's just me!
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Once I got used to the slang ( or Nadsat) it was and enjoyable, if frightful read. Loved that the slang used some Russian.
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Brilliant As a lifelong enthusiast of language, wit, and wordplay, how could I not love this book? Anthony Burgess was truly a literary genius.
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tough to Review A Clockwork Orange may be the toughest book to review and describe to interested readers. If you are frustrated by slang or a completely unique narrative voice I would avoid this book but it may change your mind. At first I was distracted by the language but by the end I was understanding it as well as plain old English. That is not to say that the book is difficult to read, quite the opposite. To fully appreciate and enjoy this book you may have to consistently remind yourself that it was published in 1962. Most things in the book are so unique and well achieved they are sometimes forgotten as original. Another thing I found enjoyable were ‘the messages’ or ‘point‘ of the book. It really speaks to how complicated and incredible machines human beings are, for better or worse. The sex and violence, among other things, may offend readers but in my opinion it is not glorified. But if you must find a singular reason to read this book it is the narrator. A Clockwork Orange is the opportunity to shake hands and meet Alex, perhaps the most likable and sympathetic psychopath ever. Check out my first published work Defenseless
Date published: 2012-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome This book is a bit difficult to read, but I firmly believe that it is one the greatest novels that I have ever read, even if it is a bit difficult to read. The main character(Alex) is a psycho, and he likes to beat up and torture random civilians with his friends his spare time.He soon gets caught, and gets the Ludovico treatment. If this sounds interesting, read on. It is classic,and you will not be disappointed. A word of caution, if you don't like violent novels, you shouldn't read this book.
Date published: 2012-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fresh. Ultra bezoomy fresh. "had to have a smeck, though, thinking of what I'd viddied once in one of these like articles on Modern Youth, about how Modern Youth would be better off if A Lively Appreciation Of The Arts could be like encouraged. Great Music, it said, and Great Poetry would like quieted Modern Youth down and make Modern Youth more Civilized. Civilized my syphilised yarbles. Music always sort of sharpened me up, O my brothers, and made me feel like old Bog himself, ready to make with the old donner and blitzen and have vecks and ptitsas creeching away in my ha ha power." This is the kind of thing you will witness in A Clockwork Orange. It may not always make sense, in fact at times it is absolutely nonsensical - brilliantly nonsensical. After you get the hang of the "nadsat" language contained within the book, it becomes a delight to read. Something completely different and completely twisted. Unlike most novels, movies, etc. this book is narrated through the eyes of a very, very bad boy. He doesn't like the world and he doesn't like the people within it. It is because of this that the theme of the book is very dark and very pessimistic. However this boys pessimism should not be mistaken as brutish, but rather the opposite. He beats on people, does drugs in the form of milk, but always maintains a sense of classiness which will undoubtedly confuse and astonish the reader. If you are interested in social commentaries, languages, and would like to viddy the old in and out and some good ultra violence, then this book is the one for you. Cheers ptitsas.
Date published: 2012-01-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A bit of the ol' ultra violence With a name like A ClockWork Orange, your probably thinking this is a novel with a unique outlook and you're right. This book is truly a marvel, it's written so well that you feel like you're slipping into anti-social behaviours along with the main character. I first saw the 1972 movie directed by Stanley Kubrick and loved it, the way he capture the crumbling world and anti-social actions of Alex. After watching this film I got the book for Christmas and started reading it that day. The book is surprisingly gruesome in it's telling from the beating of a random bum and the raping of two young girls. All this is happening and you feel as if you should do something, but can't you're just the reader. As long as this book is around, it'll be a classic. We all have time for a bit of the ultra violence.
Date published: 2011-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A real tolchock in the yarbles, O my brothers Fans of Ayn Rand's ATLAS SHRUGGED will no doubt disagree with me here, but _A Clockwork Orange_ may be the most remarkable man-against-the-State story ever published. Anthony Burgess's approach is in one significant sense the opposite of Rand's: where she tried to project a hero (and in my opinion failed; John Galt seems to be little more than a one-dimensional abstraction), Burgess projects a thoroughly depraved teenager and forces us to root for him anyway. It's not every author who can make you watch a bunch of gratuitous sex'n'violence and _then_ conclude that even great moral depravity trumps behavioristic psychology and mechanistic determinism. What "protagonist" (or Your Humble Narrator, at any rate) Alex does in the first half of the novel will make you ill. But what the State does to him to "cure" him makes his nadsat gang violence seem almost . . . well, "innocent" isn't quite the right word, but the fact that I'm even thinking of that word is an indication of Anthony Burgess's power. For Burgess, the important thing is moral choice, and the possibility of choice entails the possibility of evil. Once Alex has been "reformed" by the very latest techniques of behavioristic science, it's no longer even _possible_ for him to be moral -- and that's somehow more horrible than any of his own horrible acts. But Burgess stops short of making volition an object of idolatry. In the first place, he doesn't make any argument that Alex's actions were somehow "good" merely because he had _chosen_ them; quite the contrary. In the second place, even though Alex bears the full blame for all his depraved actions, there are hints scattered throughout the book that if he weren't living in a "socialist paradise," he just wouldn't have been acting this way in the first place. (For example, both his parents are required by law to work full-time. They also seem curiously unwilling to discipline their son, or even inquire what it is he does when he goes out at night.) I read this book twenty years ago in an edition that had something this one lacked: a glossary. I thought I was going to miss it, but I didn't; Burgess is a fine writer and anticipates his readers' needs very nicely. If the meaning of one of his Russian-import slang terms isn't obvious from context, he works in a definition. (And there are a few glossaries available online anyway.) The earlier edition also lacked something this one has: a twenty-first chapter. I hadn't read this before -- it was left out of the American edition of the book and therefore out of Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation as well -- but to my mind it makes a better ending for the book. Sure, as Burgess himself admits, it's a little crude; we never actually _see_ Alex develop into an adult, we just suddenly learn at the end that he's growing up and becoming ashamed of his past actions. But the novel wouldn't be complete if Burgess hadn't introduced that final bit of irony: after all the State's torturous efforts to "reform" the poor misguided youth, in the end he just sort of, well, gets over it. Other readers may have different opinions -- and according to Burgess's delightfully snarky introduction of 1986, that's okay with him. And he almost sounds resigned to the fact (for it probably is a fact) that of all his thirty-two novels -- not to mention his nonfiction (including a fine exposition of James Joyce released in the UK as _Here Comes Everybody_ and in the US as _Re Joyce_) and a whole bunch of music -- in the end it's this book for which he will be universally remembered. He may be right that it isn't his best work, and he's undoubtedly right that it's a bit preachy. But it's undoubtedly the book for which I myself will remember him. And I'll make no appy polly loggies for that, O my brothers, for it's a horrorshow book with the impact of an oozy across the glazzies, and no mistake. This malchick and his droogs deserve a place in literary history.
Date published: 2009-10-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A LIttle Bit of Insanity A horrorshow of a book...I started out wondering why i was attempting to read this book...and then ended up liking it a lot. The character's slang vocabulary takes a bit of getting used to, but once i was a few pages into the book it all came together and made sense...and i could viddy that without the nadsat language...the impact of the words would have been much less bugatty.
Date published: 2009-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Work of Literature Anthony Burgess was a genius in writing this book. I love that even though the book was written a few decades ago, it can be applied to today's world in a very scary way. Definitely a must-read.
Date published: 2008-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Best Book I've ever read I was on a message board about what books everyone should have to read before they die. A Clockwork Orange kept popping up so I decided to read it for myself. I got a lot of flack from the teachers for doing so, but I'm glad I decided to read it anyway. I had heard of the movie, but I have never watched it. The book is amazing! I love how Burgess created his own language. I got a translator off the internet but I found that after about a quarter of the book I didn't even have to use it anymore! The book is amazing and asks the question "is it better to choose to be bad or be forced to do good?" Burgess makes his answer loud and clear in the classs A Clockwork Orange. I would not reccomend this for young or sensitive readers. Like it says on the back-Alex loves rape, drugs and Beethoven's Ninth. It is a very graphic book but has an amazing message. It is one of, if not THE best book I have ever read, and I pride myself in the amount of literature I have read. Go pick up a copy and read it now, you won't regret it.
Date published: 2008-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Real horrorshow tale This book is an extremely clever narration of a young boy's violent lifestyle. It's definitely not for anyone easily offended, but it is one of my favorite books among the great classics. It is fast paced, and the writing style is completely unique. It's one of those books that leaves you not knowing what to think at the ending. Definetly worth the read. I especially enjoyed the language that Anthony Burgess has developed and found myself speaking it fluently for weeks after reading the story. Parts of this story are very disturbing but there is dark humour in this book as well. If your not too offended by the content, you should be able to appreciate the humour as well. This book will really take you for a ride and leave you scratching your head. Enjoy!
Date published: 2006-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! This book is excellent! I picked it up and couldn't put it down! The teen lingo used is addictive and easy to get used to, and the main character, Alex, is fun and admirable, despite his horrendous actions. I read this right before reading the Catcher in the Rye in english class, and I must say that though the latter was good, this book is way better when it comes to cynical teen narrators. Alex is a futuristic, thug-like version of Holden Caulfield, but is funner to read about with his 'horrorshow' slang language. Burgess is a literary genius.
Date published: 2005-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Clockwork Orange = Brilliance This book was a very unique book, completely different from anything I had read before. It provides many philosophical views on good, evil, the government, free will and gangs while completely throwing the reader into this bleak future with the language alone. While being fiendishly wicked, Alex throws off such a personality in his narration that you can't help but feel some sense of caring for him as he goes through his own adventure. All in all, this is definitely a recommended read.
Date published: 2003-09-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Legend A devilishly clever look at a dystopian future with the most interesting form of writing I have ever read. Quite fun and captivating, although some-what difficult to read at first.
Date published: 2003-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding novel One of the best work i seen so far.Great work guys. PS : Stanly kubrick is one hell of a good director.
Date published: 2002-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Clockwork orange = god of all books Best work ever,would be a great gift for any stanly kubrick fans.
Date published: 2002-11-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Excellent Title Overall, I found this to be an excellent book. The language is difficult to get around (there is a ton of slang the author made up, mostly adapted rom Czech words), but it’s a very good story. The plot is excellent, and the author puts forth a clear argument: which is better, being bad by choice or good by force? The movie is consistent with the book, and either one would make a great companion to the other. There is quite a bit of excessive violence, however, so I wouldn’t recommend this to the squeamish or faint of heart, especially the film version.
Date published: 2001-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Burgess is The Man This book is a must-read for everyone with a notion of any ideology.
Date published: 2000-07-14

From Our Editors

 For those who don’t find Kubrick’s film adaptation disturbing enough, the novel from which it was derived will more than compensate. Perhaps, with the growing rise in youth violence, A Clockwork Orange is more relevant now than when first published. Certainly Burgess’s dystopia is more of a realistic threat to society than Huxley’s or even Orwell’s grim future visions. The story follows Alex, leader of a band of teenage malcontents on a drug-fuelled spree of gang violence, break-and-enters and rape. When eventually arrested, the remorseless teen is chosen as the subject for a grim conditioning progress intended to curb his anti-social urges permanently. For the sheer scope of imagination, thought and literary genius, few tomes of any length can compete with this wickedly compelling little book.