A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

83%

17 Critic Reviews

The B novel, as a genre, is now utterly defunct; and “A Clockwork Orange” may be its only long-term survivor. It is a book that can still be read with steady pleasure, continuous amusement and — at times — incredulous admiration.
-NY Times

Synopsis

A newly revised text for A Clockwork Orange’s 50th anniversary brings the work closest to its author’s intentions.


A Clockwork Orange is as brilliant, transgressive, and influential as when it was published fifty years ago. A nightmare vision of the future told in its own fantastically inventive lexicon, it has since become a classic of modern literature and the basis for Stanley Kubrick’s once-banned film, whose recent reissue has brought this revolutionary tale on modern civilization to an even wider audience. Andrew Biswell, PhD, director of the International Burgess Foundation, has taken a close look at the three varying published editions alongside the original typescript to recreate the novel as Anthony Burgess envisioned it. We publish this landmark edition with its original British cover and six of Burgess’s own illustrations.
 

About Anthony Burgess

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Anthony Burgess was an English author, poet, playwright, composer, linguist, translator, and critic, best known for his dystopian satire A Clockwork Orange. In 2008, The Times placed Burgess number seventeen on their list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945.”
 
Published August 29, 2011 by W. W. Norton & Company. 148 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Children's Books. Fiction
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Critic reviews for A Clockwork Orange
All: 17 | Positive: 16 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Martin Amis on Aug 31 2012

The B novel, as a genre, is now utterly defunct; and “A Clockwork Orange” may be its only long-term survivor. It is a book that can still be read with steady pleasure, continuous amusement and — at times — incredulous admiration.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by peace_love_books on Aug 14 2014

A Clockwork Orange is one of those books that I have been told is an 'essential' read for any teenager – and after reading it myself, I found that I completely agree with the general consensus.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Lucian Robinson on Oct 13 2012

...Burgess pushed this heroic tension to its limit. Set in a dystopian future where teenage gangs maraud nocturnally, carrying out random acts of "ultra-violence" at will, the novel relates the criminal exploits of Alex and his droogs (or friends) in a mock-heroic form reminiscent of Fielding's Jonathan Wild.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Kingsley Amis on May 12 2012

Mr Burgess has written a fine farrago of outrageousness, one which incidentally suggests a view of juvenile violence I can't remember having met before: that its greatest appeal is that it's a big laugh, in which what we ordinarily think of as sadism plays little part.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Lucian Robinson on Oct 13 2012

Burgess's most ingenious inversion of the "youth in revolt" cliche is contained in his decision to endow Alex with a passion for classical music, especially Bach, Mozart and, above all, Beethoven.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Ben Myers on May 14 2012

...there is a lyricism to the language that makes the Beethoven-loving Alex's animalistic behaviour all the more disturbing.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Kingsley Amis on May 12 2012

Mr Burgess has written a fine farrago of outrageousness, one which incidentally suggests a view of juvenile violence I can't remember having met before...

Read Full Review of A Clockwork Orange | See more reviews from Guardian

Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Ted Gioia on Mar 30 2009

This author may have had reservations that he had written a novel that was all too ‘weary’ and ‘traditional’. But I doubt that will be your impression on reading this extraordinary, unsettling book.

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Chamber Four

Good
Reviewed by Eric Markowsky on Nov 08 2010

As it twists and complicates its moral content, Orange challenges readers to accept the consequences of morality based on personal choice.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Bapalapa2 on Aug 18 2014

Despite obvious differences in setting, teens everywhere canrelate to the themes and events in A Clockwork Orange. Even 40 years after itsoriginal publication, the book continues to endure, holding a special place onbookshelves.

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Brothers Judd

Good
on Nov 01 1999

What makes the book great is it's recognition of the central dilemma of man's existence...Burgess concludes, as I think one must, that it is better to have the choice of good or evil, than to have a society which controls its citizens so completely that "good behavior" is imposed from without.

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Shelf Love

Good
Reviewed by Teresa on Jul 27 2010

Burgess is taking on some weighty ideas in this book, and I found much here to think about...be sure to get the complete version.

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Where Pen Meets Paper

Above average
Reviewed by Donovan Richards on Jun 05 2011

Knowing that the ending is in debate, however, created a better read. A Clockwork Orange is frightening and unpleasant. It explores the centuries-old debate on free will versus determinism. Although I am grateful for reading the book, I find it difficult to recommend.

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BCF Book Reviews

Excellent
Reviewed by Ben on Jan 10 2011

I imagine that opinion about this novel is divided right down the middle; some will say he got what he deserved, others will disagree. I do know one thing for sure; this novel is one that everyone should read at some point in their lives.

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World's Strongest Librarian

Good
Reviewed by Josh Hanagarne on Sep 30 2010

A Clockwork Orange asks some big questions for anyone willing to slow down and think about them. The nature of evil, the ethics of aversion therapy, you get the picture. But the book can also be read purely for story.

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RatRaceRefuge

Good
on Aug 18 2014

A Clockwork Orange is one of the most unique books I’ve read. It’s both action packed and has serious reflections on society. There is lots of interesting psychology in this novel which was a big plus for me.

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http://pankmagazine.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Kenny Mooney on Aug 20 2012

It was the prose in A Clockwork Orange that first drew me in, I was in awe of those acrobatic, musical, at times percussive, passages...

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Reader Rating for A Clockwork Orange
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