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Friday, January 6, 2012

A Clockwork Orange


I was extremely surprised by how much I loved this book! It will probably go on my list of favorite books.

The first third is difficult to get through as you are learning the Nadsat slang that is frequently used, but the second and third parts are excellent! Very profound and thought provoking. It easily ranks up there with 1984 and Fahrenheit 451.
 I also think that the writing was genius! The writing style he uses makes the events of the story more matter-of-fact and less passionate, so the ultra-violence that is described doesn't seem quite so graphic or repulsive. Some people might not appreciate that, but I think it allows for us to better understand the importance of what happens later in the book, by understanding just how severe things were earlier. 

If you decide to read it, just make sure you read the original version with 21 chapters, not the American version with only 20 chapters. Anthony Burgess deliberately wrote the novel in three sections of seven chapters each.  The last chapter, chapter 21, is important because age 21 is the age of adulthood, and things happen in that last chapter that help to solidify the message and moral of the story.
Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film is based on the 20 chapter version, and while it accurately portrays the events of the story, it fails to capture the profound meaning of the story. Instead it appears to glorify the violence.

My suggestion would be to not see the movie and read the book instead.  I was very impressed!

4 comments:

Sonia said...

Actually I've seen the movie and I liked it.
The book is going to be on my reading list before Feb. Thanks.

Emmy said...

Awesome! I've been wanting to read this book for a while now. I'll have to put it on my list for sure :)

I was happy to see that you also rated Fahrenheit-451 rather highly. That's one of my favorite books :)

Steven Cain said...

Huge fan of Clockwork in all it's forms. Found the sound, on vinyl, at a yard sale, not too long ago. Sadly, I have nothing to play it on.

Steven Cain said...

Soundtrack, that is.