A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange

Book - 2000
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In a cult classic that rivals 'Pulp Fiction' for its portrayal of violence in the postmodern society, Anthony Burgess's novel is part horror farce, part social prophecy and part penetrating study of human choice between good and evil.
Publisher: London : Penguin, 2000
Edition: New ed
Description: xxiii, 140 p. ; 20 cm
ISBN: 9780141182605
Branch Call Number: Burg


From the critics

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pacl_teens Jul 12, 2021

"A Clockwork Orange is one of the most engaging psychological dystopian novels I've ever read. It's an age-old tale about how your actions have consequences. It follows a teen gang going about the city of London, terrorizing its people by committing violent acts. The leader, Alex, seems to be one driven by a primal desire to do whatever he feels like without remorse or hesitation. He has gotten away with many despicable acts in the past, however, one day, he went too far.

I binged through the entire book in one sitting as Alex, the narrator, captivated me with everything he did and said. The entire book was just incredibly solid the whole way through, not ever being boring but also not ever being overwhelming. The actions of Alex and the journey he goes on makes you ponder about human nature and the idea of karma. The only thing I negatively have to say about the story was that the moral was a bit too transparent for my tastes.

Overall, A Clockwork Orange is an absolute classic that I would recommend to anyone." -Emma, Grade 10

Aug 13, 2020

a very good horrific story that is well told and a good pacing of the book

Aug 11, 2020

What a well-told horrific story. I knew it was a cult classic, but I didn't know why or what the story was even about. I listened to the audio book, with the original British ending.

May 16, 2020

A book about a quite intelligent teen boy named Alex who goes to jail after his gang of droogs betray him during one of his acts of “Ultra-Violence”. He tries to reform but after one of his cellmates molests him, he fights back and is subjected to a new experimental forced reformation program which aims to make you “a good citizen”. Throughout the book mostly everyone talks in slang (such as "horrorshow" means good) and it is a little hard to understand, but as the book progresses you can use context to figure out what the words mean so it is definitely worth persevering through the start. 10/10 would definitely read again

Feb 26, 2020

A Clockwork Orange is one of the most challenging books I have ever had the pleasure of reading, the language whilst challenging and can make the book difficult to understand and continue with, also make it unique and memorable and an effective tool Burgess uses excellently in his writing. Due to all the extreme violence in the story, the slang used in the book which is a mix of regular and northern English slang, Shakespearean words, Russian, German, Italian and French words in a sort of poetic form, make digesting horrible acts of violence like murder and rape easier in a way. Wonderfully written and genuinely compelling characters who push the story further in a natural way and represent key figures and systems in society clearly but not obviously. Furthermore, the metaphors and allegories used in this book are excellent and have a clear effect on the audience and my mood, making it a truly unforgettable read. However, it’s pros are its cons. For example, the language used in the book, as previously discussed is unique, interesting and effective, but it makes the book extremely difficult to read and hard to get into and continue. My personal experience made it almost a chore to read sections of the book, which made me take ages to read a chapter of what is a very short book. Overall a very good and unique book, which I give a rating of 4 stars out of 5.
@Ace of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

A Clockwork Orange is one of those books in which everyone has heard of, but few people read – likely for its reputation of ultra-violence. I’m not going to deny that this book contains violence. It features lengthy descriptions of heinous crimes with vivid descriptions. Yet, it does not glorify violence nor is it a book fully about violence. It’s an exploration of the morality of free will. Of whether it is better to choose to be bad than to be conditioned to be good. It’s difficult to read due to Alex and his droogs (friends) speaking a made-up language full of Russian loanwords, Shakespearean and Biblical influences and Cockney rhyming slang. Thankfully, there was a glossary online containing translations. I would not recommend this to the younger generation or anything who isn’t okay with reading about violence. If you can handle this heavy content, it is a remarkable read which has you thinking about the government and society. Rating – 5/5.
@average_bookworm of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Sep 19, 2019

Very dystopian but I enjoyed it. There's something about nadsat that just tickles me gulliver.

Aug 29, 2019

a book about being a very bad person and how the "Good" people try and "fix" the bad. With the choice of being good or bad removed can one truly be good? This falls right into the the four book series of society over stepping it's self. Those being Brave New world, 1984, 451, and clockwork orange.

Jul 17, 2019

Though intensely violent, A Clockwork Orange has been one of my favorites since my first time reading it. Disturbing and thought-provoking, the book elicits a morbid fascination all while presenting unlikable characters.

TripodSnowDog May 10, 2019

I understand why the last chapter is so controversial - it seems to take away from the message the book is trying to deliver, writing off all of Alex's escapades as simply the crimes of youth.

The slang is hard to get through at first, but you do get enough context to be able to figure out what the words mean. A real horrowshow book, my brothers.

Apr 22, 2019

Not impressed, the author demands that the reader waste their time reading this. There's two themes that I've heard this book is supposed to address and butchers terribly. The idea of addressing the corruption of our youth and how society may or may not have a hand in that must be handled with research and reverence, otherwise what's the point? Just recently becoming an adult, I can say most of the time when older generations try to make us believe that they "Weep for our future", its inaccurate, unproductive, and condescending. This book takes this ignorance a step further. When you know that not even Hitler was this unrealistically evil as a youth, as far as I know, then you know you have an unrealistic villain character. This has nothing to say about the youth of the time nor the youth of today because it doesn't portray humans, let alone teens. The comments on government are lost on me due to poor execution. And the title as well as the made language, are just like the author; pretentious and uninformed.

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Add Notices
waitingforeternity Mar 29, 2011

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

waitingforeternity Mar 29, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Aug 29, 2009

Violence: a wee bit o' the old "ultra-violence".

Aug 29, 2009

Sexual Content: some o' the ol' "in-out, in-out".

Aug 29, 2009

Coarse Language: p.s. The book contains many words in a slang argot which Burgess invented for the book, called Nadsat. It is a mix of modified Slavic words a rhyming slang, derived Russian, and words invented by Burgess himself. So don't get your 'soomkas' in a bunch.

Age Suitability

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TripodSnowDog May 10, 2019

TripodSnowDog thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Jul 02, 2016

LonelyOwl thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

twilightsparkleswirl thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

waitingforeternity Mar 29, 2011

waitingforeternity thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Jun 16, 2013

A Clockwork Orange is set in a dystopian society where teenage criminals terrorize the city at night. Alex, only 15 years old, is imprisoned and later offered his freedom following a questionable new "cure" for his violent nature.

FavouriteFiction Sep 30, 2009

Alex is a sadistic criminal. Raping, assaulting and robbing are part of his daily routine. When he is caught he is subjected to extreme mind conditioning which leaves him vulnerable to his previous victims.


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Oct 03, 2011

Badness is of the self, the one, the you or me on our oddy knockies, and that self if made by old Bog or God and is his great pride and radosty. But the not-self cannot have the bad, meaning they of the government and the judges and the schools cannot allow the bad because they cannot allow the self.

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