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A Clockwork Orange

(24 Posts)
janeite Sun 07-Jun-09 22:05:10

Oh my goodness. I have just read this, after refusing to read it having announced age 14 that it was inpenetrable. I was wrong. But I read it in mixed horror and admiration last week. Please come and talk to me about it!

TrinityRhino Sun 07-Jun-09 22:07:19

I'm too scared to watch the film but I would like to read the book

soory no help but BUMP grin

janeite Sun 07-Jun-09 22:10:43

I couldn't/wouldn't watch the film. One of my Yr 11s (highly intelligent, sensitive, gorgeous) said he'd lend it to me and that he first watched it when he was 12. shock The idea of young boys reading it is what worried/scared me the most.

francagoestohollywood Sun 07-Jun-09 22:11:38

Have watched the movie ages ago, but haven't read the book. Do you recommend it? I think I have a Burgess collection somewhere in my bookshelves.

MaggieBee Sun 07-Jun-09 22:13:06

One of the few books I couldn't read at school. In the end, in tears, after months and still on page 15, my mother read it and did a book report for me which I copied out and handed in. The teacher loved it. Said "more work like this!!"

janeite Sun 07-Jun-09 22:24:39

Franca - I DO recommend it. It made me feel terrified and uncomfortable and depressed and the first thirty pages or so gave me nightmares BUT it is an astonishing read and is absolutely unlike anything I have ever read before.

Maggie - I am v surprised at it being used as a school text but how lovely of your mum (and daft of the teacher - I can say that because I am one!). My mum always used to write up all my history teacher's notes for me as she could read his horrible spidery handwriting and I couldn't!

francagoestohollywood Sun 07-Jun-09 22:30:21

Will look for it, it has to be somewhere smile (a bit reluctant though, will I be brave enough?)

MaggieBee Sun 07-Jun-09 22:33:16

I'm in Ireland. It was on the Inter Cert syllabus, but this was back in 1986! Might have been removed by now! My Dad was a geography teacher and he sat there chuckling as my mum got stuck in to that little challenge.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 07-Jun-09 22:34:18

it is an astonishing read

I have read it a few times

so well written that you can understand all the unfamiliar words, the only other author I have read who can do this is Alan Garner.

It is horrible how you can identify with Alex even though he is so evil, it makes you complicit in the crimes

shockers Sun 07-Jun-09 22:36:28

Ds1 borrowed the DVD from a friend when he was about 19. He came into my room in a very ditressed state and pronounced it "sick"... I think he'd only watched about the first 20 mins. I am amazed that it is used as a school text. It was when I was at school but fortunately our lit teacher didn't choose it from the book list!

shockers Sun 07-Jun-09 22:37:28


janeite Sun 07-Jun-09 22:38:29

Absolutely Humphrey. And the horror remains because, despite everything, only Alex has the key to his own 'cure' and it is because we still like him that we WANT him to be cured, thus we are complicit in all that goes with that too. Can feel goosebumps even just thinking about it!

Has Burgess written anything else I should read?

janeite Sun 07-Jun-09 22:40:53

I doubt it's used a school text now, although I suppose it may be at A level? I remember it being on a list of suggested reads that the teacher gave us when I was 14, which is when I tried to read it previously. I gave up after a couple of pages and read 'Great Expectations' and 'Pride And Prejudice' instead! So - I can thank Anthony Burgess for getting me into Jane Austen!

francagoestohollywood Sun 07-Jun-09 22:41:36

I can't find the book hmm

notcitrus Sun 07-Jun-09 22:42:28

I loved the book - saw the film later and was annoyed that they based it on the US version where the last chapter was removed (the one where Alex talks about his treatment and crimes later and basically says 'I grew out of it')

Apparently Burgess was most annoyed that none of his other novels which he thought were a lot better got the same adulation. Possibly because they're all pretty boring (so I'm told...)

ILoveDolly Sun 07-Jun-09 22:43:05

It's such a powerful book and like janeite it really gives me shivers just remembering it. Such horrible beautiful stuff, and fantastic inventive language.

Bink Sun 07-Jun-09 22:48:02

I'm amazed it was recommended. I found it for myself up in the parents' bookshelves when I was about 14 too and was completely horrified - stopped reading. Re-found it a few months later and finished it, hoping that would exorcise some of the horror. It did, a little, in that it didn't seem quite so wanton as a project - but it's still burnt on me.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 08-Jun-09 15:26:52

I actually only read it again a few weeks ago, for the first time since having children, and I was even more horrified by the violence than I had been.

I have never read another of his books, I don't know why. Perhaps it is time.

Flamesparrow Mon 08-Jun-09 15:28:57

Not read it in years. A very good read though as I recall.

I remember watching the film and being horrified at the difference that missing last chapter made.

BelfastBloke Tue 09-Jun-09 08:09:10

Janeite, You asked if Burgess had written anything else worth reading.

He wrote a life of Christ novel called Man of Nazareth. I'm about a third of the way through it and it is very interesting, clearly packed with historical research and, I think so far, keeping the question of Jesus's divinity at a distance.

I'm learning a lot about the Roman empire and how it ruled the Jewish nation at the time.

Obviously this is not for everyone but it is great and there's no reason non-Christians shouldn't enjoy it.

His novels about Shakespeare and Marlowe are also good if you have some prior knowledge about Elizabethan England --- a bit too hard if you don't get the references.

janeite Tue 09-Jun-09 17:40:09

Thank you Belfast Bloke. Yes - am an English teacher, so hopefully I'd get the Shakespeare references at least. Will look in the library.

BelfastBloke Tue 09-Jun-09 17:59:55

Shakespeare novel -- Nothing Like the Sun
Marlowe novel -- A Death in Deptford (or Dead Man in Deptford?)

janeite Tue 09-Jun-09 18:02:51

donnie Tue 09-Jun-09 18:35:03

I really like it although I cannot bear the film. I think the idea of aversion therapy is a fascinating one.

A lot of the nadsat has in fact become part of everyday speech ( 'ultra-violence', for eg) as well as a rich source for wannabe pop groups! (Heaven 17 as an eg).

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