Book Review: “A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess


Last week I have finished reading this classic. It took me about one week I guess,  and I almost only read it on the train,  except at the middle, towards the end of the book when it got very exciting and interesting, I couldn’t wait and read into the late night until I was finally at the end. 

My friend lent this book to me in September. I started only the first chapter back then, but couldn’t continue because I had to read uni stuff. I also watched the movie, a long time ago, and was deeply disturbed by it. I thought it was a brilliant movie, nothing less to expect by a literate novel filmed by a genius like Stanley Kubrick, but I refused to rewatch this movie ever again. 

Well, then in September, my friend showed me some books from her brother, and told me that I could lend some if I wanted to. I saw A Clockwork Orange and decided to finally read the book. 

While reading the book, I was a bit overstrained with the language. But there was the meaning of those slang words the book is written in at the bottom of each page. And after a while I got used to it, and the reading could go faster. 

Of course the book is better than the movie. The movie is of course a quite good adaption, but it still can’t top it. The book had some important parts to it, that couldn’t be dealt with in the movie. One of the aspects I liked about the story, was the psychological part, after Alex has to watch the films in order to be healed. At the beginning I was so fascinated by this process. I wondered if there really was an attempt like this to heal criminals, and why it wasn’t applied on them. But then, there is this ethical question again: “are we allowed to fuck up the brains of other people? As far as they could possibly commit suicide? Would this be the same as death penalty? Well, when it comes to Alex, I really pitied him a lot at the end, also because he couldn’t be able to listen to his former favorite music anymore. I had to agree at least at the point of misusing music for such matters. And still, this movie also shows that music forces us to remember crucial moments in our life. I had to think about alarm clocks. Everytime I had one song as an alarm tone, I couldn’t listen to that song anymore, because I immediately had to think about the cold, dark, uncomfortable, early mornings. This aspect really is very interesting, and I even hoped to find out more about it. 

Then, another important aspect was, of course, the importance of music. There was one part, where I had to laugh. When Alex is reading the newspaper, and an educational person claims the importance of art, for example classic music to educate the youth and prevent them from violence. However, though Alex listens to good music, appreciates art, and is actually quite intelligent, he is fond of violence,  and gets fueled up when listening to Mozart or Beethoven. I liked this controversy in this book. Common people think that classic music leads the youth to calm down, get educated and cultivated properly. However, Alex is the figure who disproves to this idea. Classic music lets his raging feelings get out. That part really was interesting. In fact,  the whole book is worth reading. So, if you want to read a thin, but good, worthy book, it is this one. 

Final review – 8//10: Despite of the little slow beginning, and the slang which was a bit hard to understand at the beginning, this classic has to be read bye everyone who is interested in psychology, and fond of music. 


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