Monday, October 22, 2007

Book Reviews: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

In a category of its own, Clockwork Orange is the tale of Alex, a 15 year-old gang leader who delights in random acts of violence and robbery along with his gang members, who is eventually arrested for murder. Once within the custody of the police Alex is exposed to the Ludovico technique aversion therapy which leaves him feeling violently sick at the slightest thought of violence.

A Clockwork Orange has been banned and highly criticised since its publication in 1962, for its portrayal of mindless violence and usage of a fictional slang. However, this slang, which is used throughout the book, makes this novel unique and does much to create a realistic atmosphere of gang culture and the violence within the story is all too recognisable from events happening around us now. Essentially this is a story of crime and punishment and how violence or non-violence is a choice we all must make, both as individuals and as a nation, and anyone who enjoys reading novels about moral issues should try this book.

Although at times Clockwork Orange is difficult to read, both because of its slang and graphic violence, this is a story worth persevering with as an important piece of literature and for its unique narrative. This is a thought-provoking book and should have been praised for bringing to light a real social problem instead of being berated and buried for so long whilst moral decline slowly imposed itself on society whilst society remained in a state of denial.

I would recommend A Clockwork Orange to adult readers who enjoy an inventive story telling style and though provoking novels, although if you are easily offended perhaps this is not the book for you.

Score: 9.5/10

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