Saturday, January 1, 1972

Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange published 10 years ago this year

First posted 7/4/2020; updated 7/5/2020.

A Clockwork Orange

Anthony Burgess

First Publication: 1962

Category: dystopian novel/satire

Sales: ?

Accolades (click on badges to see full lists):

About the Book:

A Clockwork Orange is a dystopian satirical black comedy novel by English writer Anthony Burgess.” WK It is “a frightening fable about good and evil, and the meaning of human freedom.” AZ

Burgess had returned to Britain “after his stint abroad to see that much had changed. A youth culture had grown, including coffee bars, pop music and teenage gangs. England was gripped by fears over juvenile delinquency. Burgess claimed that the novel's inspiration was his first wife Lynne's beating by a gang of drunk American servicemen stationed in England during World War II. She subsequently miscarried. In its investigation of free will, the book's target is ostensibly the concept of behaviourism, pioneered by such figures as B. F. Skinner.” WK “According to Burgess, it was…written in just three weeks.” WK

The story “is set in a near future English society featuring a subculture of extreme youth violence” WK “where the criminals take over after dark.” AZ Alex is “a vicious fifteen-year-old droog” AZ who serves as the novel’s protagonist. He “narrates his violent exploits” WK “in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends’ social pathology.” AZ

“When the state undertakes to reform Alex to ‘redeem’ him, the novel asks, ‘At what cost?’” AZ

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