Book Review: A Clockwork Orange

by Todd Foley

A Clockwork Orange

What else is there to say when so much has already been written about A Clockwork Orange? Very violent, but Burgess’ use of language through his invented “nadsat” slang is an excellent use of the “show, don’t tell” rule. I constantly segued between feeling horrified by what I was reading and compelled by the poetic prose.

All in all, an extraordinary story about good, evil and how human will is an irreplaceable component in the battle between good and evil. Alex is a brilliant anti-hero, and you can’t help loving him despite his crimes.
This version had the previously unpublished 21st final chapter; I loved the haunting, ambiguous, open-ended ending of the 20th chapter (from which the Stanley Kubrick film is based), but found the 21st chapter really brought the story full-circle and offered more resolution. I’d recommend reading the full version with the 21st chapter so that you can form your own conclusion.

“Goodness is something chosen. When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.”

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