2022 Book Review: A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

A Science Fiction, 1962 by William Heinemann LLC, 213 Pages

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The slang takes some getting used to. My advice if you’re struggling? Check out the audiobook at least until you get a grip on the voice. The narrator does a great job of using inflection to help you really understand what’s going on. 
  • This was the edition with the final, 21st, chapter and I’m not entirely sure it needed that last chapter. The point was driven home at Chapter 20 and Chapter 20 had the kind of resonating ending I like best. That being said, some people prefer an ending that gives you a little more satisfaction and will like the final chapter. 
  • I’ll keep this last one brief. I have known a LOT of people who use the fact that teenagers are difficult as an excuse to dismiss them in general, often saying things like “kids these days can’t be trusted”. I can see these people misinterpreting this book in SUPPORT of their argument and that makes me a little nervous. 

What I Did Like:

  • The slang itself is a choice that, in my opinion, works. It’s a good lesson in using context clues to figure out what a word means and I found myself using some of them after I started reading. 
  • The philosophical points made about freedom of choice and good versus evil are deep and resonating. They are, undoubtedly, what makes this book a classic. 
  • I love literature that takes risks and the idea of following a “bad guy” as the main character is a risk (arguably more of a risk in the 1960s than it would be even today). I LOVED this. Only a powerful writer could pull this off and it’s just impressive. 

Who Should Read This One:

  • Readers who like risks in their books. 
  • If you like philosophical questions and deep thinking, read this one!

My Rating: 4 Stars

  • I struggle with what to rate this one because I LOVED it but it’s not a 5-star everyone NEEDS to read this one kind of book. The slang and the deep thinking will turn some people off. BUT, if you can handle it, READ THIS!

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