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A Clockwork Orange (Norton Critical Editions) Reprint Edition

27 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393928099
ISBN-10: 0393928098
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anthony Burgess (1917–1993) is the author of many works, including A Clockwork Orange, The Wanting Seed, Nothing Like the Sun, Honey for the Bears, The Long Day Wanes, The Doctor Is Sick, and ReJoyce.

Mark Rawlinson is Senior Lecturer at the University of Leicester. His books include British Writing of the Second World War, Pat Barker, The Second World War in British Fiction Since 1945, and Camouflage: Modern War and Visual Culture.


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Product Details

  • Series: Norton Critical Editions
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393928098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393928099
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Peters on December 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
Well oh my little brothers, patient and tolerant though I may be, I just couldn't help but have a malenky smeck at some of the grazhny customer reviews by the like indignant vecks and ptitsas here. Like the starry ptitsa who creeches about the like excessive ultraviolence, saying this is not her idea of "entertainment". Personally droogies, I find Burgess's ingenious creation of a whole new vernacular language and youth subculture to be hilariously horrorshow entertaining. The more specific point the naysayers miss is that Burgess is using the violence merely as a vehicle to pose some deep moral questions about the nature of morality and the seeming impossibility of expunging violence from the human soul. A lot of reviewers are also falling into the trap of thinking that Burgess intended merely to shock or to sensationalise, which couldn't be further from the truth. His tongue is very firmly in cheek. Persevere through the first chapter or so and the nadsat becomes strangely "right", somehow enhancing the realness of the world Burgess creates. 4 stars rather than five only because of a redemption story in the final chapter which doesn't quite fit. Nevertheless, this remains a courageous and darkly comedic philosophical masterpiece which will reward those willing to push through the intimidating language.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A. A. Stewart on October 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just so you know, the Kindle version of the Norton edition is just the novel and Burgess' intro. It doesn't contain the supplementary materials that make a Norton edition valuable to have.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven on July 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm a new fan!

A Clockwork Orange had been sitting on my to-read shelf for quite some time before I decided to pick it up. I kept avoiding it, and I'll tell ya why - it was because when I bought the book I had read a couple pages and immediately I hated it because I couldn't understand what the F Burgess was trying to say! But I couldn't give up on a classic so easily, so I bought it anyways, and on the to-read shelf it went -- and stayed.

I should have read this a lot sooner! Yes, the nadsat slang drove me nuts at first. I thought Burgess was trying to drive me into a world of madness! Perhaps to bring me to a similar level as our narrator, Alex. But, by the end of the book I was driving my wife nuts, I'm sure she still would love to tolchock me on the gulliver.

You've probably read a plot synopsis already(or maybe have seen the movie), so I'll leave that alone here and just lay out some opinions -

I still haven't seen the movie, but I do know one thing for sure - I too would have chosen the same version as Kubrick. The 21st chapter isn't terrible, but in my opinion the difference between the 20th and 21st chapter is so radical that I felt the book lost some of it's impact. I understand what Burgess was going for in the 21st chapter, but when I read the book, I read the 20th chapter as a finality, just so I could think on it for bit, then I read the 21st chapter a day later and I'm in the camp that believes ending it on 20 gives one a bit more to ponder on. Plus, it's chilling as hell, and I liked that.

The only other minor issue is that much of this story does feel a little contrived, especially towards the end.
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Format: Paperback
In this book about an out-of-control near-future, young Alex is a cynical and violent young man, living in England. Alex has two loves in his life: listening to classical music and seeing flowing blood. Stealing cars, raping women, brutally beating anyone he feels like - it's all an evening's lark to Alex. But, when an elderly woman dies after being attacked by him, Alex finds himself doing hard-time in an over-crowded prison. Offered a chance to get out after a mere fortnight of "treatment," Alex jumps at the chance. Little does he realize just how successful this treatment will be, and all the changes they will make.

This is a rather interesting book, painting a dark picture. Indeed, it's definitely not a book for the faint of heart. I think, though, that this does paint a surprisingly accurate picture of certain elements of modern, Western society. Alex feels the "Joy of the Knife," the same as Macheath did in The Threepenny Opera, and as the recent rioters of London and the flash-mobs of Philadelphia and the Wisconsin State Far do today.

The one flaw in this book is the twenty-first chapter, which was omitted from the original American editions of the book. In this chapter, Alex turns 18, and turns away from his early violence. Indeed, the author seems to suggest that at 18, the criminals suddenly embrace middle-class values and become solid, productive citizens (drinking tea, and attending mildly amusing cocktail parties). Coming at the end of such a frank book, this chapter appears nothing less than Pollyannaish (or as the author put it, "Kennedian").

No, this is an interesting book, one that you should read and consider...except for the last chapter.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Reynard VINE VOICE on April 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
I almost feel like somethings wrong with me for not liking this book; it seems to be overwhelmingly popular. And it does have some good points, but I just couldn't get into the book. Nor did I think it was absolutely brilliant. It was good, but not to my taste.

Alex is in a gang that roams the streets at night, causing mischief and mayhem. They strike terror into those who meet up with them and are capable of causing great violence. But when Alex gets caught his life changes drastically. And after a few years in prison he is offered the chance to go free again, but only if he submits to a new experiment the government wants to try out. Not realizing what he'd be giving up, he goes for it, and discovers what its like to have choice taken away from you.

I personally didn't think Alex suffered enough. Actually I think he gets off pretty easy throughout the book. So the message involving Alex and free will and such didn't really get through to me. Although I don't really think I'm for a souped up government for thinking that way. Alex just isn't a compassionate character, its part of his design. And since I would never think like the majority of the characters in this book, I just can't connect to any of them. I can't even muster compassion for the victims because of the way it's written. Alex's friends are second to him so we don't really get to know them too well, aside from being partners in his mayhem.

The writing is absolutely off the wall. I was so frustrated within the first few chapters that I almost decided to set it down and leave it alone for awhile. But then I came across a certain word, "okno" and something clicked in my brain. And I realized that a lot of the "slang" was actually Russian.
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