Book review: ‘A Clockwork Orange’ by Anthony Burgess

Here’s a book that I have been meaning to read for about two years now. When I finished reading After The King, I wanted to read something non-fantasy, having read a lot of it recently. I picked up A Clockwork Orange and finished it two days later. Having seen the movie two or three years ago – the movie being what spurred me to wanting to read the book – I already had a good idea of what to expect from the book, which I think helped me when reading the Nadsat (the language used by Alex and his Droogs).

I got through this book a lot quicker than I thought I would, given the unusual language and strange nature of the story. I actually found it quite easy to decipher, after a short while, and it eventually seemed to me that I was reading basic English.
Having said that, the constant misplaced use of the word, “like,” was very annoying and, not only interrupted my reading, but also really got on my nerves. I get that it’s how the character speaks, but it’s so freaking annoying.

Minus the wordiness of the book, it actually moves along fast and straight, getting from one part to the next with good speed and minimal delays. And even though the book may not be economical, it is quite direct, and makes good use of specificity.

Both the characters and the story are very unique, and very interesting. None of the characters are particularly likeable, except perhaps Pete, at the end of the book, and the Prison Charlie. However, in an unconventional way, Alex is likeable, but that may just because we feel sorry for him after what happens to him, and because he is so unconventional.

I’m not sure what it is, but I really enjoyed this book. Perhaps it was because I haven’t read anything like it before. Whatever it was, it made me barely put the book down.

A jaw-dropping masterpiece, full of everything you could want in a book. Most definitely not for the faint of heart, this book takes extremes to an entirely new level.


An ingenious narrative, with fantastic, enthralling, original, inventive, three-dimensional characters. It will pull on your emotions, particularly hate and sympathy.
A great deal of time of effort has clearly been put into this book, what, with the Nadsat, the detail, the genius implicit meanings and messages behind it all. The low-key discussing of important real-life, human issues, and the state of the world from that era in time.

I would recommend this to anyone interested in classic literature, providing you’re not age twelve or something. Any fans of horror show antics, blood and gore and nastiness and all manner of sins, I’d also recommend to pick up this book. Not something I’d call an easy read, compared to most other books, and not a gentle piece of reading, either.

Anthony has created a masterpiece here, one that, I believe, will go down as a literary classic. Minus the annoying “like” and a few other things, here and there, I absolutely loved the book.

An inspired piece.

4.0/5.0

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