A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess

A Clockwork Orange - don't be put off by the Nadsat!

A Clockwork Orange – what a front cover!  Just don’t be put off by the Nadsat!

Set in the not-too-distant future, this controversial dystopian novel is the story of Alex, an ultra-violent teen.  Deeper than that, it’s about free will and the desire to do good or evil.  The book is narrated in the first person and as such we see the world through Alex’s mind.  This can initially be difficult due to the invented language used throughout (nadsat) though, as far as I’m aware, every copy comes with a glossary.

Alex and his droogs (friends) delight in violence.  It’s not entirely their fault, it’s the culture of the time.  The novel begins with a night of ultra-violence – drugs, robbery, battery, fights and rape.  Following this, Alex goes home and listens to his beloved Beethoven.  The following day follows much the same pattern, though in-fighting between the droogs leaves Alex stranded when the police arrive. SO, THAT’S THE END OF THE VIOLENCE YEAH?