Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Book: A Clockwork Orange

 Book: A Clockwork Orange

Author: Anthony Burgess

Pages: 240

This is my 20th read for the year

This is the story of a teenager named Alex.  In the future, the culture of young people are prone to violence.  Alex and his friends perform a serious of crimes and end up in the home of a man writing 'A Clockwork Orange".  They beat the man's wife and tear up the manuscrip before leaving.  The crimes of Alex and his friends escalate, and one night while robbing a woman, she has a heart attack and dies.  Alex is caught and taken to jail. When young Alex is caught and sentenced to 14 years.  Two years into his sentence, he is offered a chance for behavioral modification therapy so he can be released from prison earlier.  The therapy is terrible and they use classical music - something Alex enjoys - as part of the torture.

After Alex is released, he tries to return to his parent's house, but finds he is not expected or wanted.  As he contemplates what to do next, old friends of his - who are now cops - beat him up and abandon him.  The scholar who wrote "A Clockwork Orange" finds him and takes him back to his house to try and bandage him up.  The man discovers who Alex is and Alex jumps from the window to get away.  In the end - Alex thinks he wants to go back to his old ways, but finds that he wants to less and less and starts contemplating the future where he might have his own family.

This was a strange, but not terrible book.  I don't know how I missed this one years ago when I was reading through some classic dystopian novels.  I listened to this one and it took me a bit to get into the strange language Burgess has built for his world and Alex.  But once you figure out the slang, the book pulls together into an interesting story.  Violent? Yes.  But interesting none the less.  I am glad I finally got to it.

Stars: 4

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