May 3rd, 2019


Book #26: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Number of pages: 149

This is one of my absolute favourite books, and I wanted to re-read it after re-watching the film. It feels like a difficult book because of it being written in "Nadsat", the slang that its anti-hero, Alex, uses, but that just adds to the appeal for me.

This is the first time I read the introduction that I read with my copy, and I learned a few things I didn't know, like there was an American version that included a Nadsat glossary that annoyed Anthony Burgess. I think this is the first version I got my hands on, but it was missing about a third of the pages, so I had to get another; I may have had a lucky escape, because apparently this American version cut the final chapter. Apparently there were supposed to be 21 chapters in this book because this is meant as a coming-of-age book, with 21 being the age at which everyone is seen as properly grown-up. Reading it again, the final chapter really did feel like it was about Alex coming of age.

Reading it again, I had to remember not to rush through, despite the fact that I remembered most of what had happened. It was really good to read carefully (I even re-read one chapter) to be able to pick up little things that I might have missed otherwise.

I got the impression that Anthony Burgess didn't like the Stanley Kubrick film of this book, which also misses out the final chapter. I would say that the book is better than the film, but Kubrick's interpreration is still one of my favourite films of all time.

Next book: The Autistic Brain (Temple Grandin and Richard Panek)