A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess – Dystopian Books Review

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Clockwork Orange

Review, Synopsis and Summary of Science Fiction Novel A Clockwork Orange

In 1962, Anthony Burgess, an English writer, wrote A Clockwork Orange, which focuses on a dystopian satirical black comedy. The novel set in a near-futuristic society bases the narrative on extreme violent youth culture. The novel attained its position as one of the 100 best English language novels of the 20th Century.

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Author: Anthony Burgess

Genre: Science fiction, dystopian fiction, satire, black comedy

Pages: 192

Good reads rating: 3.99 of 5

My Ratings: 7.9 of 10

Published: 1962

Publisher: William Heinemann, UK

Language: English

For The Latest Price: A Clockwork Orange

Review and Summary of Science Fiction Novel A Clockwork Orange

***Warning Spoilers Below This Point***

The novel A Clockwork Orange consists of three parts. In the first part, there is a fifteen-year-old boy, Alex, who lives in a dystopian city. Alex leads a gang of opportunists of the night who became involved in ultra-violence. Some of Alex’s gang members include Dim who is the leader, Georgie the support member, and Pete the playful one. Alex received popularity for his characteristics in high intelligence, fondness of music, and quick wit, although he remains a sociopath due to his ultraviolent behaviour. The story starts at Korova Milk Bar, their favourite hangout spot. They drink milk and a drug of customer’s choice. They prepare for a night of mayhem.

While in the bar, they beat a scholar on the way to the public library and they rob a store while leaving the owner and his wife wounded. They also beat a beggar. They steal a car and break into a cottage where they beat a person and rapes his wife.

The husband writes a manuscript known as A Clockwork Orange in meta-fictional touch. Alex reads a paragraph that describes the main theme of the manuscript. He comes back home and starts listening to his favourite music before sleeping. The police arrest Alex after his groups abandoned him. While he in custody, he realises one of the women he tried to rape died due to injuries.

Part two of the book begins with Alex sentenced to 14 years of prison. One day his parents visit him and, he comes to know that Georgie died in a robbery case. Alex receives a job in a prison chapel to play Christian music while in custody. The chaplain thinks Alex has strong faith, although in reality he only reads the scripture from violent passages. He beats a troublesome cellmate so much that he dies. The department chooses Alex for a behavioural modification treatment on an experimental basis. This Ludovico Technique treatment they use aims to alter Alex’s behaviour.

Ludovico technique presents an aversion therapy through which Alex receives an injection with nausea-induced drugs while watching graphic violent movies. This may cause him to get severely ill after just thinking of violence. There is a soundtrack of his favourite music, which he never enjoys ever again. Alex collapses in front of a bully. After this therapy, the government releases Alex from prison.

The third part of the book revolves around Alex’s return. His parents let his room to a lodger, and he remains without a home. Different events take place in which Alex experiences brutal events and become wounded. Alex reaches the isolated cottage and finds out that it’s the same cottage where that writer and his wife lived. The writer F. Alexander’s wife died because of the rape wounds, but he still decides to give Alex shelter.

Alexander and his colleagues plan to use Alex as a symbol of state brutality. Alex locked up in an upstairs room, reveals his true identity and attempts to commit suicide. Alex wakes up in the hospital. His violent behaviour returned after the doctors reversed treatment used to cure him.

The book ends with Alex preparing for a night of crime with his new gang. Alex changed and turned into a person unable to participate in senseless violence. He plans to become a productive member of society and starts with his own family. He knows that his children might be as destructive as him.

Final Say on The Science Fiction Novel A Clockwork Orange

This story is about a boy Alex who continues to use violent behaviour against society. In these practices, he rapes women, bullies most of the people and led to the murdering of people. The book covers a very informative topic of reducing violent natures evident in troubled young people. It receives my rating of 7.9 out of 10. Would I re-read this novel? No. Am I glad I read it? Yes.

For The Latest Price: A Clockwork Orange

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Max Atlas
Max Atlas
I am Max Atlas; my only mission is to raise awareness of Dystopian fiction and share in a collective awakening. Together we will explore not only the best Dystopian Novels ever written but also new and upcoming Authors, giving future greats a platform to share their Dystopian Worlds.