A Clockwork Orange
by Anthony Burgess


As a short novel about the worst kind of juvenile delinquent, it explores an intriguing “what if” regarding crime, treatment and punishment.

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The author invented a brilliant lexicon of youth slang. With context clues, you do not have to consult the Nasdat glossary to understand. However, it does put the reader into the position of being like a second-language learner, where you’ll have to slow down and pay attention.

The story is written in first person perspective with a stream-of-consciousness quality. I would say the protagonist closely resembles the one in Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence, but living in a contemporary setting instead of fantasy. There’s a lot of unwarranted violence and sociopathy, and characters react with modern sensibilities. Perhaps ACO was an influence to Lawrence’s series, perhaps both are beholden to a universal thread of human nature and gang criminality.

Overall, A Clockwork Orange has some interesting twists. I think the ending was too mild after it raised some heavy questions, and I didn’t quite like the direction it went. But the author also wrote it when he assumed he was going to die in a year from cancer, so it is what it is.

Anyway, I’m off to reminisce on blood oranges.

Verdict: 4.5 / 5

Fun Stats

Word Count: 59096
Average Readability (US Grade Level): 9.38
Percent dialogue: 19.88%

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