A Clockwork Orange
by Anthony Burgess
Alex DeBarge and his droogs, Pete, Dim and Georgie, set about creating the maximum level of damage and chaos in their drug fueled rampaging behavior throughout the first third of the book. It’s Your Humble Narrator relating these slovos about him and his droogs. Fights with britvas, buying old ladies scotch to cover for them, delivering a bit of the Ultra Violence to hapless victims caught unaware on the street and the occasional hold-down assisted In-Out to a piece of loud classical music.
This is Alex’s life at fifteen envisioned by the author in 1963 when the work was created and maybe then, Britain was having a long bout with levels of social reform. Anyway, Alex gets caught because he was set up by his droogs, mainly Dim. He gets carted off to State Prison where he tries his best to ingratiate himself to the Chaplain and portray model reform though nobody is really watching. A new government takes control and institutes change. Where that impacts Alex is that he volunteers to be cured of his evil ways in a fort-night, not knowing that it would involve drugs and conditioning.
Even though this work is fifty one years old as of this review I don’t want to trash your experience with spoilers because I recommend reading. Better get your stamina up though as Burgess almost made up an entire language to relate how teenagers in his envisioned world would talk just to separate themselves from the old bored and stuffies. What makes the version I read better in my mind, at least closer to the modern classic it’s pumped up to be, is the reinstatement of the last chapter. That completely changes the story and illustrates why publishers and editors should never be given complete creative control. To be clear, this is the 1986 American Edition with the final chapter added back in. I give this a four out of five satisfaction points and that is because wading through the invented language was kind of a chore.