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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wednesday Book Day

Today I'm going to talk about  A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. (And this time I was able to find the cover that I remember being on the version that I read.)

I loved this book when I read it and I loved it way more than the movie (although the movie was cultish and actually did a fairly decent job of re-telling the book and movies based on books would be another great post for a Wednesday...)


First of all, I have to talk about the invented language in this book. Because here is one of the places where Burgess excels, where he proves just how good he is at his craft. There are a large amount of made up words in this book, and there is a handy glossary included. You can go to the end of the book, look up the word and find out what it means in English. Only, you don't really have to. Because while you read the book, the context tells you what each of these new/invented words means. And soon, you're reading along and the rhythm of the new words, especially the oft-repeated ones really works for the narrative.

The book is violent (to fit in with my gross factor of the horror movies from yesterday's post - ha, look at that, tying in without even meaning too!) but the violence is important to the book, it isn't violence for violence's sake. There's a reason why the protagonist and his friends are like they are and the rehabilitation the authorities try to visit on him is pretty extreme in and of itself, too.

It's set in our world just a few years into the future from when it was written (1962) - and it's a dystopian future, which is the stepbrother of my favorite post-apocalyptic fiction -- is it any wonder I loved the book? Between the dystopian angle and the language it was bound to get me!

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