Catching up on The Classics is a monthly series which aims to remind us of the first-class novels of past generations and to celebrate the classics that have made considerable dents within literature. We begin with Anthony Burgess’ novel, A Clockwork Orange.
Perhaps best described as a dystopian-psychological thriller, A Clockwork Orange is an eye-opening, controversial novel that, despite being published in 1962, brings you to question the current climate. Written in a near-future society, Burgess writes about a culture of extreme youth violence that rules the country, followed by many philosophical questions on how this violence can be weakened in direct relation to the main teenage protagonist, Alex, who is detained and subject to an intense, alien punishment.
This novel is considerably misunderstood because there’s a lot of unapologetic violence that Alex is guilty of; it is undeniably disturbing to read but can also be recognized as a conclusive lack of romanticizing on Burgess’ part on the fictional, totalitarian society which he has generated. The ‘Nadsat’ slang/language takes a little time to get used to, but once you get into the rhythm, it’s one of the characteristics of the book that gets you the most invested. It’s entertaining to know that someone reading over your shoulder wouldn’t understand what is happening, plus it adds a rather humorous tone to the narrative. Ultimately, this novel forces you to question your own moral beliefs and the adverse motives of others from an acute perspective.
Buy A Clockwork Orange here.