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"A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess

  • Jun 30, 2013 · 7:00 PM

From Wikipedia...

"A Clockwork Orange is a dystopian novella written by Anthony Burgess and published in 1962. Through the exploits and experiences of a teenager it explores the violent nature of humans, human free will to choose between good or evil, and the desolation of free will as a solution to evil. Set in a not-so-distant future society with a culture of extreme youth rebellion and violence it satirizes trends in youth culture that were prevalent in the 1960s in the West (and are still contemporary). Burgess experiments with language by writing in a Russian-influenced argot called "Nadsat" which is used by the novel’s teenage anti-hero in his first-person narration and the younger characters. According to Burgess, the novel was a jeu d'esprit written in just three weeks.
In 2005, A Clockwork Orange was included on Time magazine's list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923,[1] and it was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.[2]"

How we love distopian novels!!! However, due to the graphic violence of this book, it might not be your cup of tea.  Here's another review that might get you intrigued...

"After reading the many reviews that have been posted here, I'm afraid mine will not be as eloquent, nor will it be a long and detailed description of the book. However, I might be able to express the importance of this book, and perhaps you'll even want to read it when you've finished my review.

I may have started out reading A Clockwork Orange because my friend told me how good it was. And then I continued to read it because it was engaging, disturbing, and thought provoking. Even though the book was written over 30 years ago, I believe it is still as powerful today as it was back then; perhaps even more so. Alex, the protagonist, is almost innocently committing violent crimes with his friends; for he isn't -trying- to be bad, he just is. He likes violence, and that's the way he is.

When Alex's friends gang up on him and leave him to be arrested by the police, Alex is sentenced to 14 years in prison. But then the opportunity to change presents itself to Alex, and he can't help but take the offer. Without ruining the story as so many previous reviewers have already done, I can say that when everything is said and done, important questions arise: is being good truly good if it is not by choice? Is it good to be bad, if that is what one chooses?

The book first came out in the 60s, and the American version lacked the last and 21st chapter from the original story. When it was republished, the book had the 21st chapter. Depending on which copy you read, with the last chapter or without it, the book will have an entirely different feel to it. The old copy represents the horrible realization that bad minds are always bad; the newer version leaves the reader with hope. Hope for Alex, and hope for oneself. Change is possible, the book says, no matter what sort of person you are.

A Clockwork Orange is truly a great work, one that will appeal to people for different reasons; and affect them in completely different ways. But it will affect them."

New to the Hungry Hundred Book Club?  Here's what you need to know:

1. Read the book

2. Come to the meeting, always on the last Sunday of every month

3. Be prepared to order food/drink at the venue (where ever that may be) to show our appreciation for letting us use their space

4. Discuss!  It's a casual conversation, so don't be afraid to ask questions and let us know what you think.

If this book inspires a creative element in you, please write a piece for the Creative Component of our book club.  It can be about anything that has something to do with the book or the discussion.  It might get you a free book!  Check our facebook page or send me a message for more information.


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  • Rashpal K.

    Was nice meeting up and having the discussion. Thanks:)

    July 2, 2013

  • Mark

    It was real horrorshow to viddy and sloosh lewdies govoreet about free will, punishment, and all that cal. Bolshy discussion, droogies.

    6 · July 1, 2013

  • YP

    Enjoyed the good discussion & company. Thank you!

    July 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Did a little googling on Nabins and it seems to have a bad reputation.hmmm.

    June 27, 2013

    • Rachel

      Btw, I'm always open for suggestions, so if anyone knows of a place for future meetings let me know. These are the criteria: 1) a quiet space, preferably separate from the normal seating area, 2) no minimum charge for groups to reserve a large table, 3) a seating area conducive to group discussion, not one stretched out long table where people at opposite ends can't hear each other, 4) affordable enough so people can order a meal and a beverage for under $20.

      June 27, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks Mark for your assurance. I've never been to the place myself, so just wanted to be sure. Guess I'll see you guys there then, cheers.

      June 27, 2013

  • Sanjay

    Sorry, work-related travel :(

    June 27, 2013

  • Rashpal K.

    Looking forward to my first book club meeting:)

    June 27, 2013

  • Robyn N.

    Hi, where's the venue for this event?

    June 26, 2013

  • Robyn N.

    Attending my first book club meeting. Looking forward to it!

    June 19, 2013

  • Hanfei Z.

    Looking forward to the meet-up!

    June 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Time for some ultra-reading.

    May 27, 2013

  • Rashpal K.

    Looking forward to my first book club meeting:)

    May 6, 2013

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