Review - A Clockwork Orange 🔪

Great book. The liberal use of unique slang language, called Nadsat, was initially frustrating, as without a glossary the first few pages were only half comprehensible, but after reading the whole thing I’d say that the use of Nadsat elevates the book from good to great.

The dystopia of this novel’s world is right in your face. The language is ugly. The characters are awful, pointless people, and just kids! Violence is constant, and some of the violence scenes are written so dynamically that they feel pleasurably exciting and energising. I guess that might have been a deliberate move by the author, to make the reader uncomfortable upon recognising that they were enjoying the violent scenes the most.

I haven’t given this five stars because I while it’s a top-notch rendering of a dystopian society, and the writing is really stylish and memorable, the novel kind of gives up on its philosophical themes around the end. It’s supposed to be about tensions in valuing free-will vs. paternalism, but the last chapter has a weirdly chill ending for the main character, which resolves some of that tension cheaply.