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A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess What Burgess does with language in this book is simply amazing. He constructs a future where, among other things, Russian and British culture are in the process of merging. Young Alex's streetgang of thugs speak a mishmash of Russian, German, and English. That's just the background. Social upheaval, particularly violent crime, are rampant. None of the young protaganists are sympathetic- until Alex winds up in jail. Rather than serve out his sentence, he elects for an experimental conditioning treatment which robs him of any desire to commit violence- but also destroys his free will. Burgess plays out this philosophical debate without running roughshod over the fascinating dystopian vision of future Britain, Alex's gripping personal story, or his pathologic but charming narration.There is some controversy whether the final chapter- not present in the original edition- adds to or detracts from the story... clearly it is a sell-out Hollywood "happy ending". In that respect, the movie got it right.