A Clockwork Orange ~ Anthony Burgess: First published in 1962, set in the future and narrated by fifteen year old Alex. The novel’s title alludes to the Cockney saying, “as queer as a clockwork orange,” which means that something can appear to be natural, but on the inside it is actually artificial. The story portrays a dystopian England ruled by violence and anarchy. Alex, conducts brutal acts with his friends, known as ‘Droogs’ on the streets of London, ruining the lives of many for the sake of temporary pleasure. Faced with endless years locked in prison, Alex overhears discussion about a new psychological technique announced by the government, to modify behaviour, which he enters into to earn his freedom. But at what cost?
A seemingly graphic novel, not for the fainthearted, I’ve not read the book, but have seen parts of Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of the 1970’s and that is graphic enough for me. However A Clockwork Orange is one of the more famous, or even infamous titles. Certainly in the UK it was ‘banned’ for 27 years for viewing, due to the explicit nature of the content, adding to the intrigue around the title, and therefore the book itself.