A Clockwork Orange

“So, what’s it going to be then, eh?” I figure about half of the movies made have a book that the movie is based upon. It’s been said by some, that Hollywood tolerates authors because they are scared to death of a blank sheet of paper – shows you how much faith people have in actors’ abilities – otherwise, they would have been muscled out of the industry years ago. To me, neither a book nor film is usually better than the other – just different. I find that which ever one I find first, I end up liking better; I loved The Firm in book form, and thought the movie ok (what with Maverick as the starring role – bluh) but they two were different things to me with a common title. The other day, I discovered A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess, on the list of “banned books” at Barnes and Nobles and no, I’ve yet to see the movie.

[Ever since I started keeping this site, I seem to be tearing through fewer and fewer books. I mean, I try to get at least one Rant (or GeekStuff) up a week and that easily eats up one of the morning commutes – sometimes an evening commute as well. Add that to the extra work caused by the class I teach, I Lo! Amazon reports that their yearly earnings are off a tad. It’s no joke – I was going through about a book a week for the last six years and Sarum took over a month and half, at least. Granted it was over 1000 pages, but so is The Lord of the Rings and that gets torn apart in under a month every time. This is the main reason why there’s not many postings to the books section.]

“So, what’s it going to be then, eh?” I figure about half of the movies made have a book that the movie is based upon. It’s been said by some, that Hollywood tolerates authors because they are scared to death of a blank sheet of paper – shows you how much faith people have in actors’ abilities – otherwise, they would have been muscled out of the industry years ago; yes, an embittered author wrote it. In some cases the movie is remotely aligned with the book, i.e. Grisham’s The Firm, and other times the book is so robust in detail and story that it spawns two (or more) movies, that follows the book nearly verbatim. The Godfather, for example, has its story told over all of the first movie and half of Part Two; did you know that the toll booth scene is nearly exactly as Puzo wrote it to be, but the baptism scene was nearly all Coppola’s creation? Small unrelated trivia note. To me, neither a book nor film is usually better than the other – just different. I find that which ever one I find first, I end up liking better; I loved The Firm in book form, and thought the movie ok (what with Maverick as the starring role – bluh) but they two were different things to me with a common title. The other day, I discovered A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess, on the list of “banned books” at Barnes and Nobles and no, I’ve yet to see the movie.

“So, what’s it going to be then, eh?” First thing to point out – the original US version had 20 chapters while the world-wide edition has 21. Reprints of the US edition now includes the 21st chapter; make sure you get that one. It’s not that it makes a huge change to the story, but I almost always recommend things in their “originally intended” form – except for Les Miserables. Go see the play, because Hugo is one wordy little bastard. Also, according to the forward, Kubrick’s movie follows the book pretty well, but follows the US version. Ironic since, being English, ol’ Stanley had access to the “real” version… given his reputation of being a twisted lil guy, he probably liked the US ending better – the Forward will give some insight to this. The book, as a whole, is relatively short and gripping. Good story line and plot with real characters. The things that young Alex (our main character and narrator) goes through as he tells his story, are nearly unbelievable. See, Alex is a young lad thoughout most of the story, living the life a nadsat. A what? Loosely put, a nadsat is a teen.

“So, what’s it going to be then, eh?” Did I forget to mention that? Nadsats in this raskazz govoreet with like a language unto itself. When researched online, not only did I find out how to govoreet it, but I also discovered that it is a form of English slang that is influenced by Russian. What does that imply? I have no idea. Viddy, the raskazz takes mesto in a future starry raz – future being some raz after the 1960’s, but no date is mentioned – and in a country that I can’t determine, O my brothers. The nadsats govoreet this slang, but you viddy that the adults govoreet English and all that cal. There’s a character that’s the Minister of the Interior; that zvooks awfully communistic, at least in the language of the 1960’s. If I had to guess, I would govoreet an England that lost the Cold War – just my own messels on it.

“So, what’s it going to be then, eh?” Also, in case you haven’t figured it out, there’s a nadsat translator available. Is it required? I don’t think so. I mean I read the entire book and followed nearly all of it. Things like viddy or nadsat makes sense, over the course of the first few chapters. Also some of the alliteration (so I made the starry dama’ kroovy flow with a crack crack crack on her gulliver) makes some things obvious too. I didn’t need the translator to follow along, nor Cliff’s help to point out that this is a dark and bleak view of our future of societies lifestyle. Some could say we’re heading towards this type of society and others will say we’ve already arrived – either way it made for some good reading…

Sloosh to your Humble Narrator – itty get this book, my droogs; it makes for a real dobby raz.

3 thoughts on “A Clockwork Orange”

  1. I can not believe that Barnes and Nobles has banned a Clockwork Orange. This book should be eventually viewed as a classic. I also am interested in your research regarding the language used. I thought it just dreamed up entirely by Anthony Burgess. In any case I have reviewed the movie here: A Clockwork Orange Movie Rental

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