"A Clockwork Orange" Unpeeled

Clockwork Orange


In the 50th anniversary editions of Anthony Burgess's "A ClockworkOrange," Americans can read the controversial twenty-first chapter that was not published in U.S. editions. While the rest of the world read the entire novel, we missed how it really ends.

Burgess insisted that his decision to structure the novel with 21 chapters was a deliberate reference to the coming of age of his protagonist. In this respect, "A Clockwork Orange" is an unbridled celebration of youth, if not also a eulogy to its passing.

Andrew Biswell edits the new "Restored Edition," to incorporate Burgess's manuscript corrections and notes. He presents a history of the book's inception and publication and shares insights into the author's creative personality. Also included are facsimile manuscript pages with illustrations and annotations by the author.

In addition to the twenty-first chapter, the recorded version shares Burgess's introduction, "A Clockwork Orange Resucked" and an excerpt read by the author. Burgess gives the impression that he did not particularly enjoy the celebrity foisted onto his shoulders by Stanley Kubrick's film while other of his works went without as much notice.  After all, he banged out this chilling vision of the future in three weeks. Hearing the teen lingo makes meanings in context clearer than print without the "Glossary of the Nadsat Language" that came with some earlier editions.

What were Kubrick and I missing all these years? You'll have to check out the book (audio or print) to find out.

--Bob S., Rock Road Branch


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