I’ve had A Clockwork Orange on my list for quite a while, since I wanted to read some more banned books. For starters, I have never seen the movie, nor do I know anyone who has read the book or seen the movie. In other words, I had no prior knowledge of what I was getting into…and oh boy, what I got into. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the book a little bit, it’s nothing I would hype up or anything though. It’s such a confusing book.
I struggled a bit reading it at first because there is so much slang. It’s written in first person through a narrator that speaks in a slang called Nadsat. It took me a while to realize that glazzies = eyes. Listo = face. Bezoomny = crazy. Along with the slew of other slang words, some making nearly no sense to me. In fact, I had to find a glossary to figure out certain words. Spark notes had a good glossary, if you’re thinking of picking up this book!
The book talks a lot about violence, and when I mean violence I mean gang violence, death, and rape. So this isn’t the sort of book for a lot of people, and obviously this is what landed it in the Banned Book category. Our humble narrator, Alex, is a young kid not yet 21 who is in a street gang and is inherently evil. He does everything wrong you could possibly imagine, while attempting to put on a good boy front for those who could get him in trouble. Still, things don’t end well for him as he finds himself a victim, if you could even consider him a victim, of the government.
The edition that I read includes the 21st chapter, a chapter that was originally cut out of the American edition, but included in every other edition. The movie also ended with the 20th chapter, which confused the rest of the world, but made sense to people in America. I don’t really get why they cut the last chapter! It provides a sort of mellowing out to the story and wraps things up in a real horrorshow way! (Horrorshow means good in Nadsat slang!)
First suggested to me by Emelie, of Page Break Books, and then subsequently ended up getting tying for the Reader’s Choice back in May! (I’m really far behind…I know) I’m SO glad that this ended up tying though because it was SUCH a blast to read.
I never really thought I’d like memoirs until I read a few of them, but now I enjoy them, especially ones that are about awesome ladies. In some ways I could relate to this book and in other ways I couldn’t relate at all. It’s a very down to earth book and it covers a wide range of topics such as: body hair, childhood trauma, child raising struggles, the crazy judging that goes on with mothers, a morbid fascination with death, college major to career, and other adventures of late bloomers.
If you’re fond of humor, misadventures, unibrows, funny charts, and memoirs….this is a book that will need to find it’s way onto your summer reading list! You could use it to check off the memoir square on #summerbookwormbingo too!