Listen to the podcast here (click to play/right click and select “save target as” to download):
WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:
(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)
Book: “A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess
“A vicious fifteen-year-old droog is the central character of this 1963 classic. In Anthony Burgess’s nightmare vision of the future, where the criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends’ social pathology. A Clockwork Orange is a frightening fable about good and evil, and the meaning of human freedom. When the state undertakes to reform Alex to “redeem” him, the novel asks, “At what cost?” This edition includes the controversial last chapter not published in the first edition and Burgess’s introduction “A Clockwork Orange Resucked.”” (from Amazon.com)
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Movie: “A Clockwork Orange” by Stanley Kubrick (Malcom McDowell)
“In a futuristic welfare state, Alex, a vicious young hoodlum, sleeps all day and spends his nights roaming the city with his droogs, assaulting innocent people in streets and in their homes.” (from Amazon.com)
WILK’S SHOW NOTES:
All three panelists enjoyed the book and the movie. It is important to note that the book that was read contained an additional chapter from the original version. It is also important to note that no one read the original version, or if they did, they just kept on reading the “new” chapter after finishing the original publication.
The Author of the book was painted as a failed musician by Dave, who felt that the authors introduction to the book was a little self-serving. Ryan, a constant apologist for all things that may further his career (in this scenario perhaps he envisioned the estate of William Burgess approaching him and offering him a job), felt that the author was quite accomplished. However, Jim and Dave noted that he was really primarily known for this book-and Dave pointed out that he could be a “Harper Lee”- someone with one story to write and destined to be known for only that. It should also be noted that Dave’s irrational hatred of almost all things is Ryan’s fault; or alternatively Dave is just a curmudgeon that likes the smell of his own aggravation.
Despite these petty arguments, all parties agreed that the book was a worthy classic that had a deliberately contrived dialect that really took the reader into the realm created by the Author (click here to see the translation and comparison of the nadsat language to Russian as referenced in the show). The literary style was superb and made this medium a worthy venture for anyone to pursue. And by “venture” we mean “reading”. It has come to that. Reading is a venture. Aren’t you proud of yourself?
Jim made the point that he had read the book as a young man and now re-reading it he found that he had a different perspective-but never the less enjoyed the book. Jim stated that he was more in tune with the protagonist/main character when he was younger-but now he agreed with the other panelists in thinking that Alex was a horrifying human being. Dave pointed out that this was a “catcher in the rye” factor, and Jim agreed. Ryan was likely on Wikipedia learning about Catcher in the Rye while this discussion took place.
The discussion of the movie and it’s director, Stanley Kubrick, devolved into Dave desperately trying to point out facts that were not found in Wikipedia, while other contributors read aloud from Wikipedia in what was either an Andy Kaufman style piece of comedy or a shameless derivative of the lowest hanging piece of information about Kubrick. You be the judge (guilty)! The movie was well received and despite its controversial nature it actually presented a lesser amount of violence then the book and none of the pedophilia (no joke) of the main character. Ryan pointed out that Kubrick respected writers, which was immediately disputed by Dave. There was likely some scoffing as well.
So- to learn more about both works give our podcast a listen. And remember, pack some moist towelettes* because there is No Deodarant in Outer Space!
* ”moist towelettes” is also the name of Dave’s band