'What we were after, was lashings of ultra-violence'
In Anthony Burgess's infamous nightmare vision of youth culture in revolt, 15-year-old Alex and his friends set out on a diabolical orgy of robbery, rape, torture and murder. Alex is jailed for his teenage delinquency and the State tries to reform him - but at what cost? Social prophecy? Black comedy? Study of free will? A Clockwork Orange is all of these. It is also a dazzling experiment in language, as Burgess creates a new speech for his anti-hero: 'nadsat', the teenage slang of a not-too-distant future. Stanley Kubrick's controversial film version of the novel has sealed its reputation as one of the most dazzling works of fiction this century.
'[A Clockwork Orange is] not only...about man's violent nature and his capacity to choose between good and evil. It is about the excitements and intoxicating effects of language... a cleverly sustained solo of virtuoso phrase-making and jazzy riffs'