Alex and His Droogs (redux)

Shelf Life discovers one of the many delights and interesting points of Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange.

I reread this book periodically, always dazzled by its aplomb; but I almost never walk away without thinking how Kubrick vastly improved the work by leaving off the last (in the British publication) chapter.  I read a rather hurt and pointed commentary from Burgess in a later restored American version that argued for the flaccid ending of the work.  But every summer, when the wife is visiting her parents with son, I watch once again that masterpiece of cinema and dwell for a moment in Kubrick's misanthropic vision.  Burgess's own is not so misanthropic--although certainly dealing with the issues of free will and what defines a person--the last chapter is, in some ways redemptive--but unfortunately so cursory.


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