Thursday, May 23, 2013

Clockwork Orange

Alright I cheated. This is not the cover of the version I read.  This is the German translation, but c'mon, this cover is awesome.

I'm sure you are aware of this dystopian, satirical, thought-provoking novel. Set in the future, under a kind quasi-Stalinistic England, roving gangs of ruffians inflict violence narrating in their own odd slang.

I also think you already know what happens to our sociopathic narrator as the book and movie infiltrated popular culture completely.  Yes, Alex's prison number is quietly referenced in Ready Player One.  Inside nerd joke. That is not a joke about the inside of a nerd, but that sounds like a good start to a joke if you ask me. The punchline involves half-digested Magic the Gathering game cards.

This book is the literary equivalent of a supersaturated solution full of provocative "big questions."  Normally that would tick me off, as I despise any story with ham-fisted manipulation (which sounds delicious).  For example, I despised that movie Crash.  I hated the Kite RunnerClockwork Orange is much more subtle, and raises more questions than answers.  I does lose minor points for difficult-to-read heavy dialect.  You may want a decoder.  Apparently many are available on the interwebs. 

According to said interwebs, the dialect is loosely based on Russian.  An appropriate drink would be a White Russian.  It is also appropriate because the characters drink a lot of "spiked milk."

White Russians are easy to make and even easier to drink.  There are variations, but the ratio is roughly 2 parts vodka, 1 part Kahlua and one part light cream or half and half. Serve over ice.  I highly recommend drinking it in a small glass.  It does not taste like a full-blown cocktail.  IT IS.  Do not under any circumstances drink it out of a full sized tumbler or full mason jar.  Together, we'll promise not to do this (in the future) and we'll call it the Warsaw Pact.


  1. I very much enjoyed this book in high school, but have wondered how it would hold up with an "adult" read. Just like I think Catcher in the Rye would annoy the hell out of me if read now.
    Do you have the experience of having read this book pre and post- trials of life experience?
    With a bit of headache from drinking last night, the idea of a white russian made me a bit queezy, but they are a delicious cocktail.

    1. I did not read this in high school, because I think this might have been too violent for an all girls Catholic school, our constitutions are so delicate you know. Kevin Smokler just wrote a book about 50 books you haven't read since high school and the different perspective you get as an adult. This book didn't make the cut--but Cather in the Rye did. I think it would hold up--but they did a new audio version of Clockwork Orange with actor Tom Holleran that is fantastic if you are thinking about re-reading it. Or "listening" to it in this case.
      I did have a White Russian last night, but I made them make me a "small" one which was still too big.