I first read Anthony Burgess’s novel, A Clockwork Orange at the age of thirteen.
Thirteen is probably a really good age at which to read A Clockwork Orange for the first time. I’ve read it at least ten times since, probably more.
A Clockwork Orange is Anthony Burgess’s best novel – by best I mean the most entertaining, the most important (in terms of ideas, themes and messages), and the best written of all of his novels. I had a huge impact on me as a reader – and (shortly after reading it) as a writer. I aspire to writing anything as good, as incisive, as emotional, and as insightful as A Clockwork Orange.
Once I’d read A Clockwork Orange, I wanted to read other Anthony Burgess novels. Luckily, he has a tetralogy of novels about a character named Enderby – they are: Inside Mr. Enderby; Enderby Outside; The Clockwork Testament; and Enderby’s Dark Lady.
I bought all four novels in one volume – The Complete Enderby – and read them in a few days. They are wonderful stories – insightful, funny, scathing and profound.
Anthony Burgess is a clever, erudite, learned, skilled novelist. A Clockwork Orange is a joy to read, as is The Complete Enderby.
Try either of them. They’re both worth reading. A Clockwork Orange is, I believe, starting to get the recognition it deserves as a classic of English Literature. The Enderby novels are great fun – you won’t regret reading them.
Reading A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
© R J Dent (2009)