(This is the same review that I put up on Audible)
To me, this is truly an inspired performance by Tom Hollander. Of course I had read the book and seen the movie more than once. However, Alex had never felt as real as he does in this audio book. I even found myself respecting Alex as a person, even though he was doing horrible things. He was smart, intelligent and never betrayed his ideas. These are all things that, in another context, we would highly value. The fact that law enforcement did even worse things than he did, was more obvious. The whole idea of choice and the importance of choice were much more clearly brought out here as well.
All of this, to me, was because Alex became a fully fleshed out person because of this reading. Thank you Tom Hollander.
Note: I had no idea about the edited and shortened version of the book being released here in the US. That is what the movie was made from. So I was very glad to find out this is the full version. It also contains a forward and selected chapters read by Anthony Burgess.
Anthony Burgess wants to investigate an interesting question about crime, free will and the power of the state. The main character, however, fights the author's good intention. Alex rapes and murders because he likes it, so just leave him alone. The effect is to arouse a desire for vigilante justice, which doesn't need any encouragement. The author's semantic device--making Alex speak in Russian slang--might have worked in 1962 when the English audience was rabid with Cold War fear. Today, it is easier to separate the Russian people and their language from Vladimir Putin's regime. Did the US rhetoric during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan lead or follow the change in our powers of discernment?
It's easier to listen to than read.
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