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Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Complete bollocks. Two enormous pendulous Burgessian bollocks dangling in a sac of inane self-indulgence and bland sub-Joycean codswallop. Immense bollocks. Sheer bollocky bollocks. View all 13 comments.

Books in the series: Penguin Modern Classics

Aug 31, Brian Fagan rated it it was amazing. This book is brilliant. The plot is ridiculous melodrama in the best sense of the word. But, if you read this strictly for the plot you will miss out on the true genius of the time. It's the language. Like the Greeks, through Tennessee Williams, the plot is over the top and rather silly at times but the poetry of the words is sublime. Jun 19, Faust rated it liked it.

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Intentionally difficult to extract meaning in many segments, deliberately leaving the reader with more riddles then it solves, driven via a very hectic story. Interesting, but will need some time to digest. Jan 25, Fritz Misteli rated it it was ok. I submit for your examination MF by Mr.

View 2 comments. Nov 05, Ian Russell rated it it was ok Recommends it for: the incestuous? Had I followed my personal rule, I would have ditched this read around the halfway mark. For some reason, maybe it was the greatness of the writer, Burgess, or perhaps the promise of solving the riddles and clarity. Or could it have been unconsciously quite riveting? At the end I realised how good my personal rule is; don't like it, don't read it.

The experience of having finished this book gave me no more that I had halfway in. Even that wasn't worth the time. No beauty, no poetry, no ideas, no Had I followed my personal rule, I would have ditched this read around the halfway mark. No beauty, no poetry, no ideas, no thrills. Only, towards the end, the book addresses the reader directly.

I wasn't sure if this was the protagonist speaking in character, on behalf of the writer, or Burgess himself having his little joke. By then the whole thing seemed to be a joke at the reader's expense. So, I'll give it two stars just to be ironic.

A straightforward enough tale, albeit a bit abstruse in the telling. A young lad, recently kicked out of uni, attempts to idle in the Carribean while waiting for his inheritance to kick in. There is some cover story about the works of a poet that merit investigation, but it fails to convince. Unforunately, the young lad's secret sister is in the Carribean, and his betters decide the two of them should not be in the same vicinity lest incest occur, something that is apparently a bit of a family A straightforward enough tale, albeit a bit abstruse in the telling.

Unforunately, the young lad's secret sister is in the Carribean, and his betters decide the two of them should not be in the same vicinity lest incest occur, something that is apparently a bit of a family trait. There is a lot of near-insufferable wordplay and riddling in the novel, as such puzzle-solving is the chief way in which the narrator responds to the world. Everything is a puzzle to be solved, every name has hidden meaning, every coincidence part of a hidden pattern. This works well as a character flaw, but Burgess really meant for the novel to be interpreted as a riddle, and wrote an entire essay on how to go about it.

Points lost for that bit of over-engineering.

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The usual all-knowing, all-powerful organization controlling every move makes an appearance, detracting a bit from the explanation that concludes the novel. Burgess gets some nice digs in at what he considers art favored by young people, but which is really post- or post-post-modern art: arbitrary combinations of unrelated objects whose juxtaposition may be novel or startling, but which is ultimately devoid of any meaning beyond mere surface spectacle. A repeated theme, in a way, from Clockwork Orange : young people are awful, but fortunately they grow out of it.

I probably watched the movie version of "A Clockwork Orange" for the first time in or '86 and it inspired me to read more by Burgess.

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I remember finding the dialogue in "Clockwork" almost impenetrable as a young teen, so I sought out some of his other books. I had a thing for weird, surreal stories, so this probably appealed to me at the time, though I don't remember much about it. Feb 25, Hannah Whiteoak rated it did not like it Shelves: broomhill-library.

Gave up. I found the story difficult to follow and after several chapters I didn't care about it at all. Possibly I'm too uneducated to understand what the author is going on about. Earthly Powers was challenging but amusing enough to keep my interest. This book I didn't see the point in. A bit of a self indulgent work, by no means amongst his best. Lots of literary allusions and jokes at the expense of the culture of the day. Some of the themes that appear in later works are evident here though. Aug 08, Henry Jordan rated it liked it.

It's funny that A Clockwork Orange was literally written in a different language and this is still a harder book to follow. Inventive but showy and tedious.


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I couldn't get interested enough in either the characters or the story to finish the book. Disappointing, because I really enjoyed most of his other novels. Too deep and erudite for me. Though the premise of a son not ultimately avoiding an incestuous pairing with his sister written in the mode of James Joyce's Ulysses could be appealing I found myself perpetually interested, yet more confused and yet even more fundmentally crying out for footnotes to explain what I was reading - I gave up and read it at face value hence 3 stars.

Jan 02, R. R rated it liked it.

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I'm compelled to think that he used this book to taunt pseudo-literature, mostly because I'm such a huge fan of A Clockwork Orange, but ultimately, did not enjoy this book much. The plot derives humour from how melodramatic and ridiculous it is, and there are a few extremely well written quote worthy paragraphs, but none of them really add much value to the overall development. Wish I could rate it better. I feel like he left some of the most compelling themes grossly under-analysed, especially I'm compelled to think that he used this book to taunt pseudo-literature, mostly because I'm such a huge fan of A Clockwork Orange, but ultimately, did not enjoy this book much.

I feel like he left some of the most compelling themes grossly under-analysed, especially when it comes down to the idea of Sib Legeru no spoilers, ones who have read it will catch my drift , which was instead simply used as a decoy ornament which adds to the melodrama. The characters felt shallow and two dimensional, I don't see them as individuals but rather as tools used to serve some meager purpose in the plot.

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Jun 01, Eric T rated it it was amazing. It's about a man trying desperately not to commit incest with his grotesque sister while searching for the lost writings of one Sib Legeru. It's not a perfect novel and the climax is a bit downtrodden by Burgess straight up telling you what he's doing with the odd narrative in true post-modern fashion, making the book feel a bit like an academic paper disguised as a novel, which it is. So much so that Burgess actually wrote an academic paper on his own book about what it demonstrates about myths involving incest in various cultures just in case you didn't get it when you read the novel.

Does that make it not worth the read, absolutely not. Again, Burgess shows his talent for incredibly fresh dialogue and vibrant characters. The themes of music and violence are just as prevalent and poignant here as it is in his other major works. It's by no means his best work, but its somehow a nice blend of fun and challenge for a reader.

Not a hard recommend, but if you like Burgess, check it out. Apr 04, Vishal rated it it was ok. My issue with a lot of British writers like Martin Amis. Will Self, and now Anthony Burgess as a result of this book, is that they use their supreme fluency with their native language as an all-book long opportunity to taunt the reader.

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