Here’s more from Dominic Sandbrook’s lecture on A Clockwork Orange and the culture of the 1960s and 1970s, touching on how Burgess’s dystopia presents a version of ‘the affluent society gone wrong’, and deals with contemporary anxieties about the rise of the teenager, sexual precociousness, and propensity for violence.
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He also discusses the first, muted, reaction by Burgess’s publisher – ‘It’s fascinating, but rather hard work to read, and is only indirectly funny […][the ending is] a little soggy. […] With luck the book will be a big success and give the teenagers a new language, but it might be an enormous flop. Certainly nothing in between.’- and the early somewhat mixed reviews of the novel, including Kingsley Amis’s assessment that it is ‘a fine farrago of outrageousness’ and ‘a big laugh’.