Sociopathic Droogs and Prestoopnicks
BURGESS, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange. London: Heinemann, 1962.
8vo, black cloth lettered in gilt to spine; original pink pictorial dust-wrapper designed by Barry Trengrove; pp. [x], 196, [ii]; pages very lightly tanned to edges, with very light spotting to upper edge; wrapper with very light fading to spine; some very small nicks, and one approximately 0.5cm long to rear of wrapper; price clipped to inner flap; previous owner's sticker to front free end paper; an extremely good original copy, rare in such good condition.
First edition, first issue binding of black cloth with wide flaps to dust wrapper. The second issue was bound in blue.
A Clockwork Orange is part black humour, part psychological comment on violence and its dominance over the mind. Written in just three weeks, it was inspired, in part, by an attack on Burgess’ pregnant wife, and is famous for its violent scenes, as well as its use of ‘nadsat’ – a combination of cockney slang with Russian. The book was banned in numerous US schools for its sexual violence, however it was the film adaptation which caused more of an uproar.
The cinematic adaptation of Burgess's moral tale was accidental. Screenplay writer Terry Southern gave Stanley Kubrick a copy of the novel, but, as he was developing a Napoleon Bonaparte-related project, Kubrick put it aside. Soon afterwards, however, the Bonaparte project was cancelled and Kubrick happened upon the novel. It had an immediate impact. Of his enthusiasm for it, Kubrick said, "I was excited by everything about it: The plot, the ideas, the characters, and, of course, the language.”(New York Times).Kubrick wrote a screenplay faithful to the novel, saying, "I think whatever Burgess had to say about the story was said in the book, but I did invent a few useful narrative ideas and reshaped some of the scenes." The film premiered in 1971 starring Malcolm McDowell, with a memorable soundtrack composed by Walter Carlos. Due to it's graphic content, it was immediately banned in both South Africa and Brazil, with the Argentinian authorities asking for cuts before it could be aired.
Interestingly, the film adaptation of this controversial novel with withdrawn in Britain by Kubrick himself. The self-imposed ban was in place until the producer's death in 1999, and despite numerous copies of the VHS being smuggled across the channel, the film was not screened in UK cinemas until its re-release in 2000.
A very bright, fresh copy of the author's most famous book.