Anthony Burgess was born in Manchester in 1917 and studied English
at the university there. He was drafted into the army upon
graduation in 1940 and spent six years in the Education Corps.
After demobilization, he worked first as a college lecturer in
speech and drama and then as a grammar-school master. From 1954 to
1960 he was an education officer in the Colonial Service, stationed
in Malaya and Borneo, and it was while he was there that he started
writing The Malayan Trilogy (published in Penguin as The
Long Day Wanes). In 1959 Burgess was diagnosed as having an
inoperable brain tumour and was given less than a year to live. He
then became a full-time writer and, proving the doctors wrong, went
on to write at least one book a year and hundreds of book reviews
right up until his death in 1993.
A late starter in the art of fiction, Anthony Burgess had previously spent much creative energy on music, and in his lifetime he composed many full-scale works for orchestra and other media. His Third Sym-phony was performed in the USA in 1975 and Blooms of Dublin, his musical version of Joyce's Ulysses, was presented in 1982. He believed that with the fusion of the musical and literary forms lay a possible future for the novel. His many other works include Inside Mr Enderby, Enderby Outside, The Clockwork Testament, Enderby's Dark Lady, Tremor of Intent; Honey for the Bears; Urgent Copy; Nothing Like the Sun; Man of Nazareth, the basis of his successful TV script Jesus of Nazareth; Earthly Powers, which was voted the best foreign novel of 1980 in France; The End of the World News; The Kingdom of the Wicked, winner of the Prix Europa in Geneva; The Piano Players; Any Old Iron; A Mouthful of Air; Home to QWERTYUIOP, an anthology of his reviews and journalism; and two volumes of autobiography- Little Wilson and Big God, which was awarded the J. R. Ackerley Prize for 1988, and You've Had Your Time. A Clockwork Orange was made into a film classic by Stanley Kubrick and was dramatized by the RSC in 1990. His last novel, published in the spring of 1993, was A Dead Man in Deptford, based around the murder of Christopher Marlowe.
After his youthful adventures of raping and pillaging, Alex finds himself in prison. When he volunteers for an experiment, his sentence is commuted to two weeks. The experiment leaves him physically incapable of doing wrong and releases him back into the world. However, when he repeatedly runs into people he has wronged in the past, his real suffering begins. This audiobook gives new life to Burgess's tale of recklessly violent youth, free will and true redemption. While Malcolm McDowell forever infused viewers with the look of Alex in the film, Tom Hollander performs an even more amazing feat. With a smooth, almost lyrical, crisp voice, Hollander delivers Burgess's "nadsat" dialect to readers with such rhythmic cadence that listeners will easily understand the extensive slang used throughout the book. This unabridged production also includes the 21st chapter, which was not dramatized in the film or in the book's original U.S. publication. The audiobook opens with a brief note by Burgess on living with the book's legacy. The final CD features selected readings by Burgess from a previous recorded abridged version. While it's interesting to hear the older and gruffer voice, it does not compare to Hollander's performance. A Penguin paperback. (July) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.