"Penguin Decades" bring you the novels that helped shape modern Britain. When they were published, some were bestsellers, some were considered scandalous, and others were simply misunderstood. All represent their time and helped define their generation, while today each is considered a landmark work of storytelling. Anthony Burgess' "A Clockwork Orange" was published in 1962 and has been controversial ever since. It tells the story of fifteen-year-old Alex - whose chief preoccupations are Beethoven's Ninth and ultra-violence - as he and his droogs rampage though a dystopian future seeking thrills, until they come under the control of the state's sinister apparatus.
Anthony Burgess was born in Manchester in 1917. From 1954 to 1960 he was stationed in Malaysia as an education officer - during this time he started writing The Malayan Trilogy. Diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in 1959, Burgess became a full-time writer and went on to write a book a year up until his death in 1993. His many novels include A Clockwork Orange, filmed by Stanley Kubrick in 1971, and Earthly Powers, shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1980. Burgess was also an accomplished musician and composer.