Anthony Burgess’ 1962 dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange was controversial at its release for the way in which it depicted violence, and the perceived effect it had on popular culture and those who consumed it. It was adapted into an equally controversial film by Stanley Kubrick in 1971 and again was beset by critical groups such as the Catholic League, who deemed the then-X-Rated film as “Condemned” (a designation that has since been abolished), which meant that Catholics were forbidden from seeing the film.
For all its controversy, the original novel and the film that followed were cultural touchpoints for a generation. Much was made of rumors of a potential sequel, so much so that it was a bit of an old wives’ tale for many years. Until now, of course. Discovered in Burgess’ archives was a planned sequel to his best-selling novel. Said to be 200 pages long, the newly discovered tome is said to be more biography than fiction.
Clocking in at around 200 pages, the book, titled A Clockwork Condition includes Burgess’ thoughts on the controversies that surrounded his original novel, the ending for which was changed upon publication in America and subsequently changed back to its original form in later printings. Per a BBC report, the new book is a “collection of Burgess’ thoughts on the human condition and develops the themes from his 1962 book.”
Condition was apparently abandoned at Burgess’ home in Bracciano, Italy before being shipped to the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in the United Kingdom in 1993, where it was later discovered. It makes reference to both the themes of the human condition presented in the original novel and expands upon the title of the original novel. Burgess overheard someone being called “queer (odd) as a clockwork orange” while in a London pub in 1945 and decided that he would one day like to use that as the title of a book.
Reports indicate that the follow-up book was written after the 1971 release of the film adaptation. It remains to be seen if the text of the tome will be made public.