Unseen sequel to Anthony Burgess's 'A Clockwork Orange' has been discovered

Amy West
Contributor
Malcolm McDowell as protagonist Alex in Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of ‘A Clockwork Orange’

A follow-up to Anthony Burgess’s iconic novel A Clockwork Orange has been unearthed from dossiers he left at his Italian residence in the 1970s.

Titled The Clockwork Condition, it is believed to be “part philosophical reflection and part autobiography” and – in its own way – addresses the claims that Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation inspired real-life crimes. Around the time of its initial release, it was thought to be so dangerously influential that the director eventually ceased distribution on the movie in the UK.

Read more: Malcolm McDowell was treated terribly by Stanley Kubrick during ‘A Clockwork Orange’

When Burgess died in 1993, his archives were shipped to the UK and were overseen by the Burgess Foundation in Manchester. According to The Guardian, the organisation’s director Professor Andrew Biswell states that the Mancunian author once referred to his ideas for a sequel back in a 1975 interview.

The manuscript is reportedly 200 pages and is composed mostly of typewritten notes and drafts.


“This is a very exciting discovery,” enthused Biswell, as he discussed the recent revelation. “The Clockwork Condition provides a context for Burgess’s most famous work, and amplifies his views on crime, punishment and the possible corrupting effects of visual culture. It also casts fresh light on Burgess’s complicated relationship with his own Clockwork Orange novel, a work that he went on revisiting until the end of his life.”

Read more: ‘A Clockwork Orange’ returning to cinemas nationwide in April

He concluded by saying that Burgess abandoned the project when he “came to realise that the proposed non-fiction book was beyond his capabilities, as he was a novelist and not a philosopher.”

First published in 1962, A Clockwork Orange is set in a dystopian future and follows teenager Alex DeLarge, who leads a gang of violent, young thugs called the ‘Droogs’. When Alex eventually gets captured by the authorities, he volunteers to test out a new rehabilitation therapy, believing it’ll be an easy way out of prison. But the therapy affects him far more intensely than he could have imagined.