In characteristically daring style, Anthony Burgess combines two responses to Orwell's 1984 in one book.
The first is a sharp analysis: through dialogues, parodies and essays, Burgess sheds new light on what he called 'an apocalyptic codex of our worst fears', creating a critique that is literature in its own right.
Part two is Burgess' own dystopic vision, written in 1978. He skewers both the present and the future, describing a state where industrial disputes and social unrest compete with overwhelming surveillance, security concerns and the dominance of technology to make life a thing to be suffered rather than lived.
Together these two works form a unique guide to one of the twentieth century's most talented, imaginative and prescient writers. Several decades later, Burgess' most singular work still stands.
An exciting, bleakly fascinating story told with enormous erudition and wit. Its indignation is blazingly imaginative, furiously vital and gives us hope (Financial Times)
The unclassifiable Mr Burgess has once more broken new ground (Kingsley Amis Observer)
There is too much which is truly excellent for anyone to ignore it (Auberon Waugh Evening Standard)
Burgess is the great postmodern storehouse of British writing - an important experimentalist; an encyclopaedic amasser, but also a maker of form; a playful comic, with a dark gloom (Malcolm Bradbury)
One of the cleverest and most original writers of his generation (The Times)
Wonderful ... I don't agree with everything Burgess writes, but the way he writes it is spectacular. It's hard to make profound ideas read so easily; Burgess does, with such artfulness that you almost forget how profound it is. It's a masterclass in everything from history and sociology to pop culture and sexuality, and breezes by like a cheery pop song. Burgess was also famed as a raconteur, and that might be the closest approximation of delight you feel reading him: you're in company with a brilliant mind who makes everything entertaining and comprehensible. (Irish Independent)