Like 1984 , this is a book in which an entire social order is implied through language. And what language! To hint at the vile universe of the 15-year-old delinquent Alex and his murderous buddies, Burgess created “nadsat,” a rich futuristic patois. “Sinny” for “cinema.” “Viddy” for “see,” “horrorshow” for “good” — from the Russian, khorosho, which gives you some idea of which political system has prevailed. The words locate him in a world of corrupted values, violence and boundless infantile indulgence. (His drug is “milk plus.”) When Alex is apprehended by the authorities and subjected to psychological conditioning to make him nauseated at any impulse towards violence, Burgess’s book becomes a meditation on whether a world in which evil can be freely chosen might still be preferable to one in which goodness is compelled. Stanley Kubrick’s coldly magnificent “sinny” adaptation has sometimes threatened to overshadow this great novel. Don’t let it happen.
The American Film Institute rated Alex the 12th greatest film villain of all time. Empire magazine selected Alex as the 42nd greatest movie character of all time  Wizard magazine rated Alex the 36th greatest villain of all time .  Malcolm McDowell's performance has been widely acclaimed by critics.    McDowell was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama , and some consider his failure to receive a Best Actor nomination at the Academy Awards a major snub.  In 2008, his performance was ranked #100 on Premiere Magazine ' s "100 Greatest Performances of All Time."  Vanessa Claire Smith won LA Weekly ' s Leading Female Performance award for her gender-bending performance in the stage production of A Clockwork Orange .