The Folio Society has released a new version of Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange, which features a newly commissioned introduction by Irvine Welsh and some exquisite illustrations by Ben Jones…
The book is published in hardback and comes in a slipcase. There are seven illustrations by Jones spread throughout, and he has also designed the cover, an embossed image of a man in a bowler hat.
The bowler hat became an iconic symbol for the book after Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 movie pictured central character Alex DeLarge and his droogs wearing the hats alongside white overalls. Jones sees its inclusion here as a tribute to Kubrick’s film, and its importance to the novel. “I do think that Kubrick is a big part of the book becoming immortal,” he says in an interview filmed by the publishers, shown below.
Despite this, Jones tried to avoid Kubrick’s imagery elsewhere in his illustrations for the book. “‘I purposely stopped myself from watching the film while I was working on the job,” he says, “mainly because I wanted to get away from Kubrick’s iconic visual style, and develop my own take on the book, and stay true to Burgess’s vision.”
Jones used collage to bring Burgess’s bleak, dystopian world to life in his illustrations. “I like the idea of collage, that you can take something that’s existing, and turn it into something completely new,” he says.
The Folio Society’s edition of A Clockwork Orange works from the restored version of the text, first published in 2012, and includes the once-banned 21st chapter, as well as an expanded glossary, compiled with reference to Burgess’s handwritten notes and letters to his editors. It is available for £29.95 and can be bought directly from the publishers here.