Despite the violence inflicted by Alex and his three friends on almost anyone they meet you do feel slightly surprised along with the reader when his friends turn on him to try to take control of the little gang.
But before that happens you get a couple of chapters that put some more meat onto the bones of Alex’s life story. He is in a correctional school after problems with the police and is warned by his parole officer that if he slips up one more time then he will be going to prison.
But he can’t stop pushing his luck and even enjoys reading about the problems of modern youth in the newspaper. He then heads out to buy a copy of Beethoven’s 9th symphony – an odd mixture of ultra violence and a passion for classical music – and he sees two schoolgirls who have also bunked off school and he takes them back to his room, puts the music on the stereo, gets them drunk and then has his wicked way.
But that evening coming out to meet his friends he realises there has been a coup in his absence and so he fights to regain his supremacy but to prove that he is serious they decide to move into more serious crimes to get more financial reward.