Even as director Stanley Kubrick adapted Anthony Burgess's novel A Clockwork Orange into an unforgettable film, he urged the English novelist to help him realize his lifelong dream: to make an epic about the life of Napoleon. The project was never completed, but Burgess upheld his end of the deal, producing this ambitious and enjoyable "symphony." Betrayed by his wife, Napoleon conquers and occupies Egypt, but in this comic romp from 1974, he has many more triumphs and defeats ahead of him.
"Burgess sees Napoleon with a contemporary eye and all the hang-ups?hypochondria, image-massaging and, of course, Josephine. It's a novel I'm sure I will return to again and again, finding new pleasures at each reading."—The Times (London)