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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable entertainment
Burgess' attempt to weave the frustratingly few facts known about Shakespeare’s life into a novel that encapsulates the Elizabethan era is awe-inspiring. As a reader I felt sucked into the social hierarchy of the period: the aristocratic patron, the Bristol slave trade, rural Stratford and London street life. The book oozes with the smells and cacophony of...
Published on 16 July 2003 by MR S P HARDISTY

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1 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Penny Dreadful
Anthony Burgess may have been the quintessential British writer of the Twentieth Century but this is a dreadful book.

Dragging up the bard's past - and nobody knows anything about Shakespeare - besmirches our national poet.
Published on 28 Aug 2011 by Dan Smith


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable entertainment, 16 July 2003
By 
MR S P HARDISTY (CARSHALTON, SURREY United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nothing Like the Sun (Paperback)
Burgess' attempt to weave the frustratingly few facts known about Shakespeare’s life into a novel that encapsulates the Elizabethan era is awe-inspiring. As a reader I felt sucked into the social hierarchy of the period: the aristocratic patron, the Bristol slave trade, rural Stratford and London street life. The book oozes with the smells and cacophony of Shakespeare’s world. For instance Burgess’ description of the public execution is harrowing, I feel the strain of the rope round the condemned man’s neck, the sharpness of the hangman’s knife as it rips through flesh and the wide eyed spectator jostling for a better view. In contrast the love Burgess’ Shakespeare reveals is passionate and soul searching. He evokes a naivety of spirit that explains why Anne Hathaway, why Southampton, why the Dark Lady. All delight the senses but at a price. And, of course, there is Shakespeare’s literature, alluded to with sublime subtlety and depth of knowledge. It is as if Burgess was there, at a performance, amongst the groundlings, making notes for some contemporary review. Because of Burgess I can stare into the eyes of a genius dead for almost four centuries.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ripe and Rare, 16 Sep 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Nothing Like the Sun (Paperback)
This is first class fiction from Burgess. Thrilling stuff. Even if you know nothing about Shakespeare's work you can enjoy it. Clever use of language (always what Burgess does best) and more accessible than Dead Man in Deptford. A must for anyone who likes historical or contemporary fiction, because it is so immediate.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars joan gilkes, 13 May 2010
This review is from: Nothing Like the Sun (Paperback)
This is an imaginative and brilliantly written book, set in the time of Shakespeare written in the language of Shakespeare's day. Actually to describe it as brilliant would be an understatement.hu
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 9 July 2011
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This review is from: Nothing Like the Sun (Paperback)
I purchased this book "Nothing Like The Sun" from amazon .

I cannot possibly say better than what MR S P HARDISTY has said in his wonderful...nay dazzling review but.....

Nothing Like The Sun by Anthony Burgess is a brilliant book!! One of those rare books which you know you will ( Deo volente) read and read again!! Anthony Burgess' book was written in 1964 and is almost Joycean in the style of its writing. It is a book which you really do have to read several times. Burgess' stylish biographical novel on William Shakespeare is just that - stylish. Beautifully written. His use of English is almost Shakespearian in the breadth and depth of its vocabulary of the English language.There are words in this book that I have never seen before. So a good dictionary of Shakespeare's English would be useful. You will come across words such as "suckets", "palliard", "cup-shotten", "orlop", "bonaventure mizen", "drabler and bonnet", "spilliwilly", and many others. No doubt many will know what these words mean. I shall have to learn them! But is this not one of reading's joys? Build your vocabulary!! Although I cannot imagine when and where I shall use the term "cup-shotten" - perhaps when I am in my cups......? Mayhap, indeed..........

Burgess' Nothing Like The Sun is a fiction-laced-with-fact (or vice versa) account of the life of WS (William Shakespeare? Shaxpere? Shagspere? Skakeshafte? Chaxper? "It is all one.."). Burgess puts forward the theory that Anne Whateley of Temple Grafton was WS's first love who was forsaken by Shakespeare when he was trapped into impregnating and marrying the older-than-him Anne Hathaway. Whether true or not - it is an interesting theory. Burgess chooses to reject (no doubt for literary reasons) the conventional idea that the granting of a licence for William " Shaxpere " to marry Anne Whateley is no more than a typo made on the 27 November 1582 by an overworked Elizabethan clerk in the "office" of the Worcester diocesan records. Whatever the truth about the mysterious Anne Whateley is , Burgess certainly goes to town on the matter.The book is a joy! I recommend it to all lovers of Shakespeare ( Shaxpere, Shagspere, Skakeshafte, Chaxper or just plain old Will....Forsooth Will was not and never will be plain!! Nor will he grow old!!).....and his works.

Jelly Babies: Adorable Quilts from 2 1/2" Strips (That Patchwork Place)
...O...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clockwork Orange it's not, 28 Oct 2014
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Not much by Burgess I haven't read but this one previously escaped my notice. One of the very best 20th Century British authors, Burgess takes you on a rollercoaster ride through the world of the Elizabethan dramatist, his life, loves, triumphs and travails.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brings The Life to life!, 18 July 2014
By 
Roz Colyer (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
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Brilliant. I've read a lot about the Bard but there's nothing like a novel to get into the period and under the skin. Who cares that this is fiction? I think we get closer to a real person by fictional means. As a fiction writer myself, I feel that if a great writer like Anthony Burgess puts himself in Will's shoes, that's enough for me.
Also enjoyed Dead Man in Deptford, but was a bit flummoxed at times - this novel is much more accessible.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book!, 6 Dec 2012
By 
R. Linton - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nothing Like the Sun (Paperback)
Oh my, but Burgess likes to play with language, doesn't he? And he does it so well!

First off, this is a wonderful book and you should buy it. If you are vacillating at all over this purchase then just take my advice and go right ahead! Or get it from your library, or whatever, just read it. It's short and you have nothing to lose.

I should state for the record that Burgess is totally my jam. I love him like nothing else in the world, I could read his books back to back forever because he is the best at everything always, ad infinitum, so I suppose I am a maybe little biased.

Like all Burgess's novels (except Earthly Powers, but that's a whole other thing) this book takes a bit of getting your head around at the start. I had to read the first chapter twice before I really caught my stride, but you should do that anyway because the first chapter is aces and maybe a little bit more poetic than the proceeding novel? But after that it was plain sailing right to the end, so if you are new to Burgess don't give up early!

If you are coming to this from Dead man in Deptford, then be aware that there is a disappointing (yes) lack of racy boy sex, but then to be fair the crazed smut level of DMiD is sort of on the high end for our friend A.B... Maybe you should read the final book in that `Sleeping Beauty' Trilogy Ann Rice wrote (not about vampires) and just skip the lady chapters? BUT there is a legitimate amount of hetero-hotness; not super graphic but enough to break a sweat, so maybe that will be enough for you.

Plot/ character/ language/ pace are all bang on, natch. Historic facts? I get the feeling B. cares a little bit less about the true to life Bio of Shakespeare than he does about Napoleon or Marlow, so I think his (quite meagre) facts are somewhat [raised eyebrow] embroidered, so don't quote this in a pub quiz, or dissertation, or anything. This is probably the perfect book for any subversive 6th former who wants to look smart in lessons and who appreciates a beautifully written historical romp. And who doesn't?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOTHING LIKE THE SUN, 23 April 2013
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This review is from: Nothing Like the Sun (Paperback)
Describes Shakespeare's childhood - love affairs, quarrels with his family, and travels around England. Earthy and basic. Captures Elizabethan life.
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1 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Penny Dreadful, 28 Aug 2011
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This review is from: Nothing Like the Sun (Paperback)
Anthony Burgess may have been the quintessential British writer of the Twentieth Century but this is a dreadful book.

Dragging up the bard's past - and nobody knows anything about Shakespeare - besmirches our national poet.
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Nothing Like the Sun
Nothing Like the Sun by Anthony Burgess (Paperback - 2 Jan 2002)
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