- By Anthony Burgess

Nothing Like the Sun: A Story of Shakespeare's Love-Life

  • Title: Nothing Like the Sun: A Story of Shakespeare's Love-Life
  • Author: Anthony Burgess
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 424
  • Format: Paperback
  • Nothing Like the Sun A Story of Shakespeare s Love Life Nothing Like The Sun is a magnificent bawdy telling of Shakespeare s love life Starting with the young Will the novel is a romp that follows Will s maturation into sex and writing

    Nothing Like The Sun is a magnificent, bawdy telling of Shakespeare s love life Starting with the young Will, the novel is a romp that follows Will s maturation into sex and writing.

    1 thought on “Nothing Like the Sun: A Story of Shakespeare's Love-Life

    1. "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun"Virginia Woolf has written of the new biography in which fact and fiction are commingled in an entirely novel and delicious manner thus bringing forth the true personality of the subject of that biography. Anthony Burgess' 'Nothing Like The Sun' epitomises the new biography. A story of Shakespeare's love life, it is also a revelation of his incandescently fascinating mind. I knew about Shakespeare's literary history and a little of his personal life, b [...]

    2. I was already impressed with Burgess' language skills in Clockwork, although I now hear he pans that book as a 15 minute bezoomy lark, but there are lines in this book that a good Shakespeare scholar might think that Will wrote himself . I really wanted to give it 4 1/2, because it drags a little in the 4th quarto, but 5 is more accurate than 4 . I would quote to prove myself, but I'm lazy and it's late.Addendum--I especially like the scene early in the book, with Will as a teenager ( I thinkhe' [...]

    3. This is great fun. Burgess was channelling Shakespeare, so it's full of bawdy imagery, puns and alliterations, all that playful stuff, even poignant at times. There's often rhythm to the prose, and I keep expecting him to break into verse. I'm not knowledgeable enough about Shakespeare's life and work to judge whether Burgess' take is valid, or even remotely convincing. But in my ignorance, it's very enjoyable. Recommended. Ellen, Elizabeth, have you read this?

    4. I read this book years ago but only just thought about it when I was musing today that I can't think of many memorable historical novels by men. By 'historical novel' I mean a novel based on real people and events. This one speculates on William Shakespeare's love life and was published to coincide with his 400th birthday. Its title references the sonnet: "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun", and proposes that the much-speculated-upon 'Dark Lady of the Sonnets' was a prostitute and madam [...]

    5. A masterpiece of the English language, a clunker plot-wise. The parts where a young WS runs around chasing tail are infinitely more interesting than the ones where an older WS writes poems and plays. This says a lot for Burgess's stylistic talents, as precious few write as well about sex as they think they do. But it's also a mark against his imagination: making the life of Shakespeare seem hopelessly dull is quite a feat (not the good kind).I have serious issues with the novel's misogyny. I'm a [...]

    6. A carnival of language! Burgess had a life-long love affair with words, as witness A Clockwork Orange, and this glorious pastiche of 16thc idioms is a poem to the Bard. Forgive the copious in-jokes that only scholars might detect, not least its cryptic nods to Ulysses and Freud. Enjoy the wit, fun and vibrant color!

    7. Summary:Anthony Burgess’s Nothing Like the Sun is a highly fascinating, albeit fictional, re-telling of Shakespeare’s love life. In 234 pages, Burgess manages to introduce his reader to a young Shakespeare, developing into manhood and clumsily fumbling his way through his first sexual escapade with a woman, through Shakespeare’s long, famed (and contested) romance with Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton and, ultimately, to Shakespeare’s final days, the establishment of The Globe [...]

    8. I'm not quite sure what to make of Nothing Like the Sun by Anthony Burgess. The only other book I'd read by Burgess was A Clockwork Orange, a strange and interesting story of a dystopic future. Nothing Like the Sun is a tale of William Shakespeare and his purported relationships with the Earl of Southampton and Fatima, the Dark Lady. Like Clockwork, Burgess has a way with language, Nothing Like the Sun written in an oldish English, as if you are reading a Shakespearan play. The story, itself, st [...]

    9. How many novelists can you think of with the required talent and ambition to take on the task of writing a novel about Shakespeare's love life, daring to imagine themselves inside the Immortal Bards head at the moment of creation and the in his bed at the moment of climax?Burgess' Bard is as lusty and ambitious as all young men, yet full of pity and sympathy also, unable to hold his drink, fired by a golden vision of a Dark Lady indirectly inspired by the ravings of a local Stratfordian loon.Out [...]

    10. As impressed as I was that Burgess captured the Shakespearean tongue in novel format. The story never capitavited me or brought my interest below the surface. I didn't get into WS head or even learn more about his upstart or career. It's told in small vignettes, most of which aren't very interesting. It's an interesting approach, but I felt that chapter 7 in part 2 was the peak for the book, when the chapter is told through a series of journal entries. As far as criticizing a book of this magnit [...]

    11. Read this while I was taking a college Shakespeare class. I enjoyed it then. I would like to reread it after 40 years tho

    12. This rating should be qualified: a four for readers who are already fans of Anthony Burgess or who have the cast of mind to become so, and a two for readers not susceptible to his particular charms.This book is thrilling for readers who bemoan the increasing simplicity of language favored in modern fiction. When we reduce our prose to something any eight-year-old could understand, we lose much of the precise nuance and shades of color that are the great gifts of our languagewe don't have the nat [...]

    13. Brilliant language, evening you suspect not all the words are real. As satisfy I ng and gorgeous as you might hope for.Scholar or newcomer, this book grabs you and you feel every happiness or pain the characters do, whether you intended to or not.

    14. Beautiful language that takes your breath away- shows the seedy side of Shakespeare set in the seedy times of an accurately portrayed Elizabethan England. Burgess becomes the Bard.

    15. If you could imagine Shakespeare filtered through Swift and Joyce you might end up with something like this. The language was great fun but the end was kind of disturbing.

    16. We all know or think we know something about William Shakespeare: everyone knows the titles of at least a couple of his works, everyone knows some basic biographical facts about him, and everyone knows his portrait which is featured not only on the cover of Burgess’ novel but also in probably every single high school textbook of literature.The main character of Nothing Like the Sun is William Shakespeare, and the novel is about his life and artistic career. Just like a regular biography, the b [...]

    17. I enjoyed seeing snippets of Shakespeare's plays and poems presented throughout the text. More than implying that even the greatest of artists are mere thieves of the lives that flow around them, Burgess takes these moments to inject interesting critiques of Shakespeare's work (e.g. the particularly Christian nature of Ophelia's madness). However, I'm no Shakespeare scholar and I probably missed most of these elements. Certainly, I did not gather enough of them to find a bold new framework for r [...]

    18. Burgess ou Borges? Parece que um é a versão inglesa do outro. Ao menos na tentativa de incorporar o personagem WS e com ele ali dentro, nos contar todas as suas dúvidas, dívidas, medos, amores, amantes e família. Só isso já poderia dar uma ideia de quem foi este homem. Mas, acrescento: "Desde garoto ouço frases graves sobre meus deveres para com a família, a igreja, o país, ou a esposa. Mas já tenho idade suficiente para saber que o único dever autoevidente que temos é para com a im [...]

    19. If Anthony Burgess were a Shakespeare character, he'd be Malvolio. He tastes with a distempered appetite!Writing about Shakespeare gives Burgess free rein, but not in a good way. What he's drawn to in the Elizabethan era is not the adventure, the romance, the chivalry or the passion -- it's the diseases and the smells. Shakespeare was a great writer with a multitude of moods. He could be dreamy, playful, optimistic, just as easily as he could be cynical, despairing, and savage. Burgess, not so m [...]

    20. O.K. Това определено е история, която няма да прочетете в христоматиите. Целта на Антъни Бърджес може и да е била да шокира, но същевременно с това изгражда прекрасно развит образ на търсещ, чувствителен и надарен човек, дръзнал да се изправи срещу предначертаната съдба и да с [...]

    21. Fictional yet believable biography of Shakespeare's private life, written in an Elizabethan style. Once I got into the cadence and tone, it flowed quite beautifully.Glad I picked this up during a "Shakespeary" time of my life - in the process of reading and watching a succession of his plays. A year ago this book would have been almost totally lost on me. As it was, there were many quotes, tidbits and references I got, some I understood after looking it up, and many I'm sure went over my head en [...]

    22. The idea is simple and brilliant at once, but by no means easy to execute. Burgess gets the tone right: there are some fantastic scenes and descriptions here. The downside for casual readers is that while you don't need any knowledge of Shakespeare's life to read this book, there are so many allusions and in-jokes that I'm sure it would scare off many lay readers. Those who know just a little, though, will marvel at the blend of erudition and playfulness. The 'dark lady' by the way is held to be [...]

    23. Beautifully written book, I enjoyed reading it, the images and metaphores used throughout the novel were impressice. The book gave an interesting view from the Shakespearean England. I had limited knowledge of Shakespeare's life before, so for me the story was compelling, also Burgess is masterful character creator and he didn't disappoint in this novel either, both WS and WH were expectionally written. All in all, it was a pleasurable read, would recommend it to those who are looking for someth [...]

    24. A 1964 fictional imagining of Shakespeare in a narrative that is very Joycean. Imagery is employed to move the plot along, but it is certainly delicious and fitting to each stage in Shakespeare's life. Fittingly sexual, it is also political and grotesque, but the source of each of his sonnets and plays play across his experiences in a wild tumult.I enjoyed the book, but found it to be a tough slog. The language took some getting used to - of course; Burgess. But in the end, it was a thoughtful a [...]

    25. A rollicking romp through the Bard's love life from his salad days to his last days of illness. Unsparingly bawdy and filled with the kind of puns and literary horseplay you'd expect from the writer of 'wanting seed' and 'clockwork orange'. Also fascinating how he manages to take snippets of Shakespeare's oeuvre and presents a blueprint of their evolution through his thoughts, witty repartee and ruminations. You can even tap your foot to 'em five beats in the lushly evocative prose.

    26. An absolute gem: Shakespeare via Joyce's Poldy Bloom. And we get to see the conception and execution of the Richards, Love's Labour's Lost, Romeo & Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, the Henrys, the sonnets, and inklings of what will become Hamlet. Burgess's true strengths here are the language-play and the evocation of the period. Never before has Elizabethan England felt so real. This is undoubtedly a book I will be traversing again.

    27. I was worried that reading this book without having read a whole hell of a lot of Shakespeare was going to be tantamount to watching a '60s Godard film without having watched a whole hell of a lot of movies: it may be enjoyable but you're gonna miss out on, like, 95% of the in-jokes and references. Sure, I probably didn't catch all (or even 50%) of Burgess's allusions, but I still really dug this book. Fascinating and pretty naughty at times too.

    28. At times, Nothing Like the Sun is extraordinarily gripping. During certain scenes, such as WS writing a sonnet at home early in the book or WS witnessing the executions, the brilliance expected from Burgess is on clear display. Unfortunately, much of this book is sorely lacking this brilliance. As a great fan of Burgess, I was a little disappointed with this story, but it was still enjoyable. Looking back, this might be a book that requires a second reading to truly appreciate.

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