Books: A Pox on It

NOTHING LIKE THE SUN by Anthony Burgess. 234 pages. Norton. $3.95.

The arty little historical novel about a sensitive young man who wants to be a poet and is troubled by homosexuality would seem to be a perfectly standard commodity—except when the hero turns out to be William Shakespeare, when the style is a rich, impenetrable soup of pseudo-Elizabethan, and when the author is that prickly, unpredictable English satirist, Anthony Burgess. In that case, the book begins to look strangely like a hedgehog. Normally intrepid critics approach it with extreme care, handle it gingerly, natter nervously about the inventiveness of the language....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!