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Preview — A Dead Man in Deptford by Anthony Burgess
A Dead Man in Deptford
'One of the most productive, imaginative and risk-taking of writers... It is a clever, sexually explicit, fast-moving, full blooded yarn'
A Dead Man in Deptford re-imagines the riotous life and suspicious death of Christopher Marlowe. Poet, lover and spy, Marlowe must negotiate the pressures placed upon him by theatre, Queen and country. Burgess brings this daz
‘A Dead Man in Deptford’ is one of the exceptions. It promises, and it delivers, in equal measure. A late work, not overly long, it is the sordid and amoral story of Kit Marlowe, playwright. What is most rema ...more
I put off the ill-made disguise and, four hundred years after that death at Deptford, mourn as if it had happened yesterday. [...] But, as the dagger pierces the optic nerve, blinding light is seen not to be the monopoly of the sun. That dagger continues to pierce, and it will never be blunted.
This was just an utterly wonderful book. For the first 50 or so pages a barely paid any notice to the plot because I was so taken with the rich beauty of the prose.
I am of course, well disposed to like th ...more
Once I got what Burgess was about, I enjoyed the book immensely. The author takes us into the world of both Elizabethan theatre and politics (Marlowe was part of Sir Francis Walsingham's secret spy service) in an entertaining and educational w ...more
In this book, we enter the action via the interior monologue of a third-rate, gay Elizabethan stage actor who i ...more
I thought that this book was extraordinary in that it conveys the 'vibe' of what it might be like to be in Elizabethan England. It accomplishes this through an immersion in detail and amazing original prose that could only have been written by Anthony Burgess. The prose is not Elizabethan, but instead is a sort of Elizabethan Nadsat-- an invented a slang that combines Elizabethan and modern English so that it ...more
It was an excellent story, and I liked it was hardly all flattery. Marlowe's life does make for an interesting book. A wonderful read in Burgess' style, capturing Elizabethan England, and a world of spies, barfights, and some of the world's most beautiful poetry.
That said, once you're into it, you realise what a fantastic work it is.
I won't go into too much detail because I'm ave ...more
Very evocative and an impressive stylistic feat. Captures the odour, filth and butchery of the time (so *that's* what hung, drawn and quartered means). Quite tough at points keeping up with who's who (being an Elizabethan social climber is exhausting), but it all still flows. Think 'proto-Wolf Hall'. Worth a look.
Did not realize going in that this was a Burgess-book. Might have been a little more hesitant about diving in if I had k ...more
This book took longer than usual for me to get into. I always enjoy Burgess, especially his historical fiction, but Dead Man in Deptford was rather tedious in several places, especially since I don't read Latin or French.
There's a scene where several men are sitting around and one of them makes a comment in Latin. Another replies that only the learned among them will have caught what was said. There's no need to rub i ...more
Ok, so I stopped reading this and I will be frank: too much blatant homosexuality. I know, I know, but it just became too pervasive. I have no problem with a reference here or there or even the full description but I don't read soft core, romance or the vampire stuff...so, hmm. Maybe just no ...more
I must say that a little better knowledge of some of the names would have helped; I'm not that well versed with all the "men of note" (and poets/actors) from that time, though some were familiar. But this did not do much to detract from the joy of reading this or from the fascination.
Reading this will require some patience, but that is not completely in vain.
I will write more on my review blog, That's All She Read.