Ah, classic literary fiction. It can be so wonderful, but at times dense, leaving us wishing for a guide to lead us through the venerable prose. Enter: Italian artist and writer Francesco D'Isa, who reviews the classics in a candid, tongue-in-cheek (and very short) way. We're happy to bring his column, "Very Short Reviews of Difficult Books," to English language readers! Check back here every Wednesday for three new reviews from Francesco.
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
A world just a bit more extreme than ours created by a talented writer who will hold your attention for many pages — but not all of them. Tons of footnotes in a book with so many pages made me stop reading at page six hundred-and-something.
Plot: In an allegorical world where everyone’s on drugs, some allegorical (and addicted) characters are looking for the ultimate drug.
Rating: 73 out of 100.
The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus
Does the realization of the meaninglessness and absurdity of life necessarily require suicide? The answer is no (Camus doesn’t commit suicide), mainly out of spite. Like many essays on suicide, the argument feels almost pointless when Camus concludes that suicide is a poor decision.
Plot: “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.”
Rating: 89 out of 100.
Amerika by Franz Kafka
The essence of traveling is: to be trapped inside ourselves, to transform any place through our eyes and to visit a place without having been there. Kafka does it all together, and to visit his “Amerika” is (so to speak) a real pleasure.
Plot: A guy goes to America.
Rating: 96 out of 100.
Past Very Short Reviews of Difficult Books:
Ready to add some old school titles to your reading list? Check back next week for some more Very Short Reviews of Difficult books, and in the meantime, why not catch up on some lighter fare on our Everything Romance page?