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.
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Present and past are never divided: the protagonist of this fictional autobiography (a hermaphrodite) knows it well, and speaks a little about him/herself and a lot of those who came before.
Plot: A woman is actually a man.
Dream Story by Arthur Schnitzler
Are we responsible for our dreams? Maybe not, but we are responsible of their interpretations.
Plot: A couple dreams of betraying themselves.
Caligula by Albert Camus
Not to be able to get something won't stop the desire to have it; Caligula "[...] needs the moon, or happiness, or immortality, something that is perhaps demented, but not from this world."
Plot: Caligula wants the impossible.
●○○○○ Life is too short to read it.
●●○○○ Read it, if you're a fan of the author.
●●●○○ Read it.
●●●●○ Read it next.
●●●●● Read it now.
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?