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.
Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
It’s not a science fiction story but a philosophical and religious allegory: an imperfect man living an imperfect love through an imperfect god. Deep, touching and above all not boring like both movies.
Plot: A scientist tries to study a planet while the planet tries to study the scientist.
Rating: 94 out of 100.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The best soap opera of all time: a romantic story that feels almost real. You will try and read it in one shot and when it comes to an ends you'll get the feeling that life is just a bunch of details here and there.
Plot: A lady falls in love, things don't go the way she wants and <spoiler alert> she kills herself.
Rating: 99 out of 100.
Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline
A novel written with a furious frankness during a time when we had lost hope — but we could still brag about ourselves. Celine is by now impossible, but "life is this [even now], a sliver of light that ends up in the night."
Plot: A guy has the worst professions in the worst places at the worst moments in history.
Rating: 85 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?