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.

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The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

The devil does not pursue evil: his wonders neither change nor create anything and at most they madden the idiots, because the world is a devil’s joke and it is useless to turn against him (especially when he takes the form of a giant, well-polished cat).

Plot: The devil disturbs Moscow and a few centuries ago, Pontius Pilate repents.

Rating: 98 out of 100

Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The first (and the best) fantasy fiction ever; surrounded by devils, witches, sphinxes, griffins, pygmies and choirs of ants, a scholar seduces an underage girl and makes a pass at Helen of Troy. Delirious, but “Den lieb’ ich, der Unmögliches begehrt” (I love those who yearn for the impossible). 

Plot: A guy gets bored and makes a pact with the devil. 

Rating: 98 out of 100

Heliopolis by Ernst Jünger

A toxic, esoteric sci-fi novel, written when the world hung in the balance between a thousand destinies. The main character is quite bothersome, but thanks to the many digressions you persevere — not to mention that in the course of the book (published in 1949) the author invented the internet, smart phones and ebooks. 

Plot: A soldier/aristocrat devotes his life to drugs, chief world systems and attacks.

Rating: 80 out of 100

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Past Very Short Reviews of Difficult Books:

4/9/2014

4/2/2014

3/26/2014

3/19/2014

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?

Tags: RT Daily Blog
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