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.
Tao Te Ching by Laozi
The Tao (道, literally the Way or the Path ) is actually a road that leads nowhere, because you are already there and you just have to notice. One of the wisest religions, with the best logo ever.
Plot: "The name that can be defined is not the unchanging name."
Rating: 99.9 out of 100
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
I read Hesse's novels when I was young and never really liked them. Hesse simplifies depth: that’s the reason why you read him, why he never satisfies you and why his greatest simplification (Siddhartha) is his most famous work.
Plot: The life of Siddhartha.
Rating: 65 out of 100
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
War makes men crazy, enlightened or both: Billy sees the horror (thanks to the war) and discovers (thanks to the aliens) that time “[…] does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is. Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, bugs in amber.’”
Plot: A guy survive the bombing of Dresden and is abducted by aliens.
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?