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.
Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin
To understand Franz Biberkopf (proletarian and petty criminal in Berlin circa 1920) you must be Franz Biberkopf. Thanks to Alfred Döblin, you can be him for a good number of pages.
Plot: A one-armed man robs, beats, drinks and lives with prostitutes.
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The relationship between (good) science fiction and history is always creepy, but I would have preferred to see the part where teenagers become classical music fans.
Plot: Bad kids do bad things.