7 classic books hilariously described in 5-second pictograms (pictures)

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These minimalist pictograms hilariously describe a plot of seven classic books. They were designed by Matteo Civaschi and Gianmarco Milesi from a Milan-based design and advertising studio H-57, and are a part of the book Life in Five Seconds, which takes almost 250 inventions, places, animals, books, or world events, and “cuts away all the useless details”.

H-57 has also created a new set of pictograms, this time all about movies. Over 150 pictures are included in a new book Film in Five Seconds, which will be published on November 7, and is already available for pre-order.

Thanks to Núria Càrcamo Bonet who pointed us to the post on HuffPo Books that selected all book-related pictograms.


Life In Five Seconds - Frankenstein

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley.


Life In Five Seconds - Moby-Dick

Moby-Dick – Herman Melville.


Life In Five Seconds - Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe.


Life In Five Seconds - Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare.


Life In Five Seconds - The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka.


Life In Five Seconds - The Odyssey

The Odyssey – Homer.


Life In Five Seconds - Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë.

• • •

Life in 5 seconds - book coverLife in Five Seconds

In our jet-fuelled, caffeine-induced, celebrity-a-minute world, who actually has the time to learn a thing or two? C’mon, let’s face it, life’s too bloody short. What you need is instant knowledge.

Told in ingenious pictograms that are witty, provocative and to the point, Life in Five Seconds takes 250 world events, inventions, great lives, places, animals and cultural icons that you really need to know about, and then, hey presto!, cuts away all the useless details.

The result is a hilarious visual snapshot that puts all of life into context. You’ll laugh out loud as you identify the Last Supper, Lady Gaga, the moon landings, the Mona Lisa, the invention of electricity, Ikea, the Berlin Wall, giant pandas, celebrity chefs and everything in-between. This is the perfect gift for anyone with a sense of humour … and a short attention span.

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