Translated from German. this book is the autobiography of Joseph Kafka. His terrifying story of going from a respectable banker to being arrested and spending the rest of his life fighting a charge and a system that will give him no information. It includes his drawings and excerts from his diary.
This is a hard one to review! it seems so much has already been said about it. In fact, the introduction basically states that nothing more could possibly be added to the conversation revolving around The Trial, because it has been analyzed and discussed for so long among so many people, and because the novella introspectively analyzes itself. Joseph K, a high-ranking bank clerk, wakes up one morning to find that he's under arrest. We never learn what the charge is, and neither does Joseph K. Yet he can live out his daily life (going to work, etc) as normal, and the court is very polite about accomodating his schedule as to when he needs to show up for interrogations. This entire court system, which is separate from the normal court system, is such an underfunded sprawling bureaucracy that the lower courts don't know anything about the higher courts, the court magistrates confuse one defendant for another, and the entire process is carried out in the attics of the poorest tenant housing in the city, where the air itself is unbreathable. All very symbolic of course. Joseph K. progresses from completely dismissing the importance of any such trial (seeing the state of the courts), to gradually becoming so obsessed (and mesmerized) with it and the special court system that he willingly, almost mindlessly, accepts the fate they hand out as inevitable and desirable. Perhaps it is because they are so quiet and polite about it, while they are leading him to a barbaric end. An exploration of the absurdity of the individual's conformity to culture, and yes of life itself (the major statement), this book examines the main character as ruthlessly as it does the society. Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbes once drew a comic that would sum up Joseph K. Imagine Calvin here as Joseph: You get the idea. The bizarre and astonishing description of the trial procedure (what we can ever know of it, told through the character of Joseph K's lawyer and also a portrait painter of the judges), (which sadly presages terrors in the real world later) is, unbelievable but true, completely outdone by a parable told by the court's parishioner (since WHEN do courts have their own affiliated parishioners?), which could make one severely question the idea of blind faith in anything. This is a book that will leave you thinking for a long, long while, and have you rereading it again and again to see if possibly you can get a better grasp on it this time around. You never will; it's absurdity, and Kafka's statement on the point of life.
Surreal, sometimes bizarre story of one man's life as he deals with the "legal system" after he is supposedly accused of some unspecified crime where neither the accusations nor the accusers are ever presented.
good book, slightly insane, could NOT believe the ending.
This short novel is a literary classic. This edition includes Kafka's own drawings as well as excerpts from his diaries during the period in which he wrote the novel.
My husband read the book and said it was kind of a waste of his time. He doesn't understand why it's a classic. He finished reading it just to see how it ended. The author describes scenes and situations well.