The Trial

The Trial

Book - 1992
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The story of the mysterious indictment, trial, and reckoning forced upon Joseph K. in Franz Kafka's The Trial is one of the twentieth century's master parables, reflecting the central spiritual crises of modern life. Kafka's method-one that has influenced, in some way, almost every writer of substance who followed him-was to render the absurd and the terrifying convincing by a scrupulous, hyperreal matter-of-factness of tone and treatment. He thereby imparted to his work a level of seriousness normally associated with civilization's most cherished poems and religious texts.

Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir

Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Knopf, 1992.
ISBN: 9780679409946
Branch Call Number: PT2621.A26 P713 1992
Characteristics: xxxiii, 299 pages ; 21 cm.


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Oct 26, 2019

208 pages

a study of political power, a pessimistic religious parable, or a crime novel where the accused man is himself the problem. In it, a man wakes up one morning to find himself under arrest for an offence which is never explained.

Nov 22, 2018

I loved it! I'd have to say this might be the most open to interpretation story I've ever read. For my two cents the trial was about K's introspection. I think that it was all psychological is what explains the nebulous nature of the court and its proceedings. It would also account for the surreal way the story unfolds.

BLEAK HOUSE is a classic look at a legal system; THE TRIAL is a classic look at a legal system. Why are there so many readers of 'legal thrillers,' and yet not so many of classic books with the legal system as the setting? I'm sure that Charles Dickens, and Franz Kafka are better writers than John Grisham, and Scott Turow. what do I mean by saying, 'better?' more profound, I suppose, deeper. Certainly, not so easy read as the thriller writers I have mentioned. Would Elmore Leonard have ever been able to write a legal thriller? I'm just posing these questions as thought teasers. Also, the vague thought lingers that maybe someone who is a brave reader might attempt the Everest of trying a classic author who wrote about the subject they habitually read into, in a popular vein. I do miss the point here. Classic writers don't tend to be able to build suspense, which is one of the things thriller readers are looking for (dare I say craving?).

Oct 29, 2016

This book is super unsettling and awesome. K., the main character, is under arrest for an unknown crime. The story progresses with a strange kind of logic, as K. gets more wrapped up in a strange court system, which acts in a relatable but unfair way. K.'s personality is humorous, detached, and weirdly human at times. This book is funny, but also claustrophobic and depressing. The version I read also had unfinished chapters and excerpts in the index, along with several post scripts written over the years by Kafka's friend and posthumous publisher, Max Brod. An excellent read, I'm excited to dive more into Kafka's unique style.

redban Jun 05, 2015

Kafka's style is most intriguing, I can see why he is so influential.

This story really feels like one of those long dreams where you drift along, vaguely aware that something must be wrong, but as soon as you protest the scene changes and you are lulled back into complacency.

From a nonfiction standpoint, this book provides a unique perspective on bureaucracy and arbitrary power structures. Similar books include Orwell's novels, Huxley's Brave New World, and Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.

May 09, 2015

When writer-extraordinaire, Franz Kafka, died in 1924 (from tuberculosis) at the age of forty, it was extremely fortunate for us all that his good friend, Max Brod, went against Kafka's wishes (which were stated in his Will) that he wanted all of his manuscripts burned in the event of his death.

Had Brod complied with this request of Kafka's, then the world would've been greatly deprived of reading some of the most amazingly thoughtful stories ever written.

Born in Austria on July 3, 1883, Franz Kafka (who had originally trained to be a lawyer) was a tremendously gifted writer. He is widely regarded as being one of the most influential authors of the 20th Century.

A troubled, insecure and very complicated man, it wasn't until his unfortunate death that Kafka finally earned the fame and recognition that he so rightly deserved.

Kafka was a man of a profoundly brilliant mind. His wonderful stories are filled with themes of alienation, psychological brutality, and conflicts within the labyrinths of bureaucracy.

theorbys Jan 09, 2013

Kafka's at his deepest and darkest, and the greatest dysvisionary of the 20th (and hence, for now, the 21st) century.

Mar 19, 2012

Nightmarish story about being accused by a vague and bureaucratic authority without any sort of recourse. All the characters are both frustrated and frustrating. Too bad it's somewhat incomplete.


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Jun 04, 2017

"It is often safer to be in chains than to be free."

Mar 19, 2012

"My innocence doesn't make the matter any simpler," said K. But after all he could not help smiling, and then he slowly shook his head. "I have to fight against countless subtleties in which the Court indulges. And in the end, out of nothing at all, an enormous fabric of guilt will be conjured up."


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