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The Trial (Vintage Classics)

The Trial (Vintage Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Franz Kafka , Edwin Muir , Willa Muir
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £3.75
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Product Description


"It is the fate and perhaps the greatness of that work that it offers everything and confirms nothing" (Albert Camus)

"The Dante of the Twentieth Century" (W. H. Auden)

Book Description

The classic translation of Kafka's great work of psychological horror

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 368 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital; New Ed edition (26 Jan 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031RSBJG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #169,058 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime & Punishment 9 Feb 2004
The Trial is probably Kafka is his purest form. The one book that finds each of his principal concerns in full tilt, as he layers his story of horrified paranoia and personal confusion alongside elements of personal metaphor, aspects of social and political allegory, and some of the most atmospheric use of writing I’ve ever experienced. The plot is labyrinthine to say the least, with Kafka creating a mood from the outset that will leave the reader as confused and afraid as our protagonist Josef K, before sending him (and, through the writer’s use of a subject narrative, ourselves) down into a free-falling spiral, as conflicting clues and evidence build up against us to further incriminate both the central character (and the reader) in a crime we cannot comprehend.
If this sounds confusing... (well) it is. Kafka keeps large chunks of the plot a secret for as long as he can, making the reader work all the more to decipher the clues that he weaves between the arcane descriptions and densely layered symbolism that is injected into every sentence that we read. Never at any point in time does Kafka allow us to gain more information than K. instead making us work just as hard to find out what is going on in this diabolical world of autocracy and mistrust. Anyone who has seen Orson Welles’ adaptation of the book (or for that matter, Terry Gilliam’s cult classic Brazil) will have a visual template for the kind of world that the writer suggest through his use of words and the imagery they create.
The narrative is purposely multi-layered and features moments of both horror and tension, but also has a strong streak of darkly comic absurdity and the kind of social surrealism that people like Buñuel and Greenaway do so well...
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal yet Superb 22 April 2003
It is amazing just how much of a store of prescience Kafka managed to pack into his work. This nightmarish tale of bureacracy gone mad seems an awesome damnation of the police states which did come to the attention of the outside world until well after Kafka's death at the age of 41. Although 41 is a young age for anyone to die, at least it spared him the horrors of the Nazi occupation of Prague in the second world war, horrors which his family were not so fortunate as to have avoided.
The bewildering downward spiral of Joseph K is one of the true masterpieces of world literature. Arrested for a crime which he can never discover and in a court of which he has no prior knowledge, K's only outlet is meaningless snatches of affection with random women who continually let him down. The most damning aspect of the entire tale is that the courts themselves are everywhere. They reside in the attics of the tenements of the drab city in which he suffers from the bizarre circumstances out of his control. K's bemusement is relayed to the reader through numerous sotte voce moments which see him struggling to pretend that he does actually hold some influence over his own life.
Try not to begin reading this novel with too many preconceived notions of what a novel should be. This is not a Victorian morality tale where at the end of the tale the main protaganists get either their rewards or their just desserts. Life itself rarely follows such linear progression, and The Trial doesn't either.
A must read book for any wishing to term themselves as any kind of book lover. Awesome and haunting.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Reading 15 Oct 2009
By Mr. Nadim Bakhshov VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Sometimes, very rarely, you stumble across an audiobook that is read so well, with so much subtlety and nuance, where the tone and voice of the reader captures the mood of the book, you want to recommend it to those wary of the author.

This is such a reading. Rupert Degas does such a good reading that it can even be studied. It will support repeated listening and will deepen your grasp of the magic and power of Kafka's prose.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly excellent modern classic 22 Sep 2003
The Trial is the story of one man, Josef K. who one morning discovers that he is being placed under arrest, which is the start of his trial, through madness, paranoia and into the unknown, the reader follows the journey of K. along his spiral downwards as his life begins to fall away.
Throughout the book, we are never told exactly what K. is on trial for, and for a good reason too, Kafka was a brilliant writer. K. wakes one morning and is arrested for an unknown crime, but never actually convicted or placed on trial using the real sense of the word, by that I mean Judge and Jury etc. but ordered to report to a court every so often. This ordeal seems to prove impossible and we soon discover that his trip appears ludicrous, and as the book develops, we start to realise that the trial for K. has turned into a hellish nightmare of dead ends and wild characters.
K.’s frustration and paranoia is something, which, Kafka exploits to outstanding effect, in this humorous, satirical tale of one man struggling against matters, which have already been decided.
Kafka's writing style is extremely effortless, which makes reading this book even more enjoyable, you are not tied down to long descriptive passages, but descriptions of places are perfected enough to envisage the atmosphere and the surroundings. I would recommend this book to anyone who has never read any Kafka before, because although slightly more complex than Metamorphosis, it still remains an excellent book, which allows you to appreciate the author to a great degree. It also persuaded me to go out and read more books by Frank Kafka, a truly excellent modern classic.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 11 days ago by milu
4.0 out of 5 stars weird
This book started quite slowly for me but the underlying sinister undertones kept me reading. Just finished and feel strangely emotional as if I have experienced sone sort of loss. Read more
Published 3 months ago by austin mirams
4.0 out of 5 stars A true classic
Everything is strange about the book, which I guess is Kafka's intention - it's clear that he wants the reader to feel as disoriented as the 'hero' Josef, a successful senior bank... Read more
Published 4 months ago by E. Orr
5.0 out of 5 stars Documentary.
I used to think Franz Kafka's novel was a surreal fantasy, until I had some direct dealings with the German legal system myself. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Tricky
4.0 out of 5 stars An acquired taste
Another of Kafkas greats.
You either like kafkas work or admire it.
I personally like it, not a book for the train but on a quiet beach perfect!!
Published 8 months ago by Paul M
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Classic - an appropriate name
This is an all-time great, an intriguing read which tells a story of angst, bureaucracy and uncertainty. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Bill Leacy
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written
Clearly a very well written book and I personally enjoyed it a lot, it is quite different though and not sure how much it would appeal to the masses.
Published 8 months ago by Miss M Rea
3.0 out of 5 stars Gems
The Trial narrates K.'s fight to defend himself from an unknown accusation made by an ultra-secretive and surreal judiciary. Read more
Published 9 months ago by David Fernandes
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Have wanted to read this book for years, finally bought itand was disappointed, I became irritated with the main character
Published 13 months ago by aging groupie
5.0 out of 5 stars K
Strangely different on a later visit.
Attics and clerks, pride and prosaicness.
A counter balance to mine or your plump pretensions.
Published 13 months ago by ijape
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Popular Highlights

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‘I see,’ said K., nodding, ‘these books are probably law books, and it is an essential part of the justice dispensed here that you should be condemned not only in innocence but also in ignorance.’ &quote;
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‘A melancholy conclusion,’ said K. ‘It turns lying into a universal principle.’ &quote;
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our pay for it. That’s all we are, but we’re quite capable of grasping the fact that the high authorities we serve, before they would order &quote;
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