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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime & Punishment
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...
Published on 9 Feb 2004 by Jonathan James Romley

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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. As an essay, it has valuable and profound philosophical reflections about human made systems and their evolution to the point of being destructively self sustaining, where an individual is transformed in just a footnote of a lost document. But as a...
Published 5 months ago by David Fernandes


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36 of 112 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Trial - Franz Kafka, 3 Aug 2005
Brilliant! I have finally finished this stinker of a book!
I have heard of Franz Kafka being spoken of in almost revered terms and the adjective Kafka-esque has appeared mysteriously in connection with other books I have liked. I am now of the opinion that these occasions must have been unfortunate mis-prints or malicious attempts to sully someone elses good work with this worthlessly obscure piece of non-literature.
The story, if one can call it that, concerns Joseph K. who has been arrested. For what we don't know and neither does he. From here the plot goes nowhere - He tries to obtain help to defend himself in his up-coming trial from various characters. Each of these I think is a metaphor for a segment of society, or a level of Bureaucracy, for which he has obvious disdain. These characters and their mannerisms are meticulously described and obviously symbolic, but I'm afraid that with little knowledge of 'The Law' (perhaps this is a dangerous thing...) all of the symbolism was lost on me. I almost drowned in the sea of Allegory!
I found that I kept having to go back and re-read to make sure that I hadn't missed anything (like the point of it all). And I hadn't, it really was that bad!
This book is a new benchmark in Dullness for me, and based on this I can't help but think that there is air of the Emperors new clothes around Kafka.
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3 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another turgid classic., 7 Aug 2009
I had high hopes for this book as I had read countless excellent reviews. The idea behind it is extremely interesting as the term "Kafkaesque" is heard frequently in today's media. I was left seriously disappointed. I was left wading through a constant stream of random information while never actually finding anything like a meaningful plot. Another "classic" which does not deserve the status.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Breathtakingly unrealistic, but subtlely met with reality., 22 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Trial (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
When I first picked up this book, I merely leafed through the pages. A sentence here and there caught my attention, and I settled down to read the whole thing properly. The thing that played (obviously intentionally) on my mind was the question- WHAT WAS JOSEPH K. ON TRIAL FOR??? This question is deliberately not answered, not even in the final pages. This touches the book with a definite sense of unreality (stupid quote- unreality is unreal, and therefore cannot be definite. However...) I was drawn more and more into the book as I read it. The last chapter was definitely the best, and the question of life and death is asked in a final, dizzying swoop of the imagination.
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4 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Weirdness may appeal, but is it clever?, 1 Dec 2008
This review is from: The Trial (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Kafka presents themes of bureaucracy and totalitarianism using the plot of a man charged by a covert judicial system. Good enough themes certainly, though without a cohesive and engaging storyline it becomes a set of unanswered questions and little else. I do like a book/film which leaves you thinking about the issues. I also like the book to hang together and provide a bit of insight into those issues. Just throwing out riddles isn't helpful. Girls sniggering outside a painters door, stifling air, the attractiveness of a guilty man, a hundred and one other oddities - these things may mean something, and if you look hard enough you'll find a meaning. Whether Kafka had any answers or not, I doubt. He certainly wasn't giving anything away in this book/philosophical exercise.
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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not what I expected, 20 July 2012
This review is from: The Trial (Paperback)
I should have looked more carefully at what I was buying before I purchased it. The book is A3 size, seems to be a personal translation and to have been printed on a desktop computer.
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5 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars .....so what ...(spoiler right from the start), 21 April 2003
By 
AD (Cambridge United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Trial (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
So a man is persecuted and finally killed by The State for no reason. What will you do having read this book?....nothing, I suggest. It is neither inspiring nor uplifting - quite the opposite. It's surreal context and self indulgent detail will temper any indignance felt from the obvious injustice meted out to K. The Trial is not really even much of a comment on the human condition and an irrelevance to most of us that live relatively free and ordered lives. If you are a Nihilist and/or believe that art needs no reason nor purpose you may enjoy this book. Hemingway once wrote "The world is a wonderful place and worth fighting for". Like Somerset, I believe in the second part.
Ignore the star rating I have applied, I only do this because I cannot submit a review without filling in this part. Such a one-dimensional grading system seems fatuous and I suggest your own opinion will depend upon your perspective. Read the book.
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The Trial (Penguin Modern Classics)
The Trial (Penguin Modern Classics) by Franz Kafka (Paperback - 29 Jun 2000)
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