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Kafka by [Murray, Nicholas]
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Kafka Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 448 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"[A] rich new biography."--John Leonard, "Harper's Magazine"


" [A] rich new biography." -- John Leonard, "Harper's Magazine"


0;[A] rich new biography.1;2;John Leonard, "Harper7;s Magazine"


[A] rich new biography. John Leonard, "Harper s Magazine"
"

"This book is the most accessible and readable biography of Kafka in English to date. Murray has accomplished quite a feat: to carefully capture the historical and contextual scope of Kafka's literary life, as well as his complex inner and personal life."--Kathi Diamant, author of Kafka's Last Love: The Mystery of Dora Diamant


"[A] rich new biography."--John Leonard, Harper's Magazine

Book Description

* First general biography in UK for twenty years of one of the defining writers of the 20th century - Franz Kafka.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2161 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New Ed edition (4 Jun. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002TXZRUE
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #748,786 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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By Richard Brown TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback
Much has been written in an attempt to demystify Kafka's symbolic fictions, to submit them to the interrogations of many different disciplines, to use them as a way of understanding our modern anxieties; but what about the writer's life? How to make sense of that for the general reader who might be wary of the subject, given the acknowledged difficulty of 'The Trial', 'The Castle', 'Metamorphosis', 'The Judgement' etc.? One answer is to write a subtle, intelligent, highly readable biography that reveals Kafka the man as much as the writer, indivisible as these two aspects of his being were, and this Murray does with a sure grasp of his subject, with great humanity and skill. He gives us the scholar, the flirt, the insurance expert who held down a desk job for nearly all his working life, the reluctant factory manager, the agonised lover (this to a great extent), the deeply troubled son in conflict with his dominating, dismissive father, the hypochondriac, the artist, the Jew interested in Hebrew literature; he shows how all these melded into the unique, the neurotic, the profound, often tortured, nature of the man. Yet those closest to Kafka found him to be joyous, compassionate, a life-giver; despite his difficulties with family and women, he inspired great love and loyalty.

Murray is good at showing how all the important avenues to his happiness and well-being were blocked: his desire to write in the deep freedom of solitude and silence; to live with a woman who would not stifle his life as a writer (his great fear); to be free from the tedium of the workplace in order to write; to be free of stultifying parents; to be in good health in a body that was never strong, sapped for years by TB...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Franz Kafka is one of my very favourite Authors and so I wanted to read this to get an insight into what I thought would be a very interesting and complex personality. But although Kafka's books are so fascinating and brilliant, unfortunately, if this book is anything to go by, the same cannot be said of him as a person. Nicholas Murray really doesn't seem to have him doing anything much and his relationship with his long-term partner Felice never seems to go anywhere. There is chapter after long chapter where nothing at all interesting is happening between them and nothing is changing in Kafka's life. I was so bored of this long book that i gave up around halfway through.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best of the very many titles around on the life of Kafka.
To be recommended
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 2.1 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A responsible general biography 13 Nov. 2007
By R. M. Peterson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This biography of Franz Kafka can be recommended for the general reader in every way except one: it is not the best biography in English of Kafka or the one to read if you wish (as most people) to read only one. I preferred Ernest Pawel's "The Nightmare of Reason: A Life of Franz Kafka," which has more color and passion and comes closer to bringing Kafka to life as a three-dimensional figure. (It may be out of print, but it can easily be found on the secondary market.)

Murray's biography is well-written, readable, and responsible, although a little dry and pedestrian. In addition to surveying Kafka's life satisfactorily -- via a somewhat artificial four-part structure (Prague, Felice, Milena, and Dora, the last three being the three women with whom Kafka had the longest and most meaningful relationships) -- Murray also discusses and properly places Kafka's literary works in the context of his life without ever engaging in academic literary exegesis. Thus, this is very much a biography for the general reader, and if the Pawel biography cannot be obtained, one need not hesitate about turning to Murray's.
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars decided one day to write this catastrophic biography -- absolutely disgusting! 20 Nov. 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
It is impossible to think even for what reason, this person, decided one day to write this catastrophic biography -- absolutely disgusting!
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