Top critical review
25 people found this helpful
Don't buy this edition of these great stories
on 29 September 2013
This is not a review of Kafka's work, which I love and admire. It's a review of this particular edition of this translation of his stories. The translations themselves are largely the work of Edwin and Willa Muir, who did a great job introducing Kafka to the English-speaking world back in the 20s, but although the Muir's work has a definite appeal, there are more accurate and more sensitive translations available now. The real problem with this book is the appalling quality of the printing. Entire pages of my copy have the look of being badly reproduced by some photographic process. Punctuation is often broken or entirely absent. Maybe Vintage have fixed the problem since I got my copy of this, but in the meantime, I'd advise English-speaking readers to go to the Penguin translations, which are far more accurate. Unfortunately they have absolutely terrible cover art, but if you can stand it, they're the ones to get.
Ideally, we'd all learn some German and go to amazon.de or whatever and read this work in the original, because a huge amount of Kafka is lost in translation. But in the meantime, this looks like the standard collection of the stories in English, but it doesn't deserve to be.