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3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  15,540 Ratings  ·  564 Reviews
America was the third of Kafka's great novels to be published. Surprisingly, after the brooding menace of The Castle and The Trial, it is far lighter and more realistic - certainly his happiest book. And yet beneath the surface comedy of young Karl Rossmann's discovery of America, Kafka remains a novelist who never quite means exactly what he seems to be saying.
Paperback, Penguin Modern Classics, 270 pages
Published 1967 by Penguin Books (first published 1927)
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Jan 06, 2017 Fernando rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Jorge Luis Borges afirmaba que los personajes de Kafka eran “Profesionales de la derrota.” En cierto modo, podemos asegurar eso cuando encuadramos a tres personajes tan particulares como K. de "El Castillo", Joseph K. de "El Proceso" y Karl Rossman, protagonista de "América" en ese rótulo, todo confirma que este genio nunca se equivocaba y en cierta medida, los podemos ver como personajes alter ego con características autobiográficas del mismo Kafka.
Pero hay algo esperanzador en América que no
Franco  Santos

Esta es la quinta obra de Kafka que leo (aunque es mi primera novela). Me gustó mucho. Se me hizo bastante pesada en algunas partes, pero la historia me parece brillante; una muestra más de la agudeza de este hombre con baja autoestima.

Son varios los temas que desfilan en este libro. Los siguientes son los que más destacan, en mi opinión:

Kafka juega con sutiliza con los matices sociales, los títulos que nos damos por lo que empleamos y la significación relativa que nos otorgamos como una esp
Oct 01, 2016 Pantelis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Der Verschollene, The Lost... Kafka' s Bildungsroman, Kafka' s "Candide", a novel about losing your innocence again and again, bit by bit, until you lose it completely, until you are completely lost, and the only way to claim your innocence back is to join the Oklahoma Theater, to board that final train... This is not an unfinished novel...
Nicholas Karpuk
I had difficulties not feeling like a tool while reading Kafka at work on my breaks. A guy with a beard and thick rimmed glasses read Amerika, just makes me feel like a parody of myself.

Kafka is one of those authors young men latch on to in high school or college and inevitably talk way too much about. I can definitely see the appeal with the themes of alienation and a system that works against the well-meaning individual. But there's something I realized while reading this book:

Kafka would have
Vit Babenco
Jun 09, 2016 Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Franz Kafka just watches, he doesn’t comment…
“As the seventeen-year-old Karl Rossmann, who had been sent to America by his unfortunate parents because a maid had seduced him and had a child by him, sailed slowly into New York harbour, he suddenly saw the Statue of Liberty, which had already been in view for some time, as though in an intenser sunlight. The sword in her hand seemed only just to have been raised aloft, and the unchained winds blew about her form.”
And Karl Rossmann encounters many
Cover of the first edition of 'Der Heizer' ('The Stoker')
Publisher's Note
Translator's Preface & Notes

--Amerika: The Missing Person

Brunelda's Departure
At a street corner Karl saw ...
They traveled for two days ...

A Note on the Type
'' Ειναι δυσκολο να υπερασπισεις τον εαυτο σου οταν δεν υπαρχει καλη θεληση'' μονολογει ο νεαρος και απειρος Καρλ Ροσμαν οταν θα συνειδητοποιησει οτι ο κοσμος ειναι αδικος και σκληρος. Ωστοσο γεματος νεανικη ορμη και ησυχη συνειδηση δε μοιαζει να απογοητευεται απο τις δυσκολιες που προβαλλουν στον δρομο του. Διαφορα μικρα περιστατικα θα τον στιγματισουν απο τη στιγμη που θα φτασει στην Αμερικη συναντωντας καθε λογης ανθρωπους και με συγκινητικη και αφελη απλοτητα θα φτασει ως την καθαρση αναζητω ...more
Sep 09, 2008 Chak rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: angst-ridden hipsters who aren't worth the trouble to punch
Recommended to Chak by: my husband... THANKS!
Shelves: fiction
Life is too short. Don't walk - RUN - away from this book. Masochist that I am, I got more than two-thirds through the book and finally could not stand it anymore. Amerika is about this 16 year old boy named Karl who gets exiled to America by his German parents after impregnating a household servant. Just as he was bewildered and passive during the aforementioned fornication (the maid overtly seduced him), Karl remained so for the rest of the book (at least what I read). Repeatedly, and without ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
My copy has a Preface written by one Klaus Mann in August 1940. It describes Franz Kafka's life, his very sad life. He had poor health, worked in a gloomy office, never made enough money and with a solitary romance that was "doomed to dreary frustration." He never enjoyed any spectacular success as an author. His works became famous only after he died. Drats.

AMERIKA was supposed to be Kafka's light, funny and optimistic novel. It tells the story of Karl Rossman, a poor boy of sixteen who had bee
Jan 16, 2016 Tijana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reprize
Ne znam, možda da napravim policu "knjige koje me nisu ubile, a baš su se potrudile"?
Ne radi se o tome da Kafka nije dobar, naprotiv, previše je dobar u onome što pokušava, a to je da vas (mene) natera da se grčite od transfera blama, da vas (mene) glavom nadole uroni u depresivnu epizodu, da ubije životnu radost u vama (meni). Da, znam da je on sam smatrao kako je zapravo humorista. Dobro, važi. Da, jeste pisac neverovatno bizarne mašte, zapletenih tokova misli, upečatljivo groznih paklenih viz
Chad Post
Jan 01, 2013 Chad Post rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A couple years ago, some trickster posted the first page of David Foster Wallace's INFINITE JEST to a Yahoo group looking for advice about "his" new novel. Not surprisingly, the um, yahoos, didn't recognize the source text and populated the message board with all sorts of terrible advice about the lack of action and the fact that he "knows what to do--just dump it and start over!"

Obviously, this provided a shitton of laughs for the literati, for those who respect DFW's writing and know that the
Apr 01, 2013 Lobstergirl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Marco Rubio
Shelves: own, covers, fiction

Well my friend Chak says to run from this book - she recommends it for "angst-ridden hipsters who aren't worth the trouble to punch" - which doesn't describe me - I like to think I am worth the trouble to punch. But I saw it in the store with this adorable Edward Gorey cover (totally uncredited) and knew it would be mine all mine. It smells like an old mausoleum but that's what I get for buying a book from the Eisenhower era.


Wow. Weird, weird, weird. I liked the first third of Amerika quite
Jan 20, 2015 Vipassana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book over a year ago but decided against reading it once I realised that it was 'unfinished' and I didn't want that for my first Kafka. In retrospect it seems so foolish, but I cannot deny the fact that I'm glad I hadn't read it then because I wasn't filled with the sufficient amount of despair towards the life I lead, to throughly feel this book, to find closure in it's incompleteness.

One is easily horrified by the rare and exceptional abominations of the world, but not by everyda
Sonia M
May 14, 2016 Sonia M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Ο Καρλ Ρόσμαν φτάνει στη "χώρα των ευκαιριών" αλλά για να επιβιώσεις εκεί χρειάζεσαι είτε να έχεις γερό πορτοφόλι από πριν είτε κάποιον προστάτη. Κι ενώ αρχικά τον προστατεύει ο πλούσιος θείος του με αντάλλαγμα να του καθορίζει τη ζωή, μια πράξη του που φαίνεται σαν ανυπακοή στα μάτια του θείου, γίνεται αιτία να βγει στο δρόμο. Μπορεί να βρει κύκλο για υποστήριξη; Μόνο τυχοδιώκτες. Μπορεί να βρει δουλειά; Μόνο αν δεχτεί να γίνει σκλάβος με την υπόσχεση ν' ανέβει κοινωνικά κάποια στιγμή στο μέλλο ...more
Aug 15, 2016 Gypsy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
انتظار داشتم ازش خوشم بیاد. ولی خیلی تکخطی بود. حقیقتاً کافکا یهجور ملالانگیزی مینویسه. شاید هم برای من اینطور بود. ولی دغدغهشو دوست داشتم. درگیری و گرههاش خوب درومده بودن. کاش هیجان بیشتری داشت یا اینقد تکخطی نبود روایتش. هیچکششی برای تمومکردنش نداشتم. دیالوگها بخش اعظم روشنگری داستان بودن که گمونم اگه نویسنده هنرشو توشون نمیذاشت، دیگه چیزی از داستان باقی نمیموند. در واقع داستان مدیون دیالوگنویسی، شخصیتپردازی و درونمایهشه. وگرنه طوری نیست که بگم داستان تکنیکیای هست. اینایی که چار و پنج دادن، بگ ...more
Maryana Pinchuk
There's perverse pleasure in watching a genius fail. If you love Kafka, read this to know why: watch as his beautiful existential vignettes die horribly the moment they are bolted onto a conventional plot. Marvel at how trite the themes of contemporary fiction are when they're no longer contemporary. Cheer (okay, maybe not cheer...) to know the man tortured himself to do better than this sophomoric attempt at a first novel. And, if you're a way more persistent reader than I, maybe actually finis ...more
Feb 29, 2016 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german, literature, kafka
" Often he was amazed that the others were so reconciled to their present lot, that they did not feel its provisional character, nor even realized the need to come to a decision about their future occupations, and in spite of Karl's example read nothing at all except tattered and filthy copies of detective stories which were passed from bed to bed."
How do you assess an unfinished novel, written by someone, no less, who asked his literary executor to burn all of his works after he died? With gr
Dec 08, 2014 Cecily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first chapter (The Stoker, was published as a short story and is included in The Metamorphosis. The usual themes of alienation/rejection, aspiring to please/fit in, being bemused in unfamiliar territory are there, but it is generally more optimistic and realistic than his other novels, though the final chapter (about the Nature Theatre of Oklahoma) is much more surreal, and doesn't really seem to "fit" with the rest of the novel.

See my Kafka-related
Jun 21, 2015 Kain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
يأتي هذا العمل من رغبة كافكا في الاختفاء، والذي ينمسخ في آخر الأمر إلى حضورٍ أكثر من المتوقع.

لسرد كافكا نبرة صلاتية اعترافية خاشعة، بكل السخرية اللاذعة التي تنطوي عليها.
MJ Nicholls
Mar 26, 2016 MJ Nicholls marked it as half-read  ·  review of another edition
Finished “appreciating” Kafka. Laters, Franz.
Oct 06, 2016 Shane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
That this was Kafka’s first work is painfully obvious: pompous, complex sentences that do not fit with the pioneer setting of early 20th century America, dialogue resembling speeches, constant back-peddling explanations for character actions or motivations, and an intrusive narrator who tries to fill in what the author is unable to show his readers. Most authors ride this road to maturity. Of course, Kafka’s benefactor Max Brod put this all down to surrealism and genius and the rest of the world ...more
Jul 04, 2012 Pat rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There's something I've noticed about pre 1900 European adolescent protagonists (Karl, anyone in Dickens, Jude The Obscure) that I just fucking loathe.

Partly it's the total lack of agency, any random sketchbag who floats across their transom holds them completely in thrall. Delamarche and Robinson start out by making Karl sell his own clothes (he's has a prepaid train ticket to San Fran to look for work and has a pocket full of money, but instead he takes their advice to sell the clothes off his
Andrea Poulain
Jan 01, 2016 Andrea Poulain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015

Si quieren valorar este libro por lo que es tienen que tomar en cuenta las siguientes cosas:

1. Es un libro inacabado y publicado póstumamente. Sí, hay algo que parece un final, pero hay un salto extraño hasta él, no parece justificado y lo único que te hace pensar es que Kafka está en drogas.

2. Kafka nunca visitó América. Y tampoco le importó no retratar a una América fiel, lo que se nota desde la primera página. Hay incongruencias por aquí y por allá, pe
Mar 17, 2009 Wyatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much like the protagonist in Roth's recent Indignation, one can't help but sympathize with and occasionally relate to Kafka's young tragic hero Carl, who, despite his efforts and good intentions is misread, slandered, and otherwise abused and molested while trying to make his way up in the world--held at bay of course by the lack of objectivity and empathy of people in power. In this case, the power mongers are rather lowly themselves: the cooks and waiters at the hotel where Carl finds himself ...more
Restless Books
Jun 19, 2014 Restless Books rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before I got pulled once again into the world of My Struggle, I was in the middle of a story about another Karl: not Karl Ove Knausgaard, but Karl Rossman of Amerika. Franz Kafka’s first (and, according to Schocken, funniest) novel is also his most incomplete, least frequently read, and most recently translated into English. Filled with the familial guilt Kafka’s characters so frequently handcuff themselves with, and the author’s typically behemoth, meaning-laden institutions, this immigrant sto ...more
Jan 25, 2016 Gazelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the moment Karl Rossman set his eyes on the statue of liberty you realize that nothing good expected to be there in the land of opportunities for him! One might fairly say of course you won't! It's Kafka! But that won't change the reality of the kind of troubles a 16 year old would face in a strange land packed with newcomers who are looking to find happiness and wealth in every possible way.
Karl is not there by his own will, being sent away from home for a mistake he made makes everything
Russell Olson
Kafka's ability to turn the banal and mundane into a fantastical dream world is incomparable. The mintue you delve into his own brand of sentence and grammar you are pulled away from the familiar and into its distorted mirror image. The "k" in "Amerika," is without a doubt Kafka's signature. This Amerika is the self-absorbed, work driven and character obsessed America, not the "with liberty and justice for all," America. The opening paragraph clues you in immediately, the Lady Liberty of Amerika ...more
Zöe Yu
Apr 09, 2013 Zöe Yu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german, american
A very nice story. One cannot tell if it is an unfinished one. It doesn't like The Castle or The Trial at all. There is a name for his protagonist, a realistic journey, although it is from his imagination.

For the first two or three chapters, I couldn't put down the book. It's attracting, appealing. I wanted to find what's going on the next. In the book, the atmosphere is haunted with European and American emotional conflict. And Karl, the protagonist, is in between.

Because Karl got seduced and
hope mohammed
Apr 01, 2016 hope mohammed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kafka, أدب
على العكس في هذا الكتاب لم احب قصة المفقودوبعد قراءة التفاسير اعدت النظر في اسباب القاص واساليبه الجميل في كتب وطفي هي اعطاء القاريء مساحة للفهم والتطلع الى التأويلات المختلفة وبالنسبة لي هنا كانت مكمن المتعة على ان اشير اني لم اقرأها بامانة .

كافكا كاتب كبير يكفي ان يضع قارئهةفي بيئة تخلق له مشاعر سيئة كما حصل معي ، فقد ضاقت بي جدا البيئة التي تنقل فيها كارل روسمان على طول الرواية شعوره بالضآلة والضياع والهوان وصل الي أنا مما جعلني اكره الجو السأئد وهذه شهادة في حق كافكا على براعة الخلق الادبي ا
Oct 02, 2015 Shima rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
اول از هر چیز توجه داشته باشید که این کتاب ناتمام است
کافکا هیچ وقت نوشتن این کتاب را تمام نکرده است. بلکه آن ها دست نوشته هایش برای کتابی بوده اند که گرچه درصد آن را نوشته ناگهان رهایش کرده است. در نتیجه در فصل های پایانی کتاب قسمت هایی نوشته نشده است
اما در مورد نیمه ی اول کتاب که کامل است باید بگویم فقط دلم می خواست شانه های کارل (شخصیت اول) را بگیرم و تکان بدهم. به نظر میاد بدبختی بعد از بدبختی دیگر بر سر او میاید و گرچه هیچ کدام به طرز مشخص تفصیر او نیست -یا حداقل نتیجه ی ساده دلی های کوچکش
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  • Auto-da-Fé
  • The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge
  • The Confusions of Young Törless
  • Franz Kafka's The Castle (Dramatization)
  • The Assistant
  • Dog Years
  • The German Lesson
  • Frost
  • Billiards at Half-Past Nine
  • The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr
  • Joseph and His Brothers
  • Iron in the Soul
  • Vertigo
  • Professor Unrat
  • Conversations with Kafka
  • I'm Not Stiller
  • The Hothouse
  • The Sleepwalkers
Franz Kafka was one of the major fiction writers of the 20th century. He was born to a middle-class German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, Bohemia (presently the Czech Republic), Austria–Hungary. His unique body of writing—much of which is incomplete and which was mainly published posthumously—is considered to be among the most influential in Western literature.

His stories include The Metamorpho
More about Franz Kafka...

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“So then you’re free?’
‘Yes, I’m free,’ said Karl, and nothing seemed more worthless than his freedom.”
“It's impossible to defend oneself in the absence of goodwill” 29 likes
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