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The Trial

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  130,732 Ratings  ·  3,737 Reviews
Written in 1914 but not published until 1925, a year after Kafka’s death, The Trial is the terrifying tale of Josef K., a respectable bank officer who is suddenly and inexplicably arrested and must defend himself against a charge about which he can get no information. Whether read as an existential tale, a parable, or a prophecy of the excesses of modern bureaucracy wedded ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published April 9th 2001 by Vintage Classics (first published 1925)
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Jason Yes. If you like original narratives with much symbolism then I would suggest it.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kafka is tough.
Kafka doesn’t play and he doesn’t take prisoners.
His "in your grill" message of the cruel, incomprehensibility of life and the powerlessness of the individual is unequivocal, harsh and applied with the callous dispassion of a sadist.

Life sucks and then you die, alone, confused and without ever having the slightest conception of the great big WHY.

Fun huh?

Finishing The Trial I was left bewildered and emotionally distant, like my feelings were stuck looking out into the middle di
Aug 06, 2015 s.penkevich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Seriously, read this one
It is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary

Nothing speaks a more profound truth than a pristine metaphor…

Funny, us, worming through the world ascribing meaning, logic and order to the dumb, blind forces of void. It’s all one can do to maintain sanity in the absurd reality of existence, but what is it worth? Are we trees in gale force winds fighting back with fists we do not possess? Is life the love of a cold, cruel former lover bating us on while only
Has this ever happened to you? You're chugging your way through a book at a decent pace, it's down to the last legs, you've decided on the good ol' four star rating, it's true that it had some really good parts but ultimately you can't say that it was particularly amazing. And all of the sudden the last part slams into your face, you're knocked sprawling on your ass by the weight of the words spiraling around your head in a merry go round of pure literary power, and you swear the book is whisper ...more
Bookworm Sean
This book haunts me. I can’t stop thinking about it because I have questions, questions and more questions; I have so many unanswered questions that I will never know the answer to, and it’s slowly killing me!

What is the trial? Is K actually guilty or is he innocent? Is this novel a nightmare sequence or a paranormal encountering? Why are so many characters never heard from again? And who is that mysterious figure at the end of the novel that witnesses K's fate? There are just so many questions,
The tortured bureaucratic world described in The Trial always strikes me as startlingly modern. I wondered

How The Trial might have started if Kafka had been an academic writing in 2010

K's latest conference paper had been rejected, and now he sat in front of his laptop and read through the referees' comments. One of them, evidently not a native speaker of English, had sent a page of well-meaning advice, though K was unsure whether he understood his recommendations. The second referee had only wri
Huda Yahya

تخيل معي للحظة أن ماكس برود -ناشر كتب كافكا
قد قام بحرق جميع كتبه بناءً على وصيته
هل كان ممكنًا لعالم القراء تخيل مكتبة كونية
لا تحوي خلاصة الكافاكاوية بها ؟
إن طلب كافكا المجنون ببساطة يستكمل رحلته الحياتية
وفلسفته الخاصة كما يليق بها كروح عدمية
وما فعله ماكس برود – ليرقد في سلام أينما كان
هو ما يليق بكاتب عظيم وروح شفافة
كان ليخلو عالم الأدب منها إن نفذ تلك الوصية


ذهب القفص يبحث عن عصفور

تتناول الرواية الشهيرة مشكلة السلطة العليا
وقد أولها الكثيرون إلى الأب الذي عانى منه
MJ Nicholls
Somebody must have made a false accusation against me, for I was accused of not having read The Trial without having even raised the topic. I fixed up a brew, poked in a madeleine, and summoned up the liars of recall. I recalled my sixteen-year-old self, in his bedroom in his backwater home town, feasting on Vonnegut, Poe, and Kafka one miserable summer . . . then the liars spoke to me: “Are you merely inserting Kafka’s The Trial as a book you ought to have read during that summer of pain, when ...more
Dan Schwent
Jan 14, 2014 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it
Shelves: oldies, 2014
On his thirtieth birthday, bank employee Josef K. is arrested for an unknown crime and prosecuted on certain Sundays by an unknown agency.

Yeah, that's a pretty vague teaser but how else do you drag someone into The Trial?

On the surface, The Trial is an absurd legal drama that nicely illustrates how inept bureaucracy can be. However, my little gray cells tell me that's just the tip of the iceberg. The Trial seems to be about how incomprehensible and absurd life can be at times. I don't think it's
Henry Avila
Dec 28, 2015 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Josef K. (just his initial is revealed), a banker in the beautiful city of Prague, now the capital of the Czech Republic, during the last days of the crumbling Austro- Hungarian Empire, before World War 1, such a man at the young age of thirty, to be in charge of a large bank's finances, yet he lives in a boarding house of Frau Grabach, why a successful person does, is a mystery. Maybe he likes the attractive women there, especially Fraulein Burstner, Josef is a bit of a wolf, then out of the sk ...more
Kafka's Trial is one of those books that are always present in cultural sphere and referenced ad nauseum. Despite never having read Kafka before I am quite sure I used the word 'Kafkaesque' on many occasions and maintained a semi-eloquent conversation about 'The Trial'.
I could've probably done without ever reading it but recently I resolved to take my literary pursuits seriously and since books seem to be the only thing in this world I truly care for I might as well take it to another level.

Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Look at Joseph K., a bank officer living in a country with a constitution. He wakes up one day with strange men in his apartment telling him he's under arrest. Why or for what offense, no one knows. The arresting officers themselves don't know and can't tell him. Even if he's under arrest, however, no one picks him up or locks him in jail. He can still go to his office, work, perform his customary daily chores, and do whatever he wants to do as he awaits his trial. But he is understandably anxio ...more
Mar 09, 2012 Fil rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopia, classics
First, a quick summary of this horrible, horrible novel. Some jackass gets arrested, he does things you would not do, sees people you would not see and has thoughts you would not have. After that, a priest and a parable then, mercifully, the end.

Now my thoughts. K. is a pompous ass with a very important job - to him. The bureaucrats are the best part of the whole story, all job description, no brains (like now!). K's uncle, lawyer and landlady are very forgettable. Fräulein Bürstner is intriguin
Lynn Beyrouthy
Nov 13, 2014 Lynn Beyrouthy rated it did not like it

I have read many reviews and saw that I belong to the minority who just didn’t like or get this book.

Like the author, I am going to leave The Trial unfinished and surrender to the fact that, unfortunately, Franz Kafka’s writing is way too bizarre, inane and unrealistic for my tastes.

The protagonist, a pretentious banker named Josef K. woke up one morning to find two strangers in his room who told him he was under arrest. The reason for his conviction is never revealed and even
Verdict: A tome of existentialist tripe so bleak and pointless there isn’t even a trial.

There comes a point in the evolution all art; visual, literary, musical, wherein those who create it eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and become too self aware. ‘Look at this medium,’ they proclaim. ‘We have been following rules, society imposed rules limiting what our work can be, limiting what *we* can be!’ It shines suddenly and clearly before them, conventions that were never questioned are
Ian Grayjoy
Who Dared Seize Him?

Ever since first reading this novel in school, I've assumed the word "Kafkaesque" described an aspect of society analogous to living under a totalitarian state.

For much of this thoroughly enjoyable re-read, I persisted with this view.

However, when Joseph K. is arrested with no apparent justification, he is more surprised than an inhabitant of a fascist state. He asks:

"Who could these men be? What were they talking about? What authority could they represent? K. lived in a coun
Feb 25, 2009 Holly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes when book bothers me, I read more by the same auther to develope my sense of the author's style and personality. This book, however, did the opposite, after finishing it I had the same thought, "this is brillian but why does the author write such fantastical situations." I finally "get" this guys genius after I read a quote in a book I am reading now that says, "all good fiction does not necessarily depict reality as much as it uncovers truth." FINALLY, I got it. I get Kafka and can mo ...more
Apr 07, 2016 ژیار rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"!راستی که مسیر کا. یکباره چه سنگی انداخته بودند"

عالی مثه همیشه.. این کتاب رو یکی از دوستای ایرانیم از بندعباس رو برایم اورد!
خوشحالم یه اثر دیگه از کافکا رو خوندم چون من خیلی با دنیای کافکا و صادق هدایت علاقه مندم..
May 12, 2016 Fernando rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La obra de Kafka es compleja, inquietante y genera usualmente en el lector el mismo desconcierto que en sus personajes, quienes terminan enredados en infinitas encrucijadas que nunca logran desvelar.
Debo reconocer, sin hacer spoiler, que El Proceso me ha desorientado justo al final. Un final que no esperaba, pero que a la vez demuestra la maestría narrativa de Kafka.
Siento a la vez que todos aquellos a quien Joseph K. va encontrando y que parecieran se agentes que forman parte de algún tipo de
Feb 19, 2008 Haines rated it it was amazing
"The Trial" is funny. If you read it as a comedy, it's not only more entertaining, it's far more frightening. Dark Comedy. The moral of the story, to elaborate a cliche', is that it's only futile to resist when you have no idea what you're resisting. We never know what K did wrong, and neither did he, and the whole thing is just an absurd mystery that trips itself up sentence by sentence. There are banana peels strewn all over this book and the slapstick is existential rather than vaudevillian. ...more
May 23, 2016 Zaphirenia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Αχ, η δίκη...

Ο Κάφκα δεν αστειεύεται. Σου βυθίζει το μαχαίρι στο κόκκαλο και παρόλα αυτά παρακολουθείς μουδιασμένος. Αφήνει στο στόμα την πικρή αίσθηση της ματαιότητας, του παραλόγου που είναι τόσο προφανές που καταλήγει αδιαπέραστο, ανίκητο. Παρουσιάζει ένα ολοκληρωτικού τύπου σύστημα δικαιοσύνης που συνθλίβει το άτομο σε μία ατέρμονη γραφειοκρατία από την οποία δεν υπάρχει διέξοδος, δεν υπάρχει διαφυγή.

Ο ήρωας του βιβλίου, ο Γιόζεφ Κ., συλλαμβάνεται με μία κατηγορία την οποία δεν μαθαίνει. Σ
Emilian Kasemi
Just the part where K. discusses with the priest the fable (a parable of his situation which has been published separately as a short story; "Before the Law") deserves not 5 but a hundred stars! The same with the end of the book, one of the best I've read. Apart from that I have to admit that I found it a little boring and totally frustrating in many parts. In any Kafka's work I always feel anxious and in a state of bewilderment. He is a master in this and his stories maintain in the reader this ...more
Jul 07, 2015 [P] rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bitchin
[P] was woken one morning by the sound of sniggering coming from the corner of his bedroom. As he opened his eyes he saw two figures emerge out of the shadows and approach the bed. ‘We are here to investigate,’ one said. ‘We are the police,’ said the other. [P] was disconcerted, he had never woken to find two policemen in his room before. ‘I haven’t reported a crime,’ said [P]. ‘There must be some mistake.’ ‘There is no mistake,’ said one of the policemen. His colleague had taken up a position b
Before you read my old initial review here's a summary that has been distilled over time in my mind:

Franz Kafka was a true genius. What is this sign of genius? When you can write a classic novel that wasn't even properly completed.

I read The Trial to give myself a better perspective on Kafka's writing style for my literature course. I can perceive similarities to his Metamorphosis but in many aspects this is a completely different work. However they are both challenging pieces with complex idea
Nandakishore Varma
May 18, 2016 Nandakishore Varma rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic, literature
I have been terminated from my job here in the Middle East and is currently in the process of relocating to India. It's a somewhat nightmarish scenario, uprooting oneself after ten years; that too, unexpectedly. So I am plagued by disturbing dreams in the night where I am caught in situations without escape (forgetting luggage at the airport, searching for house in a country whose language is unknown to you, etc.). This is pretty much common for me and these dreams will disappear once I am past ...more
Jun 27, 2009 Caris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I’ve come to the conclusion that the word “kafkaesque” has been abused by our society, most notably by pseudo-intellectuals describing any concept they feel is beyond the scope of one’s understanding. Do me a favor, the next time someone uses the word improperly, kick that person in his/her junk.

It seems to me that the term carries with it characteristics that extend beyond the bizarre. I understand that the definition is rather fluid, but it should be held to some sort of standard. It’s sort o
Mohamed Eshawaf
Jul 12, 2013 Mohamed Eshawaf rated it really liked it
هل تعرف أن كافكا كتبها فى ليلة واحدة من العاشرة مساءًا حتى السادسة صباحاً، المقطوعات الفنية الفريدة فقط هى التى لها مثل هذه السّمة!
مُحيّرة، فماذا أراد بها كافكا!

لأديب يكتب رواية مثل هذه فى ليلة واحدة دون انقطاع، فإنى لا أشك أنه نفسه لا يعرف مدى رمزيتها وماذا أراد بها، فهو –مؤكد- لم يرسم الشخصيات ولم يوزع أدوارها فى الشكل النمطىّ المعهود ولا استخدم المسودات.. لأن كل هذا العمل الروتينى الرتيب يستغرق وقتاً ويستهلك من الروح الإبداعية، فتلك الروح حين تتواجد بقوة فإنها تتبنى كل تلك الأدوار
باورم نمیشه که هنوز برای محاکمه ریویو ننوشتم.
فعلاً این مقدار مینویسم، بعداً مفصل ترش میکنم.

معروفه که میگن اسم «ک» برای شخصیت اول، نشون دهنده ی اینه که کافکا نمیخاد شخصیت پردازی بکنه. نمیخاد شخصیتش حتا اسم داشته باشه. این، شاید مهم ترين خصوصيت «ک» باشه. بی هویت و بی شخصیت بودنش. شخصيت انفعالى داشتنش. او همواره محكوم بوده، همچنان كه در دادگاه بى نام و نشان محكوم میشه. محكوم بوده كه جهان و ديگران هويتش رو تعيين كنن. همیشه همراه با جهت جهان اطرافش حرکت میکنه. عموش به جاش تصميم میگیره. دخترك ناقص الخ
Parthiban Sekar
Aug 17, 2015 Parthiban Sekar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

Meaning: a formal examination of evidence by a judge, typically before a jury, in order to decide guilt in a case of criminal or civil proceedings.

(view spoiler)
ياسمين ثابت
Jan 08, 2016 ياسمين ثابت rated it it was ok


حين يكون الكاتب مشهورًا تصير كل ايماءه من ايماءاته ذات معنى عميق
يتسابق القراء والمعجبين في وضع تفسير غير عادي لكل مايفعل حتى وان كان هو نفسه لا يعرف لماذا فعل هذا او ذاك
يقول كلمة او يكتب سطرًا لا يحمل سوى المعنى السطحي فلابد ان يضفي شخصه المشهور على كل الحروف ابعادًا خفية, بحيث لو كتب كاتب عادي مغمور نفس النص لاعتبره نفس القراء ونفس المعجبين معتوهًا ولجردوه من كونه كاتبًا

المسالة اذن يا اعزائي ليست في الذوق فقط, المسالة في شخص الكاتب ولا يمكننا ان نحول دون تأثير شخص الكاتب في راينا فيما نقرأ له

Dec 20, 2015 Hades rated it it was amazing
Please bear with me…

Over the last few days something has not felt right in my back, so I call the doctor, the receptionist advises that I must go in and make this booking in person between 10:00am-11:00am. I call into work ill and then leave in plenty of time and get caught up in traffic, I make it just in time but on arrival at the surgery grounds there is no space to park the car. I then have to travel around to find a space and now I am losing time and may miss my appointment. I find a spot a
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Franz Kafka (German pronunciation: [ˈfʀants ˈkafka]) 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 lite ...more
More about Franz Kafka...

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“It's only because of their stupidity that they're able to be so sure of themselves.” 419 likes
“From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached.” 173 likes
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