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The Castle

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  27,030 Ratings  ·  1,007 Reviews
Franz Kafka's final novel tells the haunting tale of a man known only as K. and of his relentless, unavailing struggle with an inscrutable authority in order to gain entrance to the Castle. Although Kafka seemed to consider The Castle a failure, critics, in wrestling with its enigmatic meaning, have recognized it as one of the great novels of our century.

Unfinished at Kaf
Paperback, Oxford World's Classics, 336 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1926)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 28, 2007 George rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I'm re-reading The Castle 10 years later with older, more patient eyes and it's proving to be a wonderful time, especially with the new translation.

"The Eighth Chapter" of The Castle is, perhaps, some of the most beautifully composed writing in all of modern literature. The new translation adds a dreamy, sudden stillness and frightening sense of desolate open space in Kafka's work which is better known for his breathless, claustophobic style of writing and description. This feeling was lost and
Aug 18, 2012 Sonky rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 19th-Century Czech and German editors
Recommended to Sonky by: It is society's fault as a hole.
Honestly, I quit.

It was too, how do I say it?...Kafkaesque. But am I greater than the writer himself? No. Kafka quit too and just as mid-sentence as I--only later in the text. Evidently, he died of tedium. Thank goodness I stopped before Kafka's work killed me too.

I was not enriched by the petty squabbles of German? Czech? villagers and the gyrating evasions of bureaucrats worshiped in detail by said squabbling villagers. I didn't like the protagonist; I couldn't even admire K. for not liking K.
MJ Nicholls
Feb 24, 2016 MJ Nicholls rated it really liked it
Four stars to keep the Kafka cartel from adopting me to their ranks and slapping me with their theses on the role of Klamm as übermensch and Olga as überwench. Franz transfers The Trial to a small village, where K. struggles to receive an appointment at the department for deportment in the castle, and sets about seducing a barmaid on the floor of the bar (no one told me Kafka was so erotic!), and making wrong utterances to every person encountered. The fact this novel breaks off mid-sentence pro ...more
Feb 23, 2016 Fernando rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Los caminos kafkianos siempre son los más difíciles. La frase es mía pero lejos de creerme todo un filósofo, creo que resume lo que El Castillo representa. Todo, absolutamente todo lo que le pasa a K. en la novela se compone de futilidad, frustración, imposibilidad, fracaso. El castillo, infranqueable, el pueblo al que tiene que adaptarse, los pobladores, funcionarios, y las mujeres con las que se involucra sólo logran que el desasosiego de K. alcance límites insospechados y, en cierta manera, v ...more
Mar 05, 2011 Alessandro rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: confusing
The devil has a library. Alongside Necronomicon and Malleus Maleficarum, you can find a copy of Franz Kafka's The Castle. To read this is to know pain. This book is an ungodly torment. It doesn't even have proper paragraph division. There are paragraphs that contain chapters inside themselves. How much of a mind twist is that? Wall of text of death! The narrative unravels in a feverish and dream-like state and never breaks from it. Nevertheless, I manage to finish reading this sucker. Oh! I am t ...more
Dec 03, 2015 Zanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young land surveyor arrives in a village, appointed by the count of the castle on the hill overshadowing the country. In a dreamlike, labyrinthine tale riddled with material and emotional inconsistencies,Kafka envisions a bureaucratic administration bloated and twisted beyond all imaginings, in which reverence for authority is elevated to an extreme and bizarre form of religious observance (religion itself is tellingly absent). K's affaires and intrigues are governed by almost arbitrary and my ...more
Dec 30, 2014 Jonfaith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Only a total stranger could ask such a question. Are there control agencies? There are only control agencies. Of course they aren’t meant to find errors, in the vulgar sense of that term, since no errors occur, and even if an error does occur, as in your case, who can finally say that it is an error.

We were all once younger. I don't know if we have all been haunted.
Nov 29, 2015 Imene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

القلعة لفرانتس كافكا

بعد وفاته ترك كافكا رسالة لصديقه ماكس برود يطلب فيها
أن تحرق كل أعماله المنشورة والتي لم تنشر بعد من ذلك هذه
الرواية. الا أن الاخير لم يقترف هذه الجريمة الأدبية بل قام بجمع
.مسودات كافكا و اعاد ترتيبها وحرص أن تجد طريقها للعلن
ولأن افعالا" بسيطة" قد تغير وجه التاريخ فان ما قام به برود
غير وجه التاريخ الأدبي على الاقل اذ يكفي ان نعرف قيمة
الأسماء التي تأثرت بكتابات كافكا حتى ندرك حجم الخسارة التي
كانت ستحل بالفكر الانساني ومن ذلك نذكر ماركيز كامو سارتر
والقائمة تطول


*** Blue Coltrane
Exhausted after his long walk, K. thinks only to rest in the small village that has just reached. However, requires an authorization from the castle to spend the night. K. tried a bluff by pretending to be a surveyor hired by the count, and, to everyone's surprise, the administration confirms K. castle in office, and Deputy even aid twice for assist him in his task.
In the morning, K. is trying to solve this mystery, especially as it confirms him quickly no survey work is needed in the village. B
An extraordinary combination of beauty and subtle, paranoid horror - "growing inured to disappointment". Who else can make snow sinister (scary perhaps, but surely not sinister)? It ends in the middle of a sentence, more tantalisingly still, it ends with a mysterious old woman just about to say something... Very apt for a tale of layers of secrecy and never-ending frustration.

It can be interpreted as an allegory for Jewish alienation and/or as a semi-autobiographical rendition of his relationsh
Jeff Jackson
Ratings seem especially beside the point with The Castle. If you have any affinity for Kafka, it's worth your time. It contains some of his strangest and most disturbing images (the sound of singing children coming out of phone receivers) and a bone-deep feeling of being lost in a world whose rules we can't *even* fail to grasp. But it's also unfinished and there are moments late in the novel where you can feel Kafka spinning his wheels, getting lost within the continually forking paths of his c ...more
Yasmine mostafa
Feb 11, 2013 Yasmine mostafa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
رواية أخري غير مكتملة لفرانتس كافكا...رواية شديدة التعقيد، ملأى بالتفاصيل و الوصف حتى لتشعر انه يحكي حلما أو موقفا حدت له شخصيا مع ان أحداثها تدور خلال 6 أيام، ذلك الجو الكابوسي المقبض الذي يشعرك انما الكوابيس صنعت خصيصا لتتلائم مع كتابات كافكا... تطرأ في ذهنك عشرات الأسئلة عن الرواية التي قد يراها البعض مجرد تأويلات لأحلام رآها كافكا أو هي إثارة لأسئلة كانت تشغله من أجل الثورة على الظلم و الاستبداد...و حتى نهاية الرواية لن تدري من هو (ك) و لا من هو (كلم)،أسئلة لا حصر لها لم يكلف كافكا نفسه عناء ...more
Nicholas Karpuk
I think my reaction to the ending was roughly, "What? Really? Damn it!"

It ends in mid-sentence, and unlike Amerika, there's not a damn bit of closure. Most of the plot threads were left open, and it feels like most of the third act had been left undone.

I guess I didn't understand the level of completion, The Trial and Amerika giving me a sense that it might be mostly done, with a few holes and missing pieces.

Nope, it's a big damn tease.

And insult to injury, it feels like the least well edited
Kafka is the author of frustration. He writes about frustration, he's frustrated about writing, The Castle breaks off mid-sentence, he asked Max Brod to burn his work but he knew Brod wouldn't do it. Kafka knew he would be frustrated in frustrating his frustrated book about frustration. What's it all about? I don't know, you're not supposed to know, not knowing is the point. There's no decoder ring. In The Trial K. doesn't know how to defend himself, he doesn't even know what he's accused of, he ...more
Nov 13, 2009 Szplug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I originally read the Muir translation of The Castle years ago, and have just finished the recent one by Harman. I think I prefer the Muirs on a literary basis, and Harman's as to linearity and style. In both versions I cannot give a five-star rating, as, like all of Kafka's big three novels, they were unfinished when he died - indeed, The Castle ends in mid-sentence - and this flaw, this lack of resolution, cannot be overcome by editing regardless the number of times it is attempted.

Harman's tr
زهراء الموسوي
رواية معقدة وتحتاج لأكثر من قراءة لأنك في كل قراءة ستعود لتكتشف شيئا و تدرك أمرا لم تدركه من قبل.
هذا هو الحال مع كل روايات كافكا المليئة بالغموض

يقول الناشر بأن القصر هو مقومات الحياة بينما أنا ارتأيت أن القصر هو الهدف من وراء وجودنا هنا.
اقصد الحياة هي من أتت بِنَا ولكن لماذا وما هدفنا هذا ما كان كافكا يحاول التوصل اليه برأيي وهذا ما كان يسعى له بطل الرواية الذي كان تائها.

Nick Black
Jun 28, 2008 Nick Black rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Had Kafka lived to finish and edit this, it would be remembered as his greatest novel and one of the absolute masterworks of the Western canon. Le sigh, his death left a great cultural artiface incomplete and is a tremendous loss to us all.
Oliver Twist & Shout

No fue hasta que vi L'udienza, de Marco Ferreri, que no recordé que tenía este libro pendiente desde hacía meses y que además era un importante paso a dar para completar ese sistema cronológico que en mi cabeza me he montado acerca de la historia de la novela.

Y es curioso que, mientras veía la película de Ferreri, me decía que aquello parecía un mundo kafkiano. Luego descubrí que, efectivamente, es una especie de adaptación no oficial de El castillo. Ahí se explicita mucho más esa teoría que señ
Jan 31, 2009 L.S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
The book starts with K. arriving in the village near the castle. I found the first 40 pages a bit annoying because I was expecting him to get to the castle and let the story begin. But only when I finally understood that he is never to get to that castle I could finally enjoy the book. I think that the story could go on forever. It is said that the book is not finished. Maybe. But it is like it was left like that. After finishing it I had an odd reaction: I thought that I should re-read it at on ...more
Upon rereading this after maybe one or two decades:

K. is a hero, and we must love him. Sure, at times he is a base, contemptible blunderer, but his audacity and lack of prospects make him infinitely admirable.

It only causes me a little despair and anguish to realize that not all people agree with my assessment of this brilliant book.

The remainder of this review will be an oddly compiled salad of excerpts from my comments on this book in a recent discussion. They have been cut, pas
Aleksandar Janjic
Што би реко Ђуро у Надреалистима - "Па ја тек сад видим шта сам пропушто!". Мислим, ово је једна апсолутно феноменална величанственост од књиге. Нажалост - недовршена. И то тако дивљачки безобразно недовршена да се прекида у по реченице. Покушавам да замислим какав је то ментални склоп неког ко напише преко 300 страна неке књиге и онда се не потруди ни да заврши једну једину проклету реченицу. А то свакако није страно том КафЦи (иначе бих овде испалио неку сочну увреду, али сад нећу, јер ем је ч ...more
Jun 10, 2015 Behzad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
در این رمان هم مثل محاکمه با یه سازمان، یه موجود بسیار بزرگ روبرو هستیم که نمیشه ازش سر در آورد. نمیشه بهش نفوذ کرد. قصر هم مثل دادگاه قدرت خیلی زیادی داره و نفوذی که بر تمام مردم دهکده اعمال میکنه با واقعیت جور در نمیاد. ولی کای این رمان مثل کای محاکمه معصوم نیست. سعی هم نداره بی گناهی خودش رو ثابت کنه. در ابتدای ورورد به دهکده به اهالی میفهمونه که مسّاحه و اومده تا وارد قصر بشه. ولی وقتی میبینه جاده هایی که به طرف قصر میرن فقط در ظاهر بهش نزدیک میشن ولی در اصل پیچ میخورن و دور میشن، دست به هر ...more
Inderjit Sanghera
Mar 07, 2016 Inderjit Sanghera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'The Castle' lacks, perhaps, 'The Trials' viciousness and its sense of despair, instead the reader feels caught up in the more dream-like and ethereal world of village in which, the protagonist, 'K', is entrapped (or traps himself-unlike Josef K, 'K' is free to leave whenever he wishes) as he somnabulates through the snow-filled fantasy in which Kafka places him. Kafka had an unrivalled capacity to build surreal nightmarish worlds, world of bilious bureaucracy and ostentatious officialdom, yet t ...more
Peri Kitapları
Şato, umutla varılmak istenen bir yerin yarım kalmış hikayesi.

Zira, Kafka'nın okunması çok da kolay olmayan bu ilginç romanını bitirmeye ömrü yetmemiş.
Kahramanımız K., atandığı köyde görevinin tam olarak ne olduğunu ve bu görevi ona kimin verdiğini öğrenmek için Şato'ya, yönetime, ulaşmak istiyor kitap boyu.
Bu Şato'nun bulunduğu köyde ise , otorite ile bire bir görüşme fırsatı olmayan köylüler , yukarıdakilere karşı çıkmanın bedelinin dışlanmak olduğunu bildiği için köyün yönetimindeki olumsuzlu
Quân Khuê
Apr 26, 2016 Quân Khuê rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: masterpieces
Đây là một ngọn núi chớ không phải là lâu đài!
Jan 17, 2016 Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The Castle, whose contours were already beginning to dissolve, lay still as ever, K. had never seen the slightest sign of life up there, perhaps it wasn't even possible to distinguish anything from this distance, and yet his eyes demanded it and refused to tolerate the stillness. When K. looked at the Castle, it was at times as if he were watching someone who sat there calmly, gazing into space, not lost in thought and therefore cut off from everything, but free and untroubled; as if he were
Sarah Smith
Jul 23, 2012 Sarah Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking for aesthetic diversions while encamped at your parents' 250-acre rural farm for a summer of reading and writing before moving on to grad school for major leagues reading and writing activities, let me suggest dipping into the heavily annotated books at your local and increasingly religious small-town university for one hilarious joyride. Yes, writing in library books is tacky enough, but what if the marginalia attempts doggedly to make a case for the Castle, Kafka's emblem of ...more

A haunting, bleak religious allegory that is, for once, a haunting bleak religious allegory.

The small subplot (I was tempted to call it a subsection) regarding Amelia and Barnabas (a country girl summoned unwillingly to be the mistress of a creepy beaurocrat from where else but The Castle itself) is one of the best stand-alone ALMOST short stories ever.

You know how novels will sometimes break away from the main narrative and start dealing with a smaller story, not quite a subplot but self-contai
Vit Babenco
Sep 06, 2014 Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Keeping his eyes fixed upon the Castle, K. went ahead, nothing else mattered to him. But as he came closer he was disappointed in the Castle, it was only a rather miserable little tower pieced together from village houses, distinctive only because everything was perhaps built out of stone, but the paint had long since flaked off, and the stone seemed to be crumbling.”
Those who wield earthly power don’t sit high like Olympian gods they hide behind the closed doors concealed in the endless bureau
Ann-Cathrine (Literamour)
This is perhaps the most bewildering novel I have ever read. Somehow it was like snow: crystal clear in its details but when focusing too long it melts in the Palm of your hand.
I kept for a long time waiting for the plot to become clear until I realized that this was exactly the point. The obscurity and claustrophobia alongside the total alienation were the plot. At least this is how I understand it now.
These points make The Castle the most current and thought-provoking story I have read in 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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“I dream of a grave, deep and narrow, where we could clasp each other in our arms as with clamps, and I would hide my face in you and you would hide your face in me, and nobody would ever see us any more” 142 likes
“One must fight to get to the top, especially if one starts at the bottom.” 30 likes
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