This was a strange book! Josef K walks free, but is bound by some sort of probation like he was wearing an invisible ankle bracelet. I never knew whatThis was a strange book! Josef K walks free, but is bound by some sort of probation like he was wearing an invisible ankle bracelet. I never knew what K's formal charge was, but I suspected it might relate to his womanizing in some way. His involvement with Fräulein Bürstner, another boarder in the building where he lives, and later with Leni, his advocate's nurse, made me wonder about his history with women. Even so I never considered him guilty of any crime, but obviously framed. His accusers used pressure and bullied him ... it was scary. Psychologically they seemed to be breaking him down to the point he began questioning himself. He begins searching for a defense and after securing one on his uncle's recommendation he then decides he could do better representing himself. He is confused by the whole affair and frankly the "kangaroo court" he faces seemed to spout gibberish at times. After an encounter with a priest who tells him a fable with an ominous ending, he becomes hopeless about his situation. When executioners approach him and lead him to a fatal punishment I wondered how things could have gotten so far without a fair and legal trial. Kafka's trial never proved a basis for the mysterious charges.
After reading the background on this novella, I discovered that it was originally unfinished at the time of the author's death. It was completed by Max Brod, a friend of Kafka's, who organized and edited the work in progress. I wonder if Kafka had completed this book would things have become clearer eventually.
This book made me think about the legal doings of courts and lawyers as I watched scenes of the infamous Casey Anthony trial on television. I won't dig into any possible comparisons between K and Anthony's trials. But I continue to wonder how much of each case was true, and how much was false...who can judge either objectively?...more