**spoiler alert** Oh the mundane! But that's the point, isn't it? A life full of experiences where questions are never answered and nothing is really...more**spoiler alert** Oh the mundane! But that's the point, isn't it? A life full of experiences where questions are never answered and nothing is really explained, but merely ends. Sounds a lot like most of our lives, no? That's what one gets reading Kafka.
In this particular work, the reader is introduced to Joseph K., whose last name is never given. He works in a Bank, and is successful. He rents a room, and is the most respected of the boarders. He could be anyone's neighbor. He is arrested for committing a crime, but is never told what crime. He is an accused man, but never actually stands trial. Interrogations occur, but he never actually stands trial. Somehow in the midst of all the intrigues of the Court, lack of explanations, and a lawyer working for him who never seems to do much but lay in bed, he is convicted and executed. As far as court proceedings are concerned, it's every accused person's worst bureaucratic nightmare. I found it fascinating.
I'm not sure I've ever read a posthumous work that was so obviously incomplete. This doesn't detract from the work, but rather causes the reader to wish Kafka had managed to finish. I appreciated that the incomplete chapters were included at the end, as well as end notes of things that were crossed out (so that the reader is given the opportunity to piece the work together if they wish, since one is informed that the work was not finished, and therefore not fully edited, etc.). I hadn't read The Trial before, and was glad that the edition I ended up with had the multiple postscripts from Kafka's friend (Max) that explained the mystery of ordering the chapters and the work's route to publication. I found the excerpts of Kafka's diary from the period when he wrote The Trial quite fascinating as well.
Will I ever read it again? Probably not. Will I read more of Kafka's work? Definitely.(less)