David's Reviews > The Trial

The Trial by Franz Kafka
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's review
Jan 25, 11

liked it
bookshelves: classics, fiction
Read from January 01 to 14, 2011

This was one of Kafka's works that was published posthumously by Kafka's friend despite his request that all of his unpublished writings be burned unread after his death. It is a satiric and symbolic tale of a man who mysteriously finds himself arrested and on trial one day. He can't figure out what exactly he's on trial for, and the mysterious court that is judging him is complex and surreal and unfathomable.

There were some really good things Kafka had going on here, but I just wasn't blown away. It was interesting, wonderfully atmospheric, and occasionally laughoutloud funny, but... meh.

I didn't find any of the characters interesting, and the fact that the novel was never finished was fairly obvious at times. There were themes and characters that never went anywhere, and I think if he'd finished the book it would've been more cohesive.

I've heard this is one of the best books of the 20th century, but I really don't see what all the fuss is about. Perhaps there's a great deal lost in translation, or maybe it is more effective when you're familiar with Kafka.

Worth a read, but don't do anything shameful to procure a copy. It's not that good.


Also, I just saw The Third Man (classic Orson Welles movie from the forties), and found it to be interestingly similar to The Trial. There were surreal and dreamlike shots, and the theme of bureaucratic ridiculousness was similar and awesome.
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