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Franz Kafka's The Castle (Dramatization)
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Franz Kafka's The Castle (Dramatization)

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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  26,771 ratings  ·  225 reviews
Note - This is not the novel by Franz Kafka! For the novel see The Castle
Paperback, 59 pages
Published June 1st 2003 by Dramatist's Play Service (first published January 1st 2003)
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4.07  · 
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 ·  26,771 ratings  ·  225 reviews


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Trevor
Aug 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature
There is a lot of talk about Kafka and nightmares – and with good reason. However, his nightmares are never quite what you might expect - expectations are always a problem when reading Kafka, firsst they get in the way and then they get dashed. In Metamorphosis there is the ‘yuck’ factor of the main character becoming an insect – but that is hardly the ‘nightmare’ of that book. In The Trial the point is in being accused of something, but never being told what it is you have been accused of, but ...more
Lasse
Oct 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kafka
„The Castle“ was the first book by Kafka I read. It was winter at that time and I had a fever, two aspects that certainly intensified this unique reading experience. The book puzzled me a lot back then and it kept me thinking and I tried to solve the mystery surrounding it.
Much has been said about the symbolism in the book; the castle and its complex system of clerks and competences, is often seen as a symbol of the horror of modern bureaucracy, K, the lonely antagonist, stands for the struggle
...more
Cecily
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
...more
Raven
Oct 23, 2007 rated it it was ok
I feel like I've been reading this book for 6 months when in actual fact it has been just under a month and after much struggling and determination I just can't keep reading it anymore and yet a part of me wants to keep reading it even though it's a torment. I feel as though if I stop reading I'm letting myself down and missing something. Perhaps it's because I want to know what's so good about Kafka. Why do I always seem to hear Kafka praised and nothing badly said about his writing? I have no ...more
Wyatt
Apr 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Kafka is a hell of a humorist, morbid as he is. The overarching irony in reading The Castle, is that we remain excluded from the castle. The characters that Kay (the protagonist) encounters are constantly supporting or denouncing one another, vying for plebian positions in the village of an unnamed, backwards European country. The rules of etiquette and means by which one gains distinction there are ever-changing.

Somewhere nearby looms the castle whose inner-workings are unclear and whose overa
...more
Anna Savage
Aug 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
On the one hand, this is a book I cannot praise enough. I recommend that everyone who hasn't should read it immediately. It's one of those books that reminds you what fiction can be and can mean. It's the first book that I've read through twice in a row since Infinite Jest. On the other hand, I have to warn anyone who intends to read it that it's likely to drive you insane. The story makes your brain itch. If I had to describe it in one word I'd go with tantalizing. And that might be okay if Kaf ...more
Eddie Watkins
May 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: czech-fiction
This is my favorite book that I've never actually finished. But then Kafka never finished it either.
Todd Martin
Mar 14, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
Reading Kafka's "The Castle" is like being trapped inside the head of a mental patient. It's irrational, stifling, claustrophobic, and filled with the sound of an unrelenting inner monologue that is helplessly compelled to analyze even the minutest occurrence for significance. The voice is ponderous, implacable and unremitting in its droning monotony. I almost agree with the author himself who requested the manuscript to be burned upon his death.

There was, however, one glimmer of an interesting
...more
Barnaby Hazen
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
He said it wasn't finished, but Kafka's self-doubt was chronic--a mental illness after all. The picture Kafka paints is a curiously amusing inconvenience, turned Sisyphean nightmare--a man's professional and personal spiral around an unmajestic building representing the constructs of meaninglessness and absurdity. He could've stopped anywhere, at a short story or a novella, and the story would have held profound meaning to me personally; but as the perfectly unresolved novel that it is, I am gra ...more
Lyn
Jul 17, 2011 rated it liked it
I am told this is a masterpiece of existentialist and absurdist literature, and the influence on modern art is unmistakable. Having said that, reading Kafka is like watching a prolonged Mentos commercial, it inspires a puzzled frown and the quizzical thought, "Is that German?"
Jonathan
May 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
In several conversations with Sarah Lawrence's best instructor I attempted to distinguish between what I then called "phrase-" and "sentence-level" virtuosity. I don't think I ever articulated the distinction very well. But midway through another Kafka novel, and having recently read Bernhard's Yes, I find myself thinking about this stuff again, and in the shower this morning I was struck by a much better way to frame the discussion:

In this case (and perhaps in only this case), I think it may ma
...more
g
May 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spring-2009
I haven't read Kafka in a while, except for the Penal Colony story that I sometimes go back to, and I had almost forgotten what the experience is like. This book does not benefit much from paragraphs, though it is divided into many chapters. It has a strange yet delicate way of going about punctuation marks. And the beautifully composed dialogues are inseparable from the text, as they straddle conversation and inner voices of the characters.

I very much enjoyed the way Amalia's story is juxtapos
...more
Noel
Jul 08, 2008 rated it liked it
Kafka is one of the most challenging authors to read. It is a tribute to his skills as a writer that one can sit and read his books, and be enthralled, although nothing ever happens in any of them. Kafka drags his reader through a world that makes no sense, and with each page as a reader your frustration and impatience grows at the circumstances the main character finds himself in. Yet, always even more annyoing is the main character's acceptance of playing by the absurd rules of the wacky socie ...more
Daniel Pecheur
Jul 06, 2010 rated it it was ok
I'm a huge lover of Kafka but I was somewhat bored by most of this book, even though the general concept and backdrop is intriguing in its very Kafkaesque fashion. One must remember the book was not published, so unlike most literature, it suffers from the lack of polish that we would find had it been edited or intended for publication. The book is interesting enough for its originality, with the setting of an obscure and enigmatic village where the main character K has arrived on official busin ...more
Katia!
Jul 31, 2009 rated it liked it
The fact that Kafka died before he resolved the plot made this novel more of a mystery to me. The plot is slow; a man enters a city and wishes to speak to the head of the castle, yet cannot seem to break through the bureaucracy to even get a foot in the door. Towards the end of the novel, he actually seems to be getting somewhere (although not through the proper channels) and it abruptly cuts off as it gets to the good stuff! I felt that the main character's struggles are so analagous the the ev ...more
Dave
Jan 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
This and Trial are extremely helpful in understanding social and work life. What's great about both of them is that you can never pin down them down to a particular allegory. You read and say, "Oh this is obviously about relating to God" and then that seems untrue, that it's about ambition and how modernity destroys the individual, and more interpretations emerge. Like fairy tales. Only problem is the paragraphs are so enormous I get squirmy.
Ashwini Nocaste
Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
The castle is again a marvellous product of the taverns of arcanity kafka had ventured into, as is reflected from the character who decides to fight something which he is unable to understand. The castle functions as a non-interpretable institution with unexplainable functions as it increasingly serves an apathetic and insensitive bureaucracy. It is a timeless classic and is still very applicable in today's time. The movie Brazil also went along similar lines exploring similar issues
Dave
Sep 05, 2007 rated it liked it
Really about defense lawyers trying to get to Gitmo.
Geoffrey
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a government employee, I found this infuriatingly familiar. Kafka perfectly encapsulated what bureaucracy feels like from the inside. Truth be told, I did not finish it. I just assumed he dies without finishing the quest, an ending for which there was much foreshadowing. The repetition was so familiar from my own life, I couldn't continue on, lest I forget what was real and what was the book.
Realini
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Castle by Franz Kafka
Stupendous

This is my second reading of The Castle.
What I listened to this morning is an adaptation, in an abridged format for the National Radio.
The Kafkaesque feeling was somewhat amplified, but not for a better effect, by the use of some modern sound effects.
Joseph K. is trapped in a surreal world, where he is called to make measurements, only to find that they are not required.
The Castle works like a mythological beast, with no regard for human dignity and with disreg
...more
Simon Cleveland, PhD
There is something to be said about completed books. For one they've gone through an extensive revisions (the good ones) to trim the excess and entice the reader with premise and story.

Kafka never finished The Castle. He never fully edited the piece either. One is often thrown into endless and sometimes unnecessary monologues where a character frequently repeats the same message. I felt as if Kafka said much in this book about nothing.

K, the protagonist, arrives in a village with the task of p
...more
James
Jun 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
In his essay on Franz Kafka in the infinitely special Cultural Amnesia, Clive James recommends that, “The best way to approach Kafka is probably just to plunge into The Castle and get lost. Getting lost and staying lost is the whole idea of the book, and a matchless symbol for how, according to Kafka, we really feel underneath, when we momentarily convince ourselves that we know what’s going on, while still suspecting that the momentary conviction might be part of the deception.”

I took Clive’s a
...more
Pierce
Jul 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Gonna say America didn't really count, and this is my first Kafka?

So my chief discovery with this novel is that it's impossible to read it in a public setting without feeling like some kind of intellectual poseur. "Like, Kafka? Seriously?" I hid the cover from my surroundings in pubs, parks, public transport.

The novel is hugely uncomfortable and very funny. There are times when it entertaining to read, and times where it is an endless drudge. Which is entirely the point. I am okay with committin
...more
Chris and Yuri
Sep 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chris and Yuri by: Haruki Murakami
First half: delicious weirdness.

Second half: hard to get through. Like everything else Kafka wrote, The Castle is an unfinished project. Mark Harman (no, not the guy from Jag), the translator, explains his agenda here is to give us as an English version that's as close to the text as Kafka left it as he can get.

This is great for Kafka scholars, but tough on readability: Kafka used little punctuation, and even less paragraph breaks. The second half gets so tedious I could only read a couple of pa
...more
Nana.
May 29, 2015 rated it liked it
I truly enjoyed the allegory on unresponsive bureaucracy, the subtext of mockery on the system of management and its feigned alienation, absolutely unneeded scrupulosity and mainly the frustration of attempts to conduct business and request help from arbitrary and elusive controlling systems.
Yet,
Although I'm a huge lover of Kafka, I found this book....let's keep it simple - dull. I seem to have been reading this book for a thousand years.
I guess this arises from the fact that the Kafka died bef
...more
Neil
Dec 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Kafka's writing style is very challenging at points, droning on with long, highly punctuated sentences, and even longer paragraphs... sometimes spanning 10 pages. Somehow... its utterly annoying and totally engaging at the same time, very bizarre.

Overall, it's a pity the book was unfinished, cause I was finally starting to get into it. For those who don't know, the book literally ends in mid-sentence.

The main character K. speaks for Kafka's obvious hatred for bureaucracy and authority. Toward th
...more
Trevor
Jan 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book presents an interesting concept of social power. There are those who want power and those with power. In this novel, K, is constantly struggling to reach this ideal, pie-in-the-sky dream of accessing the Castle which represents power. The politics involved to merely talk to the people who work for the castle is K's primary struggle throughout the book.

The constant politics of this book began to wear on me about halfway through the book. Perhaps if Kafka had the opportunity to finish th
...more
Aygul
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I bought this book because I watched the film,but according to me, the writer as nobody has told the bureaucracy so clearly until now.

The translation of this publishing house was very bad it made this reading, which was already boring, even more boring. The message in the movie was clearer.

The events that the cadastre has experienced bring people out of the wilderness

but those who are caught in the gear of the bureaucracy will understand very well. You see how the position of the officer change
...more
Brian
Aug 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
While some great prose, I can understand some of the frustration with the progress of the story line (or lack thereof). Almost achingly slow at points, I took my own expectations of forward movement to mirror K.'s in regard to the castle. This is truly a tale of someone slowly losing battle after battle for their own self worth and status. The end of the first edition is certainly a downer, though to read on is less enlightening, as the writing takes on a different feel. Dialogue comes to a scre ...more
Olga
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm not going to conceal that it was a bit tiresome to read The Castle but nevertheless Kafka’s work proved to be as brilliant as always.
The Castle represents red tape grotesquely exaggerated; all the pour villagers are humble part of society which doesn’t belonged to the elite but worships every step taken by anyone remotely belonging to the Castle.

Though I would say that bribery isn’t emphasized enough in order the bureaucracy would be shown in its ugliest form.

It doesn’t disappoint that the b
...more
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