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A Country Doctor

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  4,123 ratings  ·  259 reviews
Written during the winter of 1916-17 when Kafka was living in one of the tiny houses on Golden Lane (formerly Alchimistengasse) at Prague Castle, and published in spring 1920 by Kurt Wolff Verlag, the 14 short fictions comprising this volume are interconnected by a persistent exploration of identity, where even animals anthropomorphize into a new identity. "Before the Law, ...more
Hardcover, Kafka's Short Prose, 92 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by Twisted Spoon Press (first published 1919)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Ein Landarzt = A Country Doctor, Franz Kafka

A Country Doctor is a short story written in 1917 by Franz Kafka. It was first published in the collection of short stories of the same title.

The plot follows a country doctor's hapless struggle to attend a sick young boy on a cold winter's night. A series of surreal events occur in the process, including the appearance of a mysterious groom (stablehand) in a pig shed.

It begins with the doctor having to urgently attend a sick patient, but his sole hor
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Filling prescriptions easy, but getting on with people is much harder.

As Human beings we are endowed with inquisitive brain, which is always in search of something to amuse it like a hound, chases it prey (who ostensibly us- the human) as if some of sort of evil force is guiding it. There are various human emotions such as guilt, regret, shame, anger and frustration which ride upon that force to keep us always on our toes. Kafka is one such author who delves into deep recesses of our brain to b
Sidharth Vardhan
May be I had developed a habit of looking for an allegory or something in ever work Kafka say but this is more of a mixed bag by his standards. I will comment only on a few stories – that I had to read at least twice.

Country Doctor

A short story showing snow ball effect after an initial not-so-important-looking choice. Like a snowball, Country doctor is struck down the wrong path and he knows it, there are elements (horses!) that keep reminding him that he must return, he wishes to and can, yet h
The Country Doctor is the title of one of the stories published in a collection of the same name. They are also included in some versions of The Metamorphosis.

The New Advocate

A short, surreal animal story: a war horse gives up war to become a lawyer!

A Country Doctor

A disturbing story, with nightmarish unreality (magical realism, even?), coupled with sinister snow (as in The Castle) and a suffering child.

The doctor has to get to the child, but the snow is heavy and he is without a horse. Yet som
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
the day I read this story, it was part of a jeopardy question. and on top of that, none of the contestants knew that Kafka was the author.
Το Άθχημο γατί του θενιόρ Γκουαναμίρου
" But have I the right to expect something good, at the age of thirty-four, with my highly fragile lungs and still more fragile human relationships? Country doctor is more probable; if you look for confirmation, the father’s curse is there at once. Lovely nocturnal sight when hope wrestles with the Father".

From: Letters to Friends, Family, and Editors, letter to Max Brod from Zürau, mid-September 1917)

What we have here is a short story, a dark fairytale and at the same time a dream, a descent in
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
English: A Country Doctor
The title story of Kafka's 1920 text collection is really, really dark: It is told from the perspective of the title-giving country doctor, a man who is confronted with the plight of simple rural folk every day while lacking the means to truly care for them. The doctor's horse has died in the winter's cold, and when he is called to an emergency during the night, he has to borrow two horses while knowing that the guy who has helped him will probably rape his housemaid rig
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This is an interesting one. If you can get past all the strangeness, there is quite a lot of meaning in this one. The country doctor is a paragon of commitment. He has dedicated his life to serving the villagers, and with much personal sacrifice. On top of that, he is misunderstood and taken advantage of. He is imperfect and fallible, yet unrealistic demands are made of him, by the people whom he serves. It is curious that the groom is both a benefactor and a predator. Then the cost of comm ...more
Wael S
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The dreamlike setting of this short story left me bewildered and with a lot of questions. until I decided I better read an analysis of this story. It is then I understood what Kafka was trying to communicate. I was amazed to say the least!
as if Kafka transformed his thoughts and sat there in the middle of a dark nightmare writing as he watched the events in the story unfold before his eyes.

below is the link to the analysis I've read

the other link is an award winning Japanese animation of this s
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book
Sometimes things just stop making sense. You make decisions that you have made before and still it just turns out to be all different.

It's confusing enough to make your life make sense when you do the same thing day in and day out. It gets worse with new equations and new variables added in the old results.

The story of a country doctor tells us just that. A false alarm by a patient and the doctor is left confused with the path he decided to tread his whole life.

The story leaves us wondering a
Jan 07, 2010 rated it liked it
A small collection of short stories by Kafka. They are all quick reads, as none of them go beyond ten pages, with the exception of the last one. Of course, "quick read" is a bit misleading with Kafka, whose writing always deserves more careful consideration. I will have to return to a few of these stories to make sense of them.

The most amusing story for me was "A Report for an Academy," which was a letter written by an ape who had successfully assimilated to life among humans.
Soham Chakraborty
When I went into Golden Lane of the enormous Prague Castle in mid afternoon, I had no clue that Kafka lived there on house number 22. All the rooms, separated by thin - as thin as the width of a hair - walls, constituted a living space, where ostensibly, less fortunate people lived. Kafka, exhausted of his rancorous apartment, took refuge in house no 22, where he used to come after his day job as the doctor of law in the Workers' Accident and Insurance Institute for the Kingdom of Bohemia, to sp ...more
Samuel Mustri
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing

'The Country Doctor' is one of Kafka's most enigmatic, because it is one of his most symbolic, and his symbols defy easy explanation. Suddenly, however, it transforms itself into nightmare.

There are narratives under another under another… so that the story is layered just as an onion is.  The only difference is that with an onion you have the certainty that it has an exhaustible number of layers, not so with “A Country Doctor."

This onion-like structure in the story has many effects, of which
Jan 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Short story readers
Shelves: short-story, classic
I wasn't quite ready for this story, nor was I ready for it to have ended as quickly as it did. A hauntingly vivid tale that stays with you far longer than you expect it to. One crisis leads to annother. An innocent life is put in peril for cost of a false alarm.

Symbolism abounds in this piece.

Amazing how a short story can really get under your skin and make you examine the choices people make and the ramifications of those decisions.
Apr 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I can totally bet this was actually one of Kafka's dreams, so delusional and enigmatic as it was. There are countless times when I force myself to deliver such wispy dreams (which make less sense to me in daylight than in the middle of a night) on paper but my simpleton mind can not make a head or tail of such writings and consider them deplorable.
That is why Kafka who manages to bring a rhapsodic dream into an alive and breathing short story is such an endearing writer to me.
Assia  Mohdeb
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
To be quite honest, I think that there isn't (and there will never be) the right way to explain Kafka's stories, but I will try to give my explanation of it : well, I think it is a dream of an over frustrated old doctor who went through many stressful things during his life, due to his profession. In addition, it criticizes those people who think they are better acquainted in some things then the real 'doctors'. That is why he thinks he's fooled. Perhaps many people asked him for help when it wa ...more
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
well, I don't think I'd rate anything by Kafka less than five stars, actually I can't help it I am in love with this wretched man and his masterpieces ...more
Prakash Waka
Another book by Kafka, another disappointment.
I am beginning to be convinced that Kafka's stories are meaningless and nonsensical and that his notoriety comes from people who, in front of this lack of sens, cry out to genius in front of what they do not understand (since there is nothing to understand) and who thus try to find a meaning to this web of nonsense, going way too far in this process. Either that or I missed it again.

Among the short stories in this collection, the only ones I found no
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do I understand the underline meaning of this Kafka's short story? Totally not. But at some point, his works perhaps can be read out of pleasure for a self-deprecating person like me. Despite being good by conditions, as a human we might eventually lose some sense of human spirit. That is what I think of this story. We feel helpless, worse than that we are satisfied to be helpless so as we don't have to intend to be participated in any life being. The Doctor encounters his conflict, not just whe ...more
Diane S ☔
Was cleaning out a book case in one of my smaller bedrooms and of course I ended up examining books I had not looked at for many years. Remember reading this eons ago and since it had been many years since I has read Kafka, I ended up reading some of the stories.

As strange and brilliant as it was the first time I read it. A country doctor, feeling used, no control over his own life, has a very outwardly experience when he is called to the home of a patient. Only at the very end does he attempt t
Anna at A Wondrous Bookshelf
May 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Don't be fooled by the short size of this story. Only 5 pages and so much is packed in those pages. First time I attempted to read, and I say attempted because one needs a certain maturity level to truly understand Kafka, I was in my teens trying to read Metamorphosis. Years later, I came across A Country Doctor and the thing that always impresses me about Kafka is the fact that nothing he writes is at face value. There is so much symbolism and so much reading in between the lines. This is defin ...more
The Bibliophile Doctor
This one is such a bewildering tale

Pretty impressed how Kafka made a brilliant point in a such short story.

Kafka can handle any subject gracefully leaving readers awed and thoughtful.

Being a doctor myself, I could relate to this story much more. Its sad what people think about Doctor in the story and perhaps story in reality and nowadays isn't different at all.
Aug 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
I purchased this book and Contemplation while in Prague a few years ago. The illustrations in both books are perfect, and I really enjoyed the stories. I think I would have enjoyed them even more if I had read them in a lit class since some are difficult to understand.
Ahmed Murad
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chaima - شيماء
Sep 18, 2020 rated it liked it
What a smart story!
A short story of an old doctor whose horse died a night before, but a groom accidentally decides to offer him two horses, then fools around with Rosa, the doctor's maid! The doctor wants to say something but he feels to be in the groom's debt. When the doctor arrives to the house of his patient, he discovers that the ill boy has a massive wound with worms inside. The patient's family and village elders sing a weird religious song and undress the doctor, and lay him beside the
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's interesting how a story can feel like a valuable experience even when you can't say you really understand it, what happens in it, or its point. Somehow these stories (many of them, not all for me at least on this first reading) touch on something human or existential though for most of them I'd be hard put to put into words what. The worlds described are set in different realities than the one I imagine we live in, yet described in such a neutral and certain way that they appear realistic e ...more
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Short stories. Some are wonderful others good. Loved reading it
Oct 28, 2020 rated it did not like it
scared the crap out of me the first time around, still does
Mithesh Kumar
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read, I re read, I introspected, I let my imaginations run wild. Fafkain stories showcase our deficiencies in a dark manner, also few stories like these feel like an enigma.
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Yo.... what?
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Franz Kafka 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 literature.

His stories include "The Metamorph

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