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Investigations of a Dog

3.13  ·  Rating details ·  2,291 ratings  ·  305 reviews
'If I think about it, and I have the time and inclination and capacity to do so, we dogs are an odd lot.'

How does a dog see the world? How do any of us? In this playful and enigmatic story of a canine philosopher, Kafka explores the limits of knowledge.

Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each
Paperback, 57 pages
Published February 22nd 2018 by Penguin Classics (first published 1922)
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Average rating 3.13  · 
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Mark Porton
Jun 05, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Oh boy……..

I tried; I really did. I don’t mind a bout of mental gymnastics, trying to understand the un-understandable. But sometimes you must realise when you’re beaten.

Investigations of a Dog by Franz Kafka

I have just done 15 rounds with the mental equivalent of Muhammad Ali or 4 rounds of golf with Tiger Woods – or, I’ve been matching wits with a lunatic. I’ve only read one of Kafka’s before, Metamorphosis – and Gregor is one of my all-time favourites. Poor bastard, it was sad and funny and to
Huda Aweys
There is another review in Arabic after this review - مراجعتى بالعربية تلى تلك المراجعة مباشرة
What is the use of science and researches in the details as long as the nature is generous and simply give without a need for this research? , And what is the feasibility of science in exchange for knowledge gained by humanity over the centuries? Then , what is the feasibility of it in front of the greed of some people in the end !, wich does not require to all those science and research to face it?! ,
Sidharth Vardhan
Not the best of Kafka. A satire on scientific methods and too much dependence on logic in order to discover the truth. The dogs are too unable to see presence of a higher intelligence in form of human beings; perhaps are unwilling to even think of it - just as human atheists are unwilling to see chance of existence of a higher intelligence than themselves.

Also perhaps Kafka is satirizing his own methods.

It is something that narrator said about the dogs not speaking which interest me. Kafka must
David Sarkies
Jun 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Existentialists
Recommended to David by: My classic book group
Shelves: modernist
Faulty logic and flawed reasoning
8 June 2014

I think it is correct to say that with this particular short story you sort of wonder whether you should be laughing. I never pictured Kafka as being a comic of any sort, though this and Metamorphosis just have this really strange feel about them in that the concept is in one sense really bizarre, and in another sense so absurd you simply just want to laugh. However, unlike Metamorphosis, this particular story does not come anywhere near being what I
Jacob Overmark
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Definitely everything a dog owner should know, but did not dare ask his/her dog.

Where hitherto canine intelligence were defined by humans as the ability to sit/fetch/roll over, this little pamphlet gives a rare insight into the canine wisdom inherited down through thousands of generations.

The ability to ask hypothetical questions and conduct field experiments based on these has always been thought way beyond the canine brain capability.

However, essential questions regarding flock mentality and
Matthew Ted
Jan 27, 2021 rated it did not like it
I'm adding this without a read date as I read it as part of the Complete Short Stories. Maybe it is because of today's rain but this was unbearable to read. I like Kafka when Kafka is being forgiving, but here he is not. There are pages and pages of blocked text, words driving at nothing. I had to summon a great amount of patience and concentration to stop my eyes from wandering from the first word on the page to the last. I felt a bad mood descending simply because of this story. In the Complet ...more
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Kafka tends to say an awful lot without really saying much at all.

Good concept - a dog who doesn’t have an awareness of humans philosophises about where food comes from. I suppose it’s a satire of humans who don’t believe in a higher power? It had a couple of funny moments but overall a bit dull.

Would love to see another take of the whole philosopher-dog thing from another writer to be honest!
I must say that it was full of wits and thought-provoking.

Throughout this book, I have learned that there's a moment we have to accept something as it is, with no further inquiry, as it was for the best. To learn how to let go when it's needed. Dealt with your ego and selfishness. And secondly, luxury, comfort, etc, will not come if we just wait and see. We need to get up and actually do something, anything. Make the approach and initiative so that we won't ever regret it. While understanding t
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An absolute masterpiece! This dense short story affords, through the intervention of a dog narrator, Kafka to verbalise a litany of his metaphysical obsessions, from the unbearable sad passions of solitude to what Walter Benjamin calls the “animal gesture,” which is this simple and mysterious gesture that is supposed to allow the subject to escape the idealist lid imposed by modernity, consciousness, civilisation, technological progress… you name it!

Of course, any aficionado of Kafka’s fragment
Ram Alsrougi
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
It seems Kafka was overthinking when he wrote this!.. but he used interesting metaphors.
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely brilliant. From the perspective of a dog. Yet relating to humans. Wonderful work Kafka!
Zain Mirza
Dec 14, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was an ordeal to read and I'm glad it's over. ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: germanic-lit
The thoughts and ideas of a philosopher dog, searching for answers and for freedom in dogdom. Charming little story filled with interesting insights -
Dane Cobain
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you’ve read Kafka before then you should know roughly what to expect here. His writing style is the same as usual, and he raises all sorts of philosophical questions while showing us a dog’s mind. Cool.

May 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
fuck the scientific method 👊🏻❌ all my homies hate the scientific method 😤‼️
Jul 28, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
This is only a 57-page short story, but I couldn't finish it. Kafka here writes with almost a Proustian stream-of-consciousness kind of flow, with long sentences and gargantuan paragraphs, and all of it from the perspective of a rather pretentious dog. It just didn't work for me, and after three days of trying and a pile of books from the library I need to read before moving out of town, this one goes back in its Penguin Modern Classics box, sadly and frustratingly unfinished. ...more
Once again me and Kafka do not click. Had to give a star to the concept of the text as it was interesting but I did not like this short story. Apologies Kafka but you’re just not my cup of tea and between my reading of this and the Metamorphosis I don’t think i’ll he reading any more of your works. :(
وائل المنعم
I read it translated by Willa and Edwin Muir.

I liked it in the beginning but after ten pages i feel like "and so", it looks like an article more than a story. At the end you like the idea and that's all.
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most relevant books I've read in a long time, reminds me of Tolstoy's struggles with science and truth. But really weird, (... Kafkaesque?). ...more
Lauren (Cook's Books)
I don't know who I am or what I'm doing with my life anyone ...more
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved seeing the world through a dog's eyes and see Kafka play around with topics a dog could philosophize about. ...more
Andy Hickman
Penguin#14 - Franz Kafka - “Investigations of a Dog”

I get the existentialism, but you know, I am assuming that there is some satirical philosophy floating in amongst this piece of writing, but I don’t think I discovered any of it. **
'If I think about it, and I have the time and inclination and capacity to do so, we dogs are an odd lot.'
“The hardest bones, containing the richest marrow, can be conquered only by a united crushing of all the teeth of all dogs. That of course is only a figure of s
NAT.orious reads ☾
Ok, so this was quite fascinating short story. When looking at my rating, one has to take into account that a) this is my first Kafka ever and b) I am not doing well with the so called "classics". Writing back then was so much more about the writing itself than the story. Obviously, good writing skills are essential for the creation of a good piece of art, BUT at one point the content just needs to get attention to. I sometimes get the idea that classical authors bussied themselves more with the ...more
Jul 18, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: austria
This book is not only about the thoughts of a dog, it's much deeper than that. However, I am not into this kind of books, at least not in this phase of my life. That's why I give it 1 star. ...more
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A dog's philosophical wanderings into the world of humans, science, and the lives of dogs.
Reminds me of Virginia Woolf's "Flush"
Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the book I most want to illustrate in the world.
“In a world already darkened by others, we had to hasten towards death in an almost guilt-free silence.”
A book about dogs and Philosophy written by Kafka; it could have been perfect.
Nicole Cairney
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming contemplative story.
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we're reading doesn't wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for?"

One of the things that makes Kafka a great writer is how he sticks to this principle of his in his own writings - this piece, the first thing I've read by him in a few years and which I essentially ended up needing to finish in one sitting, gave me several of those "blows to the head" that seem to come out of nowhere once you've se
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Finished. What a book. What an introduction to Kafka. I cannot begin to say. How many ways and times can you talk and describe about a dog, and about a dog's hunger??!? This book was the most b-o-r-i-n-g and most repetitive book I have met in a long time! Yes it's well written and I cannot fault it's never ending descriptive details ... but I cannot otherwise recommend this book in any way .... unless you want to be bored to death!!!! ...more
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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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“The hardest bones, containing the richest marrow, can be conquered only by a united crushing of all the teeth of all dogs. That of course is only a figure of speech and exaggerated; if all teeth were but ready they would not need even to bite, the bones would crack themselves and the marrow would be freely accessible to the feeblest of dogs. If I remain faithful to this metaphor, then the goal of my aims, my questions, my inquiries, appears monstrous, it is true. For I want to compel all dogs thus to assemble together, I want the bones to crack open under the pressure of their collective preparedness, and then I want to dismiss them to the ordinary life they love, while all by myself, quite alone, I lap up the marrow. That sounds monstrous, almost as if I wanted to feed on the marrow, not merely of bone, but of the whole canine race itself. But it is only a metaphor. The marrow that I am discussing here is no food; on the contrary, it is a poison.” 13 likes
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