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The Trial
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Buddy Reads > The Trial-- Buddy Read

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message 1: by Nargus (last edited Apr 27, 2016 02:28AM) (new)

Nargus | 567 comments This is a buddy read for The Trial by Franz Kafka. Feel free to join in the discussion! :)


Darren (dazburns) | 1351 comments I am reading it even as we speak! so will certainly join in any discussion...


message 3: by Desertorum (new) - added it

Desertorum I just got this book from my mom (they were moving and she wanted to give some of her books to me) and would like to join, if I just find the time!


message 4: by Pink, Old School Classics (new) - rated it 3 stars

Pink | 6220 comments Mod
Looking forward to starting this next month :)


message 5: by Nathalie (new)

Nathalie | 306 comments I will start reading with you as soon as I have a copy. I went to the library this weekend but the only copy available then was in German. But I'm looking forward to reading this!


Darren (dazburns) | 1351 comments I'm 86% through already and will probably finish later today!

promise not to post any spoilers for a while yet though! ;o)


message 7: by Katy, New School Classics (new) - added it

Katy (Kathy_H) | 7437 comments Mod
Darren wrote: "I'm 86% through already and will probably finish later today!..."

Wow, it must be good.


Darren (dazburns) | 1351 comments I started it before this Buddy Read was finalised, so had a head start
finished it last night
5 Stars
will need to spend a while letting it sink in though, before I post review/discussion...


message 9: by Sherry (new)

Sherry | 257 comments It's a crazy story. I love the old movie, directed by Orson Wells. It's on you tube. When you see that movie you learn what Kafkaesque means!


message 10: by Pink, Old School Classics (new) - rated it 3 stars

Pink | 6220 comments Mod
Darren, 5 stars is high praise, I'm glad you liked it so much. I have a couple of books to finish off, but I should start this one in a day or two.


Janet Aileen | 2 comments First, I'll read the book. Then, I'll watch the movie. Looking forward to the discussion and reviews.


Loretta | 2662 comments Started reading this yesterday. I think I've found a new/old favorite author! I just love the way he writes! :)


message 13: by Darren (last edited May 05, 2016 04:26PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Darren (dazburns) | 1351 comments first few feeble attempts to approach review:
this really shouldn't've worked - basically a nightmare scenario - people describing their weird dreams usually gets boring really quickly - but this was sublimely transcendent - it was also a tremendous achievement purely in terms of how Kafka was able to keep stringing one idea after another yet it never felt forced or disjointed, but rather flowed fascinatingly - how is that even possible!?
I read it on Kindle and have never highlighted so much stuff - it would've been easier to highlight the few bits that weren't noteworthy!


message 14: by Sherry (new)

Sherry | 257 comments He had a fascinating mind.


message 15: by Nargus (new)

Nargus | 567 comments Obtained a uni library copy of the collection of Kafka's novels - but to my dismay, I found that there's a few missing pages at the front, and it starts with The Trial! Unscrupulous behaviour ... or maybe a sign that those pages could not be parted with, they were that good...


message 16: by Pink, Old School Classics (new) - rated it 3 stars

Pink | 6220 comments Mod
Nargus wrote: "Obtained a uni library copy of the collection of Kafka's novels - but to my dismay, I found that there's a few missing pages at the front, and it starts with The Trial! Unscrupulous behaviour ... o..."

I like how you've turned the missing pages into a positive! Do you read e-books? If so it's available for free on project Gutenberg and with the serial reader app.


message 17: by Darren (last edited May 06, 2016 06:17PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Darren (dazburns) | 1351 comments AHA!
I knew I recognised some of the dialogue from the bit near the end with the doorkeeper
it's in one of my fave movies "After Hours"
check out the first minute of this clip:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bzTa...


message 18: by Nargus (new)

Nargus | 567 comments Pink wrote: "Nargus wrote: "Obtained a uni library copy of the collection of Kafka's novels - but to my dismay, I found that there's a few missing pages at the front, and it starts with The Trial! Unscrupulous ..."

Yes, I do read e-books (though I've been reading them less often currently because I like how hard copies allow me to disconnect from technology). But, I've spoken about this before in another thread, I'm a little picky about translation editions - so I'll probably grab this one from my local library. Thanks for the suggestion though :)


message 19: by Nargus (new)

Nargus | 567 comments Loretta wrote: "Started reading this yesterday. I think I've found a new/old favorite author! I just love the way he writes! :)"

That's great, Loretta! You're making me want to start reading this soon.


message 20: by Pink, Old School Classics (new) - rated it 3 stars

Pink | 6220 comments Mod
No problem Nargus, I hope you find a copy you're happy with. I forgot about the translation problems for this and I think Kafka is someone who's work can often suffer. Hopefully the edition I try will be okay, fingers crossed.


message 21: by Darren (last edited May 07, 2016 01:05PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Darren (dazburns) | 1351 comments I read the Kindle version which has 2014 translation by David Wyllie - don't know whether this is considered any good?

I think I'm getting better at "making allowances" for poor translations though - I realise that certain phrases in certain languages can be tricky to translate, so when I read a particularly "clunky" bit I try to use the context and remind myself of the German/Russian/Italian/whatever mindset (plus the time difference and historical context of course!) to help absorb the "intent" (if that makes sense!?)


message 22: by Pink, Old School Classics (new) - rated it 3 stars

Pink | 6220 comments Mod
Okay, I'm going to come out and say it. I'm bored. I'm about halfway through and while I think in some ways it's a really great story, the writing and translation seem fine, I just don't feel like picking it up each day. I have a feeling I'm going to be in the minority with this opinion.


Loretta | 2662 comments Pink wrote: "Okay, I'm going to come out and say it. I'm bored. I'm about halfway through and while I think in some ways it's a really great story, the writing and translation seem fine, I just don't feel like ..."

Ah, that's a big N to the no Pink! I'm also halfway through and I'm like you, bored! It was really interesting initially, but now, I'm so disinterested! It's been very hard for me to pick it up and continue, but continue I will! It has to get better, right? Right? :)


message 24: by Pink, Old School Classics (new) - rated it 3 stars

Pink | 6220 comments Mod
I'm pushing through, but I've just reached chapter 7 and my heart sank when I noticed it was 109 pages long. These are only tiny pages, reading on my phone, but even so it's the longest chapter so far and has made me put it down again.

This feels like the sort of book I'd praise the concept of, but not actually enjoy the read. I want it over soon just to get it done with, but really hope it picks up for me.

Also, does anyone else think that some of the chapters are only loosely connected? Like they're individual ideas for a story, rather than a progression of the plot.


Loretta | 2662 comments I feel the same. The book's chapters are very chopped up. I'm also on chapter seven and it seems to me that many characters are being introduced who really don't serve much to the plot and "The Trial"! And all these women he's getting involved with, what purpose do they serve? That's why I'm reading onward because I hope at the end of the book it will all come together. One can only hope...:)


message 26: by Darren (last edited May 12, 2016 03:07AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Darren (dazburns) | 1351 comments the original title is "Der Prozess" which can be translated at The Process - I took it very much on a existential level - process oriented rather than object oriented - I didn't expect/look for much in the way of a "plot"

also, I don't think Kafka actually finished it properly and it was only published after his death, so there's that... ;o)

I think I'm going to have to read it again before I can do a proper review...

of all the free Kindle/gutenberg books I've read this is only the second time I've wanted to buy an actual physical book that I can have on a shelf at home so that I can take it down any time and hold/smell/open/read (the first one was H.G. Wells' "The History Of Mr Polly", when I treated myself to a 1910 edition!)


message 27: by Pink, Old School Classics (new) - rated it 3 stars

Pink | 6220 comments Mod
Yeah, I know that it wasn't finished when he died and I wonder if that knowledge alone influences my attitude towards it. Being edited and rearranged by someone else into a comprehensive story, makes me wonder how much of it was his original idea, how fully developed was this book, or how much was shuffled together to make it fit? But it certainly feels like the work of one author to me and it is very similar in style and tone to The Metamorphosis, so I think Kafka's voice is shining through, even if it has been altered afterwards. I just think the chapters are quite unconnected to each other. Mind you, they're all very surreal and that might be why I feel a little disconnected from them.

Oh yes, the women! What is going on with all of these women throwing themselves on K to help him?

I watched a short youtube video about Kafka's life yesterday and I came away feeling even more sorry for him than I did before. I think his feelings of helplessness and inadequacy in his Father's eyes definitely come across in his work.


Loretta | 2662 comments The copy I got from the library (which looks like it's a hundred years old) has an appendix of the unfinished chapters, "passages deleted by the author" and postscripts to the first edition (1925), second edition (1935) and third edition (1946) and lastly, the "translator's notes". Also, there are drawings on the first page of every new chapter.

I wasn't going to read the unfinished chapters, postscripts or the translator's notes because I just want to finish the book already but now I think I will because maybe they'll offer some more insight.


message 29: by Pink, Old School Classics (new) - rated it 3 stars

Pink | 6220 comments Mod
If you do read more about it, I'd be interested to know which passages/ chapters were finished and what was changed or added.


Darren (dazburns) | 1351 comments right, so I just bought the 2009 Oxford World's Classics edition, translated by Mike Mitchell, which has all sorts of notes etc so I should be somewhat the wiser after it arrives in a couple of days and I read it again!


message 31: by Sherry (new)

Sherry | 257 comments Pink wrote: "Yeah, I know that it wasn't finished when he died and I wonder if that knowledge alone influences my attitude towards it. Being edited and rearranged by someone else into a comprehensive story, mak..."

I've read a little about Kafka too. I don't remember details but I remember feeling sorry for him too.


message 32: by Loretta (last edited May 12, 2016 03:16PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Loretta | 2662 comments I struggled to finish this today. Chapter seven is painfully long winded. It just keeps going on and on about the law and lawyers. I don't want to give the end away but I nearly danced a jig knowing it was over, literally!

I said that perhaps I would read the unfinished chapters of the book and the postscripts, but I can't bear anymore. I did, however read the translator's notes which consisted of letters between himself and Kafka. They were interesting but they were just letters between the two and Kafka's wishes to the translator about his unfinished manuscripts and drawings.

The Metamorphosis was, to me, a far better book and a five star read. The Trial only gets two stars from me.

And a big thank you to all members who are participating in this group read! It was my first one and I enjoyed it very much! :)


message 33: by Melanti (last edited May 12, 2016 03:51PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Melanti | 2429 comments Pink wrote: "Yeah, I know that it wasn't finished when he died and I wonder if that knowledge alone influences my attitude towards it. Being edited and rearranged by someone else into a comprehensive story, mak..."

That's something that really bugs me with Kafka too.
I like him a lot - even this one - but there's a polished feel to his short stories that wasn't there in The Trial.

I agree that some of the chapters seemed somewhat disconnected from each other and blame the editing process. It worked for me due to the surreal air but IMO, it definitely shows that it was unfinished.


Loretta | 2662 comments Melanti wrote: "Pink wrote: "Yeah, I know that it wasn't finished when he died and I wonder if that knowledge alone influences my attitude towards it. Being edited and rearranged by someone else into a comprehensi..."

How many stars did you give the book Melanti?


Melanti | 2429 comments 4. I never got around to writing an actual review though.


Loretta | 2662 comments Melanti wrote: "4. I never got around to writing an actual review though."

Thanks...


Ashley Adams | 26 comments Sorry to jump in. Like many of you, I loved Metamorphosis, and couldn't slug through The Trial. For a similar feel (I think, more interesting) approach try Nabokov's Invitation to a Beheading


message 38: by Loretta (last edited May 12, 2016 04:39PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Loretta | 2662 comments Ashley wrote: "Sorry to jump in. Like many of you, I loved Metamorphosis, and couldn't slug through The Trial. For a similar feel (I think, more interesting) approach try Nabokov's [book:Invitation to a Beheading..."

Please don't apologize Ashley! Thanks for your insight! :)


Melanti | 2429 comments Ashley wrote: "Sorry to jump in. Like many of you, I loved Metamorphosis, and couldn't slug through The Trial. For a similar feel (I think, more interesting) approach try Nabokov's [book:Invitation to a Beheading..."

Invitation to a Beheading was the whole reason I read The Trial in the first place! I wanted to compare them for myself.


message 40: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 592 comments I'm still in Chapter 1! I have a lot of books on the simmer, and this one is hard to force myself to pick up at the end of the day.

My edition (Steiner translation, 1992) has the dialogue run together into long paragraphs. It's really claustrophobic. Is every translation like that?

Also, the foreward mentions that no one is 100% sure which order the chapters were supposed to go in, so that may explain the disjointed feel.


message 41: by Desertorum (new) - added it

Desertorum I haven´t even started this...so busy in the holiday! And with library books, so probably need to shift this to a later time :(


message 42: by Pink, Old School Classics (new) - rated it 3 stars

Pink | 6220 comments Mod
Ah that's a shame you don't have time right now, but I know that feeling too well. I hope you find time for it later, this thread will still be open when you're ready :)


message 43: by Bob, Short Story Classics (last edited May 14, 2018 02:18PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Bob | 3153 comments Mod
We now have a group read for The Trial. Please follow and continue the discussion in the appropriate threads:

The Trial - No Spoilers

The Trial - Spoilers


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