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The Trial by Franz Kafka

The Trial (original 1925; edition 2001)

by Franz Kafka

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
18,281218216 (4.01)558
The story of the mysterious indictment, trial, and reckoning forced upon Joseph K. in Franz Kafka' s "The Trial" is one of the twentieth century' s master parables, reflecting the central spiritual crises of modern life. Kafka' s method- one that has influenced, in some way, almost every writer of substance who followed him- was to render the absurd and the terrifying convincing by a scrupulous, hyperreal matter-of-factness of tone and treatment. He thereby imparted to his work a level of seriousness normally associated with civilization' s most cherished poems and religious texts. Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir… (more)
Title:The Trial
Authors:Franz Kafka
Info:Vintage, Paperback, 255 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

The Trial by Franz Kafka (1925)

  1. 203
    The Stranger by Albert Camus (chrisharpe, DLSmithies)
    DLSmithies: Two protagonists on trial without really understanding what they're being accused of - it's just a question of degree.
  2. 161
    The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (haraldo)
  3. 130
    Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges (johnxlibris)
  4. 121
    Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (SanctiSpiritus)
  5. 100
    Biblioteket i Babel : en antologi sammanställd ur novellsamlingarna Ficciones och El Aleph by Jorge Luis Borges (YagamiLight)
  6. 50
    The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy (SanctiSpiritus)
  7. 50
    Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov (SCPeterson)
    SCPeterson: Nabokov's book parallels Kafka both in style and theme. According to his Forward, Nabokov had not read Kafka when he wrote this, but he grudgingly nods toward Kafka as a "kindred soul".
  8. 40
    Kafka by David Zane Mairowitz (haraldo)
  9. 30
    The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (markusnenadovus)
  10. 30
    Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler (chrisharpe)
  11. 20
    Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature by Gilles Deleuze (S_Meyerson)
  12. 20
    Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman (gust)
  13. 10
    Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts by Samuel Beckett (SandraArdnas)
    SandraArdnas: Both masterpieces of the absurd
  14. 10
    Arrêtez-moi là ! by Iain Levison (Babou_wk)
    Babou_wk: Chronique d'une erreur judiciaire/policière.
  15. 00
    Bleak House by Charles Dickens (Osbaldistone)
  16. 00
    The Memorandum by Václav Havel (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: absurdist take on the workings of bureaucracy
  17. 00
    The Investigation by Philippe Claudel (jodocus)
  18. 22
    The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (markusnenadovus)
  19. 11
    Herzog by Saul Bellow (SanctiSpiritus)
  20. 00
    Un hombre al margen by Alexandre Postel (caflores)

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» See also 558 mentions

English (178)  Italian (8)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (5)  Catalan (4)  French (4)  German (3)  Swedish (2)  Danish (2)  Finnish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Greek (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (217)
Showing 1-5 of 178 (next | show all)
Franz Kafka never really finished this book. He said himself, to his friend Max Brod, that there were supposed to be more chapters involving the never-ending process before the end. Max says in the epilogue that "if you don't know this, you won't miss it." Well, I know. Do I miss it? No, I'm just happy I got through the book. Thank God it wasn't longer!

I see how this book is important, and I see how it is relevant today (aren't all books?), but it was just plain torture getting through it.

I give 3 stars: 1 for me (for finishing the book, well done, me) 1 for Franz Kafka, and 1 for poor Mr K.; may you rest in peace! ( )
  Count_Myshkin | Aug 11, 2022 |
In today’s world, which feels so much less clear and more upside down to me than the one I used to know, this book seems more prophetic than science fiction. An exploration of the absolute absurdity and uselessness of life and the total breakdown of any sensible justice system, it makes you shiver a bit. Does it make sense to struggle when there are no answers (in fact, not even questions that can be put to anyone other than yourself)? Seeking to understand what is going on around you, what is being done to you and what is expected from you is tantamount to insanity, for there are no explanations and no rules that you are allowed to know. There is less justice for those who seek to understand their human predicament, and more leniency for those who just happen to stumble upon the right approach or the right judge. Even the lawyers are clueless, and I don’t even want to try to make sense of how religion fails in this novel.

What, indeed, is K’s crime? It doesn’t matter. He doesn’t know what he has done, we don’t know what he has done, but living, alone, is crime enough. There is nothing to believe in in K’s world. If there are higher-ups, he is never able to reach or understand them, in fact they seem to exist in theory only. The only people he ever meets are lowly officials. If the higher powers do exist, are they of any use to him? I wonder how much of what he is saying about “higher powers” is truly Kafka grappling with the concept of God. Other people seem to believe in them, there are rumors that they have done things, made rulings, but K finds no evidence that they exist. Every person K meets is part of the court system, which must mean he is being judged by humanity itself rather than something outside of humanity.

This book is so psychologically dense and complicated that I am sure I only walked away with a fragment of what Kafka was trying to convey. It certainly serves to humble one when encountering the mind that is needed to produce such a story.

However, and this is a big however for me, I hated reading it. It pushed and pulled and stood still. I didn’t care what happened to K except in that larger sense that he seemed to represent mankind--if it can happen to him, it can happen to you. My second Kafka, and I find him far too challenging to enjoy, but important because he makes you think and will not allow you to look the other way.

If I were rating this on any pleasure grid, it would get 1-star from me. But rated on a meaning grid, it probably deserves 5-stars. I have compromised and given it 3.5.
( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
Kafka es un maestro del absurdo, (imposible no pensar en el desafortunado individuo que despierta convertido en escarabajo, por ejemplo!) Su genio radica, en gran medida, en su habilidad para abordar los temas más inverosímiles con la irreverente indiferencia de lo cotidiano.

En “El Proceso” vamos descubriendo cómo el mundo en el entorno de Josef K, - el protagonista - se va reconfigurando en panoramas que van de absurdo en absurdo. Mientras tanto, los lectores, lo acompañamos por parajes que no debieran ser, y compartimos su desconcierto, y cada vez más, su frustración y eventual desesperanza. Kafka nos guía por esos vericuetos del sinsentido, y lo hace con una naturalidad que mientras más prosaica, más exasperante.

Es una lectura inperdible, memorable y altamente gratificante.
  AnthroCougar | Aug 1, 2022 |
I read this on the bus ride home yesterday.

If you like existentialist works, this is one of the best I've ever read. And if you enjoyed this, you should really check out Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe. It's similar thematically but also has a lot to add to the ideas you can find in The Trial.

It also has the advantage of a more engaging plot than the Trial, although I know that a lot of the tedium in The Trial is purposeful. Still, you don't just read books for the message, but also entertainment. Not to say that The Trial wasn't entertaining, but that The Trial was just long enough for you to feel a bit antsy for the end. ( )
  mvolz | Jul 10, 2022 |
El mejor entre los mejores? ( )
  Alvaritogn | Jul 1, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 178 (next | show all)
Una mañana cualquiera, Josef K., joven empleado de un banco, se despierta en la pensión donde reside con la extraña visita de unos hombres que le comunican que está detenido -aunque por el momento seguirá libre-. Le informan de que se ha iniciado un proceso contra él, y le aseguran que conocerá los cargos a su debido tiempo. Así comienza una de las más memorables y enigmáticas pesadillas jamás escritas. Para el protagonista, Josef K., el proceso laberíntico en el que inesperadamente se ve inmerso supone una toma de conciencia de sí mismo, un despertar que le obliga a reflexionar sobre su propia existencia, sobre la pérdida de la inocencia y la aparición de la muerte. La lectura de El proceso produce cierto «horror vacui» pues nos sumerge en una existencia absurda, en el filo de la navaja entre la vida y la nada.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia

» Add other authors (575 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kafka, Franzprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Čermák, JosefTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Babuta, Subnivsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Banville, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bragg, BillIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Branner, H.C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brod, MaxEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butler, E. M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cober, Alan E.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Degas, RupertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferrater, GabrielTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fosshag, BengtIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gabor, KarlheinzNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hermsdorf, KlausAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howard, GeoffreyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koch, Hans-GerdEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kurpershoek, TheoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lambourne, NigelPhotogrammessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magris, ClaudioIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martinell, IngegärdTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, BreonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muir, EdwinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muir, WillaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nahuys, Alice vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oldenburg, PeterCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parry, IdrisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raja, AnitaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salter, GeorgeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simojoki, AukustiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zampa, GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Someone must have been telling lies about Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning.
Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested. (tr. Breon Mitchell)
"The Court wants nothing from you. It receives you when you come and it dismisses you when you go."
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The story of the mysterious indictment, trial, and reckoning forced upon Joseph K. in Franz Kafka' s "The Trial" is one of the twentieth century' s master parables, reflecting the central spiritual crises of modern life. Kafka' s method- one that has influenced, in some way, almost every writer of substance who followed him- was to render the absurd and the terrifying convincing by a scrupulous, hyperreal matter-of-factness of tone and treatment. He thereby imparted to his work a level of seriousness normally associated with civilization' s most cherished poems and religious texts. Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir

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A Josef K., un giovane impiegato di banca che conduce una tranquilla vita borghese, viene notificato di essere in arresto per una colpa misteriosa. Il giovane cerca di difendersi, ma non riesce neppure a sapere di che cosa precisamente venga accusato. Lenta ma inarrestabile, la macchina processuale invaderà a poco a poco tutta la sua esistenza finché, solo e abbandonato da tutti, Josef K. accetterà di soccombere. Scritto nel 1925, capolavoro della letteratura europea, Il processo è forse il romanzo di Kafka che meglio descrive l’angosciosa condizione dell’uomo in una società divenuta ormai troppo complessa, vissuta come un meccanismo implacabile e fine a se stesso, minacciosa e indifferente a qualsiasi autentico valore.
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Average: (4.01)
0.5 3
1 60
1.5 9
2 166
2.5 50
3 648
3.5 144
4 1352
4.5 191
5 1278

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141182903, 0141194715

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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