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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different book everytime you read it
I just finished reding it a second time and instead of a story of isolation and opression, it was a dark comedy, and although tragic at times also surprisingly funny. You take from this book what you want to, and can find something new, or look at something differently almost everytime you read it. Some of the sentences run-on and there are almost no paragraph's but...
Published on July 23 2004 by makaveli771

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3.0 out of 5 stars My Introduction to Kafka
I liked the Trial. In my quest to read the top 100 fiction books of the last century, I picked up what is probably Kafka's seminal work. (this was listed at number 92) I found this book to be a somewhat poignant discussion of how our society judges people, how perception is reality, and how in life, you rarely get a fair trial. I also saw Kafka's work as unique and...
Published on Jan. 24 2004 by Christopher Braden


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different book everytime you read it, July 23 2004
This review is from: The Trial (Paperback)
I just finished reding it a second time and instead of a story of isolation and opression, it was a dark comedy, and although tragic at times also surprisingly funny. You take from this book what you want to, and can find something new, or look at something differently almost everytime you read it. Some of the sentences run-on and there are almost no paragraph's but that's because the book wasn't ment for publication (refer to kafka's letter to Max Brod) but once you get past that it isn't an overly difficult book to read compared to some of his other writtings and it's length isn't very long so pick it up from the library first, and if you like it buy it because I'm sure you'll read it again
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5.0 out of 5 stars Disorder In The Court, Sept. 1 2002
By 
Alex Udvary (chicago, il United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Trial (Paperback)
We should all know the story concerning one of the greatest novels ever written, about a man being awaken to find out he is under arrest for a crime he knows nothing about, and charged by an unknown person.
It's been debated as to what is really Kafka's novel all about. Some say, it's "hero"(?) Joseph K. represents the "every man". Who has been forced to live in a world, where's man's biggest sin is being himself. The character K. like Kafka himself feels they are an outsider in a world they cannot function in. Others still, see the book as merely a semi-autobiography as Kafka's own feelings of worthlessness. We all know Kafka even doubted his own talents as a writer. But, yet again, others think that "K." is not the "every man". That he is guilty of his "sins".
So, what does all of this prove? It simply goes to show you the impact Franz Kafka has left on the world. Here we have a book published in 1925 and still causes debate as to what exactly were Kafka's intentions. If, infact, he didn't have any intentions!
'The Trial', to me is a story of a man's loneliness. It's a story of man who probably is guilty of what he is charged with. And we slowly read about his desent into a world of paranoia. I've heard some people agrue that what happens to "K." is all merely a dream. None of it ever really happened, but, it was "K." himself who brought this punishment on himself. Sort of like how Kafka himself did by never marrying the girl he loved, by living in the shadows of his father, who he adored, and never having an self confidence. If what happens in 'The Trial' is a dream, you can bet "K." learned something.
There's something about Kafka that fasincates me. He is one of my favorite authors. I find Kafka himself to be just as interesting has the stories he wrote. People tend to forget or overlook something in Kafka's writing. He WAS funny. His novels all have moments that are truly inspired. One of my favorite chapters in this book deals with "The Painter". What happens has "K." trys to leave and the Painter stops him asking him if he wants to buy a painting had me laughing.
For those of you who have never read this book, I do completely recommend it. You will find the book to be fascinating. Kafka was a master of thinking up these surreal stories. You may be bothered by the book's conclusion. Not that you'll mind the final act against "K." but, you'll be bothered by the way it happens. You would have expected more of a set-up. I know I did. Others who read the book may feel the book is incomplete. And that may lead them to dislike it. You are right in your judgement that the book is incomplete, but, remember, Kafka never wanted any of his books published. There's actually a chapter in here that was never finished. And, even though it is incomplete that didn't stop me from truly enjoying this masterpiece. If you have never read anything by Kafka, this is a fine place to start. I hope everyone finds 'The Trial' to be as enjoyable as I did.
Bottom-line: One of the great works by Kafka. It touches on themes that were ahead of their time. Themes that are still around us today. An excellent example of the paranoid mind. Everyone should read this!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Bewildering Process Wrapped in a Masterpiece, July 5 2004
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This review is from: The Trial (Paperback)
Kafka's The Trial is a testament to those like Joseph K. who are ensnared in endless legal proceedings. Part dream, part comedy, part tragedy, part satire, Kafka works a masterpiece out of the tribulations of a common man. Joseph K. is on trial but is never informed of the charges. He is represented by an attorney, but the lawyer seems useless. He attends proceedings that go on endlessly with no apparent purpose. A host of unforgettable characters throughout the book add to his paranoia. Joseph K. finally meets his end in an execution appalling in its polite savagery. Through works like The Trial, Kafka's name became synonymous for those drifting though bizarre persecutions. A fascinating book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Im being a little generous...But it was actually pretty good, May 3 2004
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This review is from: The Trial (Paperback)
The Trial was very interesting. I enjoyed most of its parts. The characters were really well done...everyone one of them is believable, complicated, dark, mysterious. I can understand why Kafka wanted his manuscript burned though -- i mean, the book is far from complete. One section seems to jump to the next, for what seems like years of passed time. It gets a little confusing at points, but not too much. I guess i liked it just because of the darkness...the mystery...the great characters. And i always wanted to turn that next page so i could find out why Joseph K. was on trial after all.
I have two beefs: first with the book --- the ending is completely ridiculous. Im not an expert (duh!), but the ending just seems really fabricated. It just doesnt fit. The book rolls along beautifully until 'The End' section. The writing seems different, it is unusually short and abrupt, and it just doesnt flow with the rest of the book. It almost seems like Max Brod (sp?) ended up writing this last part in order to have the semblance of a complete novel. I guess a book without an ending would be hard pressed to find a publisher. It wouldnt surprise me if you also found that it doesnt fit Kafka's style.
Second Beef: Everyone talking about how this book foretells of the insanity of totalitarian bureaucracy. From my point of view, this has little to do with bureaucracy. The court sure does stink of some sort of totalitarian regime, but i think this is the backdrop for something more profound. I didnt get the feeling that anyone, including Joseph K., was living in a totalitarian state. As some essays have argued, this book seems to have more to say about Judeo Christian guilt than anything else.
Anyways, find out for yourself. I thought it was a good read. Funny at first, dark and twisted in the middle...and very abrupt and incomplete at last (with perhaps a manufactured ending).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Belasco - 3rd Quarter Outside Reading - The Trial, March 29 2004
By 
Scott Moorby (Cape May, NJ USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Trial (Paperback)
I found The Trial to be thoroughly enjoyable and absolutely one of Kafka's best. I found myself absorbed in the captivating storyline but the analyses involved within the story were what I found truly intriguing. The novel analyzed both the judicial system and the human mind. When K. finds out that he has been arrested, he cannot figure out what it is for. He has done nothing for which to be arrested and was claimed fraudulently by a vile court. However, no one is free of guilt so he continues to ponder what he may have done until the end of the novel. This displays the untrustworthiness of the judicial system and, more importantly, the guilt and paranoia that is constantly existent in the human mind.
The full understanding and appreciation of this novel involves extensive thinking and regardless of how well the reader understands it, he or she will surely still be a little bemused with unanswered questions at the end. However, when understood and considered, this story can bring a new outlook to the reader's life, like it did to mine. The Trial is interesting throughout and thought provoking even after finishing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars My Introduction to Kafka, Jan. 24 2004
By 
Christopher Braden (Herndon, VA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Trial (Paperback)
I liked the Trial. In my quest to read the top 100 fiction books of the last century, I picked up what is probably Kafka's seminal work. (this was listed at number 92) I found this book to be a somewhat poignant discussion of how our society judges people, how perception is reality, and how in life, you rarely get a fair trial. I also saw Kafka's work as unique and unlike any of the other books I've read on the top 100 list. Kafka's style is straight-forward and concise and his sentences are packed with meaning. There really isn't a lot of superfluous verbiage or flowery, overly-descriptive prose. As with most of the classics, this book is worthwhile if you're looking to get something out of it beyond the storyline.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Franz Kafka's The Trial--"Before the Law.", Dec 20 2003
By 
Nobody! (The Infinite Beyond) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Trial (Paperback)
The Trial, written by Franz Kafka and published posthumously by Kafka's best friend, Max Brod, is hailed as Kafka's best work, and rightly so. Though The Castle outclasses it when it comes to emotional sincerity and autobiographical thought, The Trial is, obviously, a more complete and focused work than is The Castle. The Trial, Kafka's second novel, is about K., a clerk who is arrested one morning for a crime that he is unaware of and will not be told of, and the consequent dealings with this arrest, leading up to climatic execution of K. Though K. has no idea why he is being arrested and will not be told, he never even asks the authority what crime he has committed. His questions are always too many ahead or behind--he never asks the questions that he should ask, and thus, is kept in the dark until his blind death. K.'s lack of inquiry to the authorities is in itself Kafkaesque--it observes K.'s personal absurdity whilst dealing with public absurdity--a labyrinth upon labyrinth of the impenetrability of the law and the mindset one must enter to even fathom it. Franz Kafka's writings have foretold or duly documented every political absurdity and grotesqueness that has befallen the world at large. Kafka, who wrote The Trial in 1914, prophesied the imminent rise of the Nazi regime and the Third Reich that swept Europe less than a decade after his death. The Trial, as does The Castle, tells the story of a totalitarian government which keeps its citizens in the dark and apart from the leading administration's political authority, Kafka, a Jew, died in the mid-1920's from tuberculosis, but some of his close relatives were actually killed in the concentration camps.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Shall Make This As Terse As Possible, Dec 10 2003
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This review is from: The Trial (Paperback)
Many have expatiated at length about the existential subtext of this book, about its philosophical inclinations, its ideas, and ultimately its purpose. While I was mildly amused by some of Kafka's earlier short stories (Metamorphosis), I found The Trial to be tremendously entertaining. Some despise the book because of its seeming purposelessness. Indeed, I was somewhat fatigued by the first 20 pages or so, but I found that the pace and the intrigue picked up nicely along the way, right up to the nightmarish conclusion. If you want to speculate about its intent, go on, but I merely enjoyed what I thought was a fantastic story by a writer I had once dismissed. Enjoy. Or don't. There barely seems an existant middle ground with Kafka.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Heavy, July 23 2003
This review is from: The Trial (Paperback)
I have read many of Franz Kafka's short stories, and after reading _The Trial_, I can say with confidence that he is one of the heaviest writers of the 20th Century. There are very few moments of levity in his writings. _The Trial_ is the story of Josef K., who goes through a year long trial without ever knowing what the crime is that he has committed. On his year long odyssey he gets into very philosophical discussions with people from all realms of life. This novel is basically a rage against the bureaucracy in the world, but at the same time, it offers no way to cure this bureaucracy; it is something that we just have to deal with. I have to agree with Franz on this one; the best in human nature is not what prevails in government, and to fight against it is nearly impossible. Kafka doesn't completely shut the door on change, he just tells of its difficulty. This book is great. The different perspectives you are allowed to hear on a lot of different issues make this an enjoyable read, and a very educational read, even if you don't agree with some the character's ideas.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of his time, June 14 2003
By 
Raymond Disalvo "jazzman1" (Cincinnati, OH United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Trial (Paperback)
I marvel at this effort, because there is an apparent analogy to the forces of oppression and totalitarianism in the life of the protagonist, Josef K., yet this novel was written years before the evil regimes of this century. Kafka's Jewish heritage makes it even more striking, and even though many ethnic groups suffered incomprehensibly during this era, it's almost as if this is a prophetic work. It's interesting to note that there is not one character in the book who really has any ability to choose- even the artist, living in a small studio that one would picture an individual of passion and creativity, is relegated to painting court judges. This seems to me a great parallel to so much genius which must have been crushed by brutality and oppression.
In a distant way this book brings to mind "The Stranger" by Camus, as the protagonist in that story arguably has no control over his actions- they are totally dictated by circumstances beyond his control.
I found this a much easier read than "Metamorphosis", perhaps because of the science-fiction like aspect of that book. There are certain novels which just have that visceral effect for whatever reason, and this is one of them. If you're looking for a philosophical novel which deals with the "why are we here" (the oldest question in history), as well as practical criticisms of things such as the judicial system , politics, and goverment, then I would highly recommend "The Trial."
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The Trial
The Trial by Franz Kafka (Paperback - March 28 1995)
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