The Trial [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Trial (German: Der Process) is a novel by Franz Kafka about a character named Josef K., who awakens one morning and, for reasons never revealed, is arrested and prosecuted for an unspecified crime.

According to Kafka's friend Max Brod, the author never finished the novel and wrote in his will that it was to be destroyed. After his death, Brod went against Kafka's wishes and edited The Trial into what he ...
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The Trial

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Overview

The Trial (German: Der Process) is a novel by Franz Kafka about a character named Josef K., who awakens one morning and, for reasons never revealed, is arrested and prosecuted for an unspecified crime.

According to Kafka's friend Max Brod, the author never finished the novel and wrote in his will that it was to be destroyed. After his death, Brod went against Kafka's wishes and edited The Trial into what he felt was a coherent novel and had it published in 1925.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940016229072
  • Publisher: Wishland Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/21/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,114,279
  • File size: 692 KB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 53 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Let us start with the end.

    What is the story? K. is "arrested", "sentenced" and put to "death". I'm not spoiling anything because this novel is not really a story but a dreamlike description of an ordeal. What happens in the end is more or less irrelevant except for one thing. The last scene of the novel where K. is stabbed dead by two members of the "law enforcement", contains a very important clue to understand the novel. K.'s last words are 'Like a dog!' That's right, like a dog and not like a human being. At the very last moment K. finally understands that during his whole life he was only interested in what he could GET from other people and he never was concerned with what he could GIVE to other people. He lived like an animal so to speak, like a dog.

    And that's the reason why he's "arrested". Let's not forget that the word "arrest" also means that someone has ceased to grow up and to develop his character. In a certain way K. is still a child. This second meaning of the word arrest is the reason why no one can tell him why he's arrested, every time that K. asks that question. K. himself is the only person who can answer that question: I'm too selfish and I have to change my ways. There is a chapter that illustrates what I mean.

    When K. and his uncle arrive at the house of K.'s lawyer, the door is opened by the lovely maid Leni. K. is obviously very keen on her. There is also a senior clerk of the Court. He has taken a special interest in the trial of K.. They all meet in the bedroom of the lawyer who has a weak heart and has to stay in bed. When the important discussion is about to begin, a noise is heard from the kitchen. K. says that he will go to the kitchen to see what's wrong. With a sigh of relief he closes the door behind him. He sees pretty Leni and forgets all about the important meeting. K. likes to flirt with Leni. At a given moment she says:"All you have to do is to confess that you are guilty". With feminine insight she knows what is wrong with K.. He's guilty of childish egoism. Meanwhile the three others are still waiting in the bedroom of the lawyer.

    Another important moment in the novel is when a priest hails K. in the church where he was supposed to meet someone. The priest is a symbol for K's conscience. At a certain moment during their conversation K. asks: "Are you angry with me?" and the priest answers: "I'm not angry with you, but can't you see what lies ahead of you?" At this point K. is very close to his redemption, his problems could be solved at this very moment, if only he had the nerve or the courage to continue this conversation. But no, he says "it's time for me to go back to my work. I'm already late.
    Now K. is inexorably doomed.

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2004

    a classic

    Kafka¿s unfinished novel, blended with surrealism and a disturbing apathetic world, makes us realize that we ourselves, all our lives, are incomplete, absurdly alive in a world that haunts us with death, anxiety and the hostility of society at every turn...making us realize that our plight is hopeless so long as we cherish the cherries of the common. This is a book for all who know the worst of life and man, who know what it means to be unique, and above all, alone in a world that simply does not care.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2004

    Almost Prefect

    I am a complete Kafka freak. I have read almost every one of his novels, short stories and diaries in many of the available translations and the original language. I must say, that 'The Trial' is the most perfect example of Kafkaesque literature, aside from 'The Metamorphosis'. It can also be noted that it is one of the less complex novels by Kafka.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2000

    A Modern Classic

    Contrary to the other customers who wrote a review on The Trial, I enjoyed the novel thoroughly. I found many parallels to Camus's The Stranger and was shaken by its prophecies towards the downfall of Marxism and Communism. I admit it is easy to get lost in Kafka's convuluted style, but one most look deeper into this novel and extract an important theme. This theme is existensialism and is first explored in this novel. Finally, the book is a comment on our judiciary and governmental bureaucracies that exist today.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2005

    Great as a book, bad as a fossil fuel.

    If you want a novel that will qualify you as (a) an anthropological messiah, or (b) a stark-raving sociopath without requiring you to get your hands dirty, then The Trial is probably what you¿re looking for. It is an explorative, extravagant, and explosive study of the benefits given to the upper class, the uselessness of legal formalities, and the rising apathy of high society for its working class. In this dark, biting satire of class, government, and pride, Franz Kafka tells his readers what happens when the hierarchal nature of society is suddenly reversed. It is a sometimes turbulent, sometimes sobering, always twisted work of literary art which proves that Kafka did not use up all of his talent when writing his most renowned work, Metamorphosis. The story begins when Joseph K., a well-respected bank official, wakes up to find out, from two wardens and an inspector that he is under arrest, but is not allowed to know what the charges are, or if the arrest actually means that any charges are being brought against him. This is only the beginning of Joseph¿s, generally referred to as ¿K.¿, collision with a bizarre, lurid array of characters, and unfamiliar court system that they all seem to have connections with. The court is run, it seems, entirely by a self-righteous bunch of lazy, and underpaid, lower-classmen, but can sometimes give the reader conflicting feelings with brief moments of valiance and nobility. However, K.¿s character is equally inconstant, as we see him to be a kind, compassionate martyr and victim, and then an overly-proud womanizer, sometimes as equally self-righteous as the court. This unique tactic of description forms a solid idea in the readers mind of who is right, who is wrong, and who doesn¿t matter, then crushes it, builds it again, and repeats the process over again, making a captivating and intelligent read. This read, though boring at times, proves to be worthwhile for any fan of Kafka¿s work, or the work of any other social commentators of the literary world. It is liken, in its best times, to the socio-political satire of Oscar Wilde¿s ¿The Picture of Dorian Gray,¿ but with a more possible application to American society. Though published several decades ago, The Trial has as much wisdom to contribute as ever and is easy for the layman to enjoy, as it contains a purposefully inaccurate description of the legal system, and requires only the most basic understanding of law, and little to no knowledge of German culture. All in all, it is frustrating, humorous, disturbing, and brilliant. I recommend The Trial highly for everybody, whether they are a long-time societal observer, somebody looking to become more aware of the world they live in, or a person simply looking for a good read. So, if you can, I strongly suggest that you pick up a copy of your own as soon as possible.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2000

    It was interesting, to a point

    I checked this book out for my AP English class, and I was going crazy trying to figure it out. Now it could be different from an adult perspective, but I thought that it was confusing. It is overwritten. Toward the end I was reading every-other page and getting more out of it then reading everyone. I would not recomend this book to a teeneger or someone who would like to do a book report on it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2014

    Thirty below zero...

    Journey up a snowy mountain as you try to save a mine full of workers trapped by an avalance. But who kniws what lies in these mountains...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    Buy a better version - clarification

    Comment regarding poor quality refers to a copy published by LULU.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    Buy a better version

    This version has typos and missing words. There is no excuse for such poor proofreading. This is a great book but buy a copy from a different publisher.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 23, 2013

    Difficult to get into the story.

    I just could not get into this book. The story jumps up and down, very difficult to get a flow. I did not finish.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    Dont read this book if you are not good at reading into the meaning of words.

    The insight that was put into this book is huge, but in my opinion, EXTREMELY hard to find and interperet properly. Mostly, the book seemed to have pointless sidestories that confuse the story about the "arrest". So i dont recommend to people that just want an interesting story, but to people that want to analyze a story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2013

    J

    Z

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  • Posted March 19, 2011

    Oh Boy!!! Don't bother

    Only 233 pages of boredom, you never find out what K. is accused off, this is the only reason I finished it. Blah, Blah, Blah. I don't get the attraction to Kafka's work.

    Sorry I hated it.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    a nightmare!

    if you really, really want to be scared then i strongly recommend this book. i had never read any other kafta besides metamorphosis so i decided to try this one & OMG, it is well worth reading. i won't try to go into a lot of details because how could i explain kafka? it takes reading him to get him, i think. so read this book & be glad that our country has not become like the one depicted here!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Let's start with the end.

    What is the story? K. is "arrested", "sentenced" and put to "death". I'm not spoiling anything because this novel is not really a story but a dreamlike description of an ordeal. What happens in the end is more or less irrelevant except for one thing. The last scene of the novel where K. is stabbed dead by two members of the "law enforcement", contains a very important clue to understand the novel. K.'s last words are 'Like a dog!' That's right, like a dog and not like a human being. At the very last moment K. finally understands that during his whole life he was only interested in what he could GET from other people and he never was concerned with what he could GIVE to other people. He lived like an animal so to speak, like a dog.

    And that's the reason why he's "arrested". Let's not forget that the word "arrest" also means that someone has ceased to grow up and to develop his character. In a certain way K. is still a child. This second meaning of the word arrest is the reason why no one can tell him why he's arrested, every time that K. asks that question. K. himself is the only person who can answer that question: I'm too selfish and I have to change my ways. There is a chapter that illustrates what I mean.

    When K. and his uncle arrive at the house of K.'s lawyer, the door is opened by the lovely maid Leni. K. is obviously very keen on her. There is also a senior clerk of the Court. He has taken a special interest in the trial of K.. They all meet in the bedroom of the lawyer who has a weak heart and has to stay in bed. When the important discussion is about to begin, a noise is heard from the kitchen. K. says that he will go to the kitchen to see what's wrong. With a sigh of relief he closes the door behind him. He sees pretty Leni and forgets all about the important meeting. K. likes to flirt with Leni. At a given moment she says:"All you have to do is to confess that you are guilty". With feminine insight she knows what is wrong with K.. He's guilty of childish egoism. Meanwhile the three others are still waiting in the bedroom of the lawyer.

    Another important moment in the novel is when a priest hails K. in the church where he was supposed to meet someone. The priest is a symbol for K's conscience. At a certain moment during their conversation K. asks: "Are you angry with me?" and the priest answers: "I'm not angry with you, but can't you see what lies ahead of you?" At this point K. is very close to his redemption, his problems could be solved at this very moment, if only he had the nerve or the courage to continue this conversation. But no, he says "it's time for me to go back to my work. I'm already late.
    Now K. is inexorably doomed.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 15, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    it's not so unreal

    The main character is sort of arrested and kind of put on trial.<BR/>He does not know his charges and cannot be present at the trial. Everything seems weird but is all too real essentially.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2008

    Brilliance

    Franz Kafka wrote the novel The Trial during a time where contradicting the government was extremely frowned upon and yet, quite iconoclastically, he wrote a novel that was completely antigovernment, focusing mostly on the judicial system. This novel¿s protagonist is a man by the name of Josef K. He is arrested one evening coming home from work and is not told the circumstances of his case, nor the charges that being brought against him. Actually, his charges remain an enigma for the entire novel. This novel is meant to expose the absurdity and obscurity of the judicial system. It seems that no one can ever help Josef K. deal with the absurdity and obscurity of the judicial system. Whenever he asks a question about it he never gets a straight answer. He talks to the men who arrest him and the inspector of the police force and none of them can tell him what his case is about. He consults a lawyer and is told by the lawyer that he has many connections and that Josef doesn¿t need to worry about his case. He asks the lawyer what his case is about and the lawyer just brushes him off by saying that he has dealt with many cases like it. He is, in fact, told that in order to secure his case he should hire five lawyers to keep up with everything. He then consults a painter, who is also an official of the court, and he tells him there are three types of acquittal. The first is actual acquittal, in which the defendant¿s case files are destroyed and the case is put to rest but this only happens in the high court which the painter admits to thinking is only a myth. The second is apparent acquittal in which the court drops the case but the charges and files are kept and if any judge wants to he can bring the charges back. The third is protraction in which the defendant has to return continuously to be examined by the court. The last two forms of acquittal are ironic because they don¿t free the defendant. These are just some the many instances in which Kafka accuses the judicial system of being both absurd and obscure. This novels purpose is to expose the absurdities and obscurities that surround the judicial system. It is relevant to any era because the judicial system will always wrap itself in enigmas and concern itself with wordplay that has no purpose but to provide loopholes and to confuse. This is a brilliant novel and its message should be heeded.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2002

    classic

    This is another of Kafka's masterpieces that everyone should read at some time. It's a fascinating book, that has too much going on in it to be able to discuss in the short space here. it will make you think.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2002

    The Trial

    I found this book to be very intriguing. At first, I was confused and disgruntled with the verboseness of the translation. I don't think any of it was vernacular. Once I got used to it, the book was amazing. I'd recommend it to someone who was into the genre of fantasy, or someone who likes surrealism. I wouldn't recommend it to someone who doesn't like reading, or who has trouble reading translated works.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2001

    Kafka-- A literary master

    Not only does Kafka's critique of society still hold true, but he is one of the masters. I could not/ would not put this book down. It is an intriguing tale of absurdity with an astonishing ending.

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