Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Trial

The TrialThe Trial by Franz Kafka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

On his thirtieth birthday, bank employee Josef K. is arrested for an unknown crime and prosecuted on certain Sundays by an unknown agency.

Yeah, that's a pretty vague teaser but how else do you drag someone into The Trial?

On the surface, The Trial is an absurd legal drama that nicely illustrates how inept bureaucracy can be. However, my little gray cells tell me that's just the tip of the iceberg. The Trial seems to be about how incomprehensible and absurd life can be at times. I don't think it's a coincidence that The Trial kicks off on Josef K.'s 30th birthday.

Kafka's writing is stripped down but still powerful. Aside from The Metamorphosis, the tone reminds me a bit of G.K. Chesteron's The Napoleon of Notting Hill. The book feels like a Monty Python sketch at times. I caught myself grinning on occasion and not really sure if that was the appropriate reaction.

The Trial isn't just about Josef's trial, it's also about the trial the trial becomes in Josef's life. And isn't life just one big trial anyway?

The Trial. 4 out 5 stars. Case closed.

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