Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Book Review: The Trial

The Trial by Franz Kafka

This book has been on my reading list for a long time. In fact, I've started it many times, but contemplating reading through the frustrations that I knew would ensure hardly encouraged me to continue. Restarting my pleasure reading this summer, I thought it would be a good idea to get through some of the books that I have started and, for some reason, put down. (Rabbit, Run is also on this list.)

I didn't find it nearly as frustrating as all that, though. Neither did I find it terribly compelling. Kafka is good at getting to the existential frustrations of bureaucracy and paranoia, but he's short on the sort of haunting depictions I was looking for. The Trial was more similar to Dostoevsky than to The Metamorphosis. We were part of the delusions and hubris of the protagonist, but I didn't often feel the same confusions and frustrations he seemed to experience.

The Trial wasn't as difficult to get through as I expected, but it doesn't even rank among the Kafka masterpieces.

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