If Max Brod had obeyed Franz Kafka's dying request, Kafka's unpublished manuscripts would have been burned, unread. Fortunately, Brod ignored his friend's wishes and published The Trial, which became the author's most famous work. Now Kafka's enigmatic novel regains its humor and stylistic elegance in a new translation based on the restored original manuscript. Thirty-year-old Josef K., a financial officer in a European city bank, is suddenly arrested. He is subjected to hearings, questioning, and visits from officials. Defending his innocence against charges that are never explained to him, he watches his life dissolve into absurdity. Whether read as an existential tale or a parable, this haunting story stands out as one of the great novels of our time. Breon Mitchell, a professor of Germanic Studies and Comparative Literature at Indiana University, has received national awards for his literary translations. The renewed energy and power of this classic work are complemented by veteran narrator George Guidall's superb performance. Publisher's note, translator's preface, and fragments are included on the final tape.
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by Franz Kafka
by John Dos Passos
by John Steinbeck
by Marcel Proust
by Louis Begley
by Paul Watkins
by Greg Bear
by Meir Shalev
by John Dunning
"Veteran performer George Guidall knows what he's doing when he speeds up, backs off, and lurches from fear to relief to shock. It's a narration veering out of control and threatening to crash at any moment, as is Josef K., the character whose trial Guidall is describing. In a story that invokes the humiliatingly absurd, no-win predicaments we think of as Kafkaesque, Guidall shows his understanding of the characters. He also understands the importance of atmosphere to the story. As he describes the garrets, the courtrooms, the rats-in-a-maze thoughts running through Josef K.'s mind as he fights charges that are never spelled out to him, the listener feels trapped and claustrophobic, just as Kafka intended. A less skilled narrator would have made it easier on the listener. T.F. (c) AudioFile, Portland, Maine"
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