The Trial – Franz Kafka

Albert: The Trial was not an enjoyable reading experience for me. There were a few scenes that were mildly interesting, but I was rather bored most of the time. I think the main problem was that even though the protagonist K. was in trouble right from the beginning of the story, I never really cared about what was going to happen to him. In addition, I was also not in the mood for absurdist writing. The story exhibited many strange qualities — every situation felt excessively long, things happened inexplicably, and K.’s attention shifted abruptly and randomly from one thing to another, all of which created an unsettling reading experience. Rating: C-

Kevin: Apparently this novel was never completed, and Kafka didn’t even want it published. For me, The Trial was definitely too opaque — I’m sure there’s a lot to interpret (if somebody really wanted to), but I didn’t get much out of this. I’d almost rather read a book about modern law, or what to do if you get arrested, than follow the absurd legal adventures of a banker. Perhaps it would be more enjoyable to read this book as part of a larger unit on political/historical fiction, but now I’m really craving something fun. Rating: C-

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