A gripping work of psychological horror, in its depiction of bureaucracy
run amok Franz Kafka's The Trial skirts the line between fantasy and
reality. This Penguin Classics edition is translated from the German with
an introduction by Idris Parry. 'Somebody must have laid false information
against Josef K., for he was arrested one morning without having done
anything wrong.' From this first sentence onwards, Josef K. is on trial for
his right to exist. Once arrested, he is released, but must report to court
on a regular basis - an event that proves maddening, as nothing is ever
resolved. As he grows more uncertain of his fate, his personal life -
including work at a bank and his relations with his landlady and a young
woman who lives next door - becomes increasingly unpredictable. As K. tries
to gain control, he succeeds only in accelerating his own excruciating
downward spiral. Maintaining an atmosphere of unease throughout, this
chilling, thought-provoking novel, more than any other, is infinitely
perceptive about the nature of terror and the absurd meaninglessness and
futility of human life. Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was a Czech-born German-
speaking insurance clerk who despised his job, preferring to spend his time
writing. Nevertheless, Kafka published little during his lifetime, and
ordered his closest friend to burn the mass of unpublished manuscripts -
now familiar to us as some of the most influential novels and short stories
of the twentieth century - after his death. Kafka's novels, all available
in Penguin Modern Classics, include The Trial, The Castle, and Amerika. If
you enjoyed The Trial, you might like Kafka's The Castle, also available in
Penguin Modern Classics. 'This compelling, prophetic novel anticipates the
insanity of modern bureaucracy and the coming of totalitarianism' Daily
Telegraph 'It is the fate and perhaps the greatness of [The Trial] that it
offers everything and confirms nothing' Albert Camus

Franz Kafka—The Trial