Karl Rossman has been banished by his parents to America, following a family scandal. There, with unquenchable optimism, he throws himself into the strange experiences that lie before him as he slowly makes his way into the interior of the great continent.
Although Kafka's first novel (begun in 1911 and never finished), can be read as a menacing allegory of modern life, it is also infused with a quite un-Kafkaesque blitheness and sunniness, brought to life in this lyrical translation that returns to the original manuscript of the book.
Review quote: previous edition:
He is the greatest German writer of our time. Such poets as Rilke or such novelists as Thomas Mann are dwarfs or plaster saints in comparison to him – Vladimir Nabokov
It was Kafka who made me understand that one can write differently – Gabriel García Márquez
No other voice has borne truer witness to the dark of our times – George Steienr
Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was born of Jewish parents in Prague. Several of his story collections were published in his lifetime and his novels, The Trial, The Castle, and Amerika, were published posthumously by his editor Max Brod.