The Trial

  • by Franz Kafka
  • Narrated by George Guidall
  • 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

If Max Brod had obeyed Franz Kafka's dying request, Kafka's unpublished manuscripts would have been burned, unread.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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


An absolute classic brilliantly narrated by
George Guidall, who is arguably Audible's best narrator.

This recording really brings to life the nightmarish existence that Josef K. suddenly is faced with.

The story itself has elements of paranoia and delusion. Josef K. is lured to play by invisible rules that seems to be almost logical. However, the overall setting is absurd.

The Trial is a masterpiece that, even though it is set in a Fritz Lang-like pre-war setting, has much to offer modern day readers.
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- Snorre

Alice in Wonderland without the happy ending

I really don't know how to review this book. Every sentence, maybe every word, holds so much symbolic meaning and so much warning for the readers that it is a heavy read. It weighs me down just thinking about it. At the same time, it is a very important book, and one that should be read by anyone who considers him/herself well read. The book is translated from German, by the German author, Franz Kafka. It is frightening from the standpoint that the protagonist, "K," cannot make sense of what is happening to him, and nothing that he can do has any impact on his own life. He is innocent of any crime, yet he is arrested for some unknown offense which he never learns. The trial takes a whole year, but never amounts to anything concrete. Meanwhile, K is free to come and go as he pleases. He goes back to work, and tries to figure out some way of defending himself, but to no avail. Over the course of the year, his mental state deteriorates because of the uncertainty of his status and the hopelessness he feels because he has no control over his own life. I compare the book to "Alice in Wonderland" because nothing is what it seems. The ending is just unreal, and perhaps is a foreshadowing of what happens later in Germany during the Holocaust, another place where nothing is what it seems, and life stops making sense.

It is a disturbing story, and one that could become a reality for any of us if we continue to allow our freedom to be eroded. That is the frightening part.
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- Sher from Provo "Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-01-2005
  • Publisher: Recorded Books