The Trial [Naxos AudioBooks]

  • by Franz Kafka, David Whiting (translator)
  • Narrated by Rupert Degas
  • 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Trial is one of the great works of the 20th century - an extraordinary vision of one man put on trial by an anonymous authority on an unspecified charge. Kafka evokes all the terrifying reality of his ordeal.

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Customer Reviews

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Slow & calm

I like this reading much better than the other two I have heard (George Guidall and Geoffrey Howard). The sedate, if somewhat mincing, tone seems just right. Rupert Degas does not try to voice-act, which probably couldn't be done anyway. A slow reading, as befits a text that is highly suggestive in almost every sentence. That's on the reading.

As for the book, need I say anything? If you are new to Kafka, this is probably the long novel you are most likely to find interesting. It is focused and well executed in comparison to the others. (Amerika, which is his first novel, seems unfocused because there is no obvious central or abiding motif. The Castle, which is his last, is not exactly well written throughout. Many of its passages may seem flat and boring unless you, the reader, are doing some active part.)

I find that the best way to read Kafka is to read it like some genre piece you read only for the action. Just to find out what happens, never bothering your head about the 'meaning' or anything like that. If the book is not interesting to you at that level, it's just not for you. Why bother when there are other books to suit other tastes?

To me, the most interesting passages in The Trial are Fraulein Burstner, Fraulein Montag, and the first visit to the advocate including Leni.

The least interesting are the opening scenes (the Arrest), the First Hearing, and the Cathedral (including the 'Before the Law' inset).
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- Alan

great performance of a modernist masterpiece

What made the experience of listening to The Trial [Naxos AudioBooks] the most enjoyable?

rupert degas' deferential tone is perfect pitch for the telling of the story. K is a character who is both confused and knowing, resigned yet impudent and degas' tone is so right that as david foster wallace put it:
"the deeper alchemy by which Kafka's comedy is always also tragedy and tragedy is also an immense and reverent joy"... comes right through.


What other book might you compare The Trial [Naxos AudioBooks] to and why?

the great gatsby. they are both modernist masterpieces and written a few years apart yet so different they may as well have been written in different centuries, not different countries.


What about Rupert Degas’s performance did you like?

he's almost mincing, demure yet impudent tone, but reading not performing is so perfect for interpreting this story. also, the there are many characters in the story and he manages to juggle them all very well. i wish he'd read the castle, though.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

well, there are parts from which you can't/won't tear away but there are others for which you are grateful you have a narrator because they very tedious and opaque. no doubt this was deliberate so on the part of the author, but it's no crime for the common reader to cheat.


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- amazon

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-15-2007
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks