Monday, April 20, 2009

The Castle - Franz Kafka

Rating : 3.0/5
Number of Pages : 280
Format : Literary Fiction Novel
Reason for Reading : Guardian 100 Greatest Books and What's in a Name 2 Challenge

This book was sadly never finished by Kafka before he died in 1924. He began writing it in 1922 and it was first published after his death in 1926. It tells the story of K who is a surveyor. He is summoned to the castle, but when he arrives he is not granted admittance and it seems he was summoned by accident. He stays though and keeps trying to find ways around his exclusion and tries petitioning various people and officials.

He meets Freida at one of the bars and after a tumble under one of the tables they end up engaged and living together. They are thrown out of the bar after the landlady falls out with K who generally seems to misunderstand and rub everyone up the wrong way. They end up living in a school room which is less than ideal with K's two unwanted assistants who keep getting him in more and more trouble!

It's a strange novel and I never quite understood why K didn't just leave. There seemed no point in staying and I am sure he said he had a family (which I assumed meant wife) at the start. I liked the Barnabas character and his two sisters who unforatunely didn't get on with Freida at all. It's a shame it was never finished, it ends in the middle of a sentence in fact. I would love to have seen how it all played out and what became of K.


Amanda said...

This is one by Kafka I haven't read, and I'm definitely going to have to read it now.

chrisa511 said...

I may just have to read this one! If for no other reason, because the cover is AWESOME!