The Trial, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


'Someone must have been telling tales about Josef K. for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested.' A successful professional man wakes up one morning to find himself under arrest for an offence which is never explained.

The mysterious court which conducts his trial is outwardly co-operative, but capable of horrific violence.

Faced with this ambiguous authority, Josef K. gradually succumbs to its psychological pressure. He consults various advisers without escaping his fate.

Was there some way out that he failed to see? Kafka's unfinished novel has been read as a study of political power, a pessimistic religious parable, or a crime novel where the accused man is himself the problem.

One of the iconic figures of modern world literature, Kafka writes about universal problems of guilt, responsibility, and freedom; he offers no solutions, but provokes his readers to arrive at meanings of their own. This new edition includes the fragmentary chapters that were omitted from the main text, in a translation that is both natural and exact, and an introduction that illuminates the novel and its author. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe.

Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780199238293



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.

Review by

Re-reading The Trial in the Breon Mitchell translation of the restored edition was a big improvement over the original Muirs' translation. Although I still prefer Kafka's shorter, published work like The Metamorphosis, In the Penal Colony and The Hunger Artist, all of which seem perfect to me while The Trial has a lot of rougher edges. One can only wonder what Kafka would have done with them if he actually published the work.<br/><br/>This reading of The Trial also had considerably more farce and humor, especially in all of the descriptions of minutiae, and felt more like a successor to Gogol than I had previously remembered. And it is also a reminder that just about everything that anyone terms Kafkaesque is capturing at most one or two facets of the very multidimensional, strange original combination that Kafka himself provided.

Also in the Oxford World's Classics series   |  View all