A terrifying psychological trip into the life of one Joseph K., an ordinary man who wakes up one day to find himself accused of a crime he did not commit, a crime whose nature is never revealed to him. Once arrested, he is released, but must report to court on a regular basis--an event that proves maddening, as nothing is ever resolved. As he grows more uncertain of his fate, his personal life--including work at a bank and his relations with his landlady and a young woman who lives next door--becomes increasingly unpredictable. As K. tries to gain control, he succeeds only in accelerating his own excruciating downward spiral.
In Kafka's famed story, bank clerk Joseph K is arrested for a crime that didn't take place and put on a trial that never occurs. This faithful graphic novel adaptation depicts not just the comical, nightmarish and absurdist themes explored by Kafka but also his gravitation to and mistrust of women. Artist Montellier's heavy shadows cast The Trial in a dark world framed with detailed embellishments that spill out of panels, creating a dreamlike (albeit a nightmare) quality. The surreal feeling of the story, and Kafka's absurdist view of reality, make this adaptation a dense read, full of strange imagery and, overall, a bit overwhelming. Although a clear, visual rendering of the feeling kafkaesque, a new, grotesque element is added with every scene, making it difficult to digest the events of the plot. Likely good supplemental reading to Kafka's actual novel, this graphic novel may serve as a useful entry point to his writing for teachers and librarians.