Written in 1914, The Trial is one of the most important novels of the twentieth century: the terrifying tale of Josef K., a respectable bank officer who is suddenly and inexplicably arrested and must defend himself against a charge about which he can get no information. Whether read as an existential tale, a parable, or a prophecy of the excesses of modern bureaucracy wedded to the madness of totalitarianism, Kafka's nightmare has resonated with chilling truth for generations of readers. This new edition is based upon the work of an international team of experts who have restored the text, the sequence of chapters, and their division to create a version that is as close as possible to the way the author left it.
In his brilliant translation, Breon Mitchell masterfully reproduces the distinctive poetics of Kafka's prose, revealing a novel that is as full of energy and power as it was when it was first written.
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.