• The Trial [Tantor Audio]

  • By: Franz Kafka
  • Narrated by: Todd McLaren
  • Length: 8 hrs and 25 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (344 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

First published in 1925, The Trial tells the story of a man arrested for an unknown crime by a remote, inaccessible authority and his struggle for control over the increasing absurdity of his life. One of Franz Kafka's best-known works, The Trial has been variously interpreted as an examination of political power, a satirical depiction of bureaucracy, and a pessimistic religious parable. Left unfinished at the time of Kafka's 1924 death, The Trial is nevertheless a trenchant depiction of the seemingly incomprehensible nature of existence and a fascinating exploration of the universal issues of justice, power, freedom, and isolation.

Public Domain (P)2011 Tantor

What listeners say about The Trial [Tantor Audio]

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Classic indifference in modern society

Franz Kafka's The Trial is a classic depiction of the cold indifference of modern society. A mid level bank employee is accused of a crime, although he is never told the nature of that crime. He endures an opaque and labyrinthine system that is completely uninterpretable and unnavigable to an outsider and seems solely designed to serve and sustain the system. Along the way, he encounter others in the system and deals with lawyers who are equally intent on perpetuating the impenetrability the whole affair. While he suffers throughout from cold, unfeeling inscrutable system, his fate is sealed and in the end, he never even learns the original instigating cause of his demise.

Kafka explores the downsides to large, complex structures necessitated by large populations, in essence the evolving issues with modern life. No one individual has the big picture, no one has all the details, and no one has any responsibilities or accountability beyond carrying out their specific tasks. While everyone can empathize with K, Kafka manages to string together a story in the extreme that highlights the problems dealing with large groups of people.

The narration is adequate with reasonable character distinction and solid pacing. While not long, be prepared to be frustrated by the continual injustices experienced at every turn.

3 people found this helpful

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Tragic story

It's a dystopian masterpiece. It describes a large part of judicial system of the 3rd world countries.

1 person found this helpful

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Good Narrator

High quality narrator, classic story, didn't like it so much myself. I would consider this book a bit pessimistic, and to have a gloomy outlook. Wouldn't read this on a bad day!

1 person found this helpful

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Odd ending

The story develops as an ever increasing web of control. Great, dark, all overseeing dystopian story. Then it just ends. I'm guessing that since Kofka died some hack wrote a quick end and published.

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Ummm..... What?

I guess this was an unfinished classic novel. You spend the whole time lost (because the main character is lost) and there's no real explanation or resolution. lol
The form and duologue is very well written though.

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  • BV
  • 01-15-22

That ending was crazy!

that was super unexpected! the narration was really good also. highly recommended! the story and the narrator

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Caricature, prose, opportunity, and incoherence

The base idea here is brilliant. A poor man, surrounded by other poor men driven through a system so perfectly divided into silos that good people seems a man to his death. It could have told the story of bureaucracy, resisted corruption, and well meaning execution causing tragedy.

Sadly, that's not the story we are given. At times, I felt this wasn't even a story, so much as a diatribe or lecture on philosophy. The characters are rarely more than functions to enable a speech. The protagonist's mental state doesn't decay, it starts by making non sense deduction and rapid emotional shifts with supporting events.

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Great Story

It was strange to listen to, as it never felt like things were going anywhere, but I still remained interested. Narrator was great too. His voice changes kept things flowing.

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very good

Very good reading indeed, it will keep you from on page to another. IHappy reading. it

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Amazing!

this is my 3rd book from Kafka and I highly recommend it. It is a slow burner but intriguing novel.