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The Castle

Written by: Franz Kafka
Narrated by: Allan Corduner
Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins

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Publisher's Summary

A land-surveyor, known only as K., arrives at a small village permanently covered in snow and dominated by a castle to which access seems permanently denied. K.'s attempts to discover why he has been called constantly run up against the peasant villagers, who are in thrall to the absurd bureaucracy that keeps the castle shut, and the rigid hierarchy of power among the self-serving bureaucrats themselves. But in this strange wilderness, there is passion, tenderness and considerable humour. Darkly bizarre, this complex book was the last novel by one of the 20th century's greatest and most influential writers.

Public Domain (P)2010 Naxos Audiobooks

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 09-02-14

Loved it

A great book, well read. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Please be aware, though, the book is unfinished.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • F. J. Gilbert
  • 19-02-14

Outstanding

Where does The Castle rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Castle?

Very funny description of the main character, K, waking up in the night to find one of his assistants in bed with him instead of his wife, and then having to deal with the aftermath of this incident the next morning.

What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

An excellent reader, reminding me of Jon Pertwee in style.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It is both funny and sad, but creates a menacing tone throughout.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-07-14

Not my idea of a good read

Would you consider the audio edition of The Castle to be better than the print version?

I have to be honest and say that, although this was superbly read, I was irritated with the story and I borrowed a copy of the print version just so I could skim to the end and claim I'd read it.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

What does it mean? For me it was exactly like one of those horrible, involved dreams where you can't get anywhere, or do anything, and there is a lingering sense of menace.

What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

Everything, he's a really good performer and I'd happily listen to him again.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was moved to tears of relief when I finally "finished" it.

Any additional comments?

Despite not enjoying it at all, it's nearly a year since I listened to it and I can still remember a lot about it and I still think about it - perhaps that's why it is considered a masterpiece?

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ben R Gray
  • 16-05-19

Marvellous Bureaucratic Folly

A great Narrator tells the tale of a Surveyor who is thwarted at every turn by the bureaucracy of The Castle. Having being robbed then forced to take his robbers on as assistants. The Surveyor's life descends into chaos of a hugely layered bureaucracy blocking him at every turn. The futility of his situation carries through the book. This was Kafka's last book and you could argue an unfinished work the story could have seen more volumes. This is a literary masterpiece.

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  • Paul Walter
  • 23-07-18

perfectly voiced

Allan Corduner has the the perfect voice for K's interminable struggle with labyrinthine bureaucracy. Hypnotically riveting, Kafka's unfinished last work is perfectly incomplete.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Robyn Sands
  • 27-02-18

just not for me

I appreciate his politics and his clever writing style but this was just a bit too much faceless bureaucracy for me and not enough believable characters. I will definitely not re-listen

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  • Richard Byrne
  • 11-04-16

Kafka at his very best! <br />

The pace of Kafka 's literature per se, is simply superb! Keeps one wholly intrigued.

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  • Mark S Whiteley
  • 10-09-16

Classic story - but dated

Always worth listening to Kafka - but long dialogues compared to modern texts - however a classic which is very well read.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Mommiecat
  • 14-08-16

Desperately boring...

I really did try to get through this story, but cannot come to grips with such ignorant, self-centred tiny minds as these characters. I have given up halfway through, as there is no redeeming value in continuing. Thoroughly depressing to think that people like this probably do exist but I tend not to surround myself with the likes of such. Even the sexual dalliances were mediocre at best. Life is too short to waste it on such grim mindsets. Sorry, Kafka...