Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Introducing Kafka Paperback – May 15, 1996


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Hardcover, Import
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$36.00 $1.50
Paperback, May 15, 1996
$19.95 $0.86

There is a newer edition of this item:



NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Series: Introducing
  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Totem Books (May 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840461225
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840461220
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #405,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This book is indeed a great introduction to Franz Kafka. Part illustrated biography, part comics adaptation, Introducing Kafka is the perfect starting point for those new to Kafka and a perfect next step for those who have read him for years. Robert Crumb's idiosyncratic illustrations add a new dimension to the already idiosyncratic world of Kafka. Includes adaptations of "The Judgment," "The Trial," "The Castle," "A Hunger Artist," and "The Metamorphosis." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

David Zane Mairowitz is an American writer who lives in London. Robert Crumb is an American artist, illustrator and musician recognized for his satirical view of the American mainstream. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
9
4 star
4
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 13 customer reviews
I'm really glad I read this book, I learned a lot!
B. Stohrer
Mairowitz writes a lucid intorduction to the work of the great writer but the real treasure here is the copious artwork by R. Crumb.
R. W. Rasband
The "Introducing..." series is quite uneven: there are some great books in it, but also some very dull ones.
Andres C. Salama

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gary Kern on June 25, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a longtime reader of Kafka, I found this book to be an unqualified delight, for it not only reviews his life and work with pinpoint concision, but also portrays it in evocative visual detail. The narrative by Mairowitz is sharp and insightful, with a zesty peppering of invective against pedants and philistines, while Crumb's gloomy pen drawings take the reader's eye into the heart of Prague and into the mind and imagination of its most anxious and self-conscious denizen. It is especially delightful to track down the original photographs that Crumb used for his models, for example in the book Franz Kafka: Pictures of a Life by Klaus Wagenbach, and then to see how he animates the figure of Kafka, presenting him now as an ordinary person in ordinary life (such as exercising by the window or chewing each bite of food more than ten times), now as a cartoon caricature in his own nightmares (zapped out and fleeing a succubus), now as an idealized figure in his fantasies (the healthy workman, the contented farmer). He also contrives to make the characters of Kafka's fiction resemble the author, but only slightly and appropriately. The loves of Kafka's life, especially Milena, emerge from their photographs as sexy, desirable women, then their images echo through his works. Crumb's portrayals of the stories and novels are not mere impressions, but careful and useful illustrations, since some scenes and particulars in Kafka are not easy to visualize, for example the machine in the story "In the Penal Colony." And, of course, Crumb is absolutely fastidious in basing his drawings on historical materials, so that we can see streets, buildings and dress, including uniforms, just as they were at the time.Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Lotto Budweiser on November 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
There's an irreplaceable feeling attached to reading Kafka directly. Furthermore, Kafka himself probably would have hated the idea of images being made of his stories. That being said, I can't think of any better artist than Crumb to illustrate that over-used term "Kafkaesque."

This book is a great introduction - as titled - and a perfect blend in at least two ways: 1) The juxtaposition of Kafka's life and work presents the depth of his stories as well as some of the possible inspirations from his real life - like the role his overbearing father played in his creation of authoritative characters. And 2) as already mentioned, the at-times-terrifying-but-always-amusing art of Robert Crumb with the similarly dark-comedic styling of Kafka himself. (Kafka is said to have been inclined to laugh when reading his own work)

This is the only book of this introductory series I've read so far, but I would take this as an indication of a set of worthwhile books.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. W. Rasband VINE VOICE on June 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Mairowitz writes a lucid intorduction to the work of the great writer but the real treasure here is the copious artwork by R. Crumb. It's almost like he was born to illustrate Kafka. This is a fully satisfying three-dimensional consideration of the author, his times, and his postumous fame. *Not* just a comic book. Highly recommended, and not just for Kafka or Crumb fans, but anyone who loves writing and comedy.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James Paris on April 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
As I read through this delightful summary of Franz Kafka's life and work, I was struck by the fact that both the Czech writer and the cartoonist R. Crumb have the same anguished yearning for determined young women. Curiously, these all have the strong legs, broad beams, and statuesque torsos of Crumb's fantasy women from Zap Comix to today. Perhaps, Crumb and Kafka have more in common than meets the eye.
They are all there: Gregor Samsa's sister, the luscious Milena Jesenska, the Advocate's "nurse" Leni, Olga and Frieda from THE CASTLE, and the ravishing Dora Diamant. These women are all more durable than both Kafka and Crumb, who are wispy and likely to blow away in the next puff of wind. (I recommend that you see the excellent film documentary of the cartoonist's life, called, appropriately, CRUMB.)
When one concentrates on the women in Kafka's life and work, the result is curiously enlightening. "None of his female characters seems to have her own existence," writes David Zane Mairowitz, "but is spawned in his imagination in order to distract 'K' or 'Joseph K,' to tempt and ensnare him. Kafka's sexual terror is put to the test time after time, yet these same women provide something more.... The outcome of these relationships is rarely 'intimate' (Leni being an exception) and has more to do with power than personal feelings. Kafka's talent would mostly SUGGEST erotic encounter, rather than indulging his characters in that act which he found 'repellent and perfectly useless.'"
Perhaps Mairowitz and Crumb do not provide a measured and scholarly study of the writer, but within a mere 175 pages they have done more to rekindle my interest in Kafka than anything else I have ever read about him. This book is a perfect gem and a work of art in its own right.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JoeyD on July 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
I dug this book and I recommend it to everyone out there. Fans of Kafka and/or Crumb should really enjoy this.

I recall the first time I read Kafka's "The Metamorphosis", I was in my early twenties. I really hated it. I didn't really get it, nor did I desire to spend any time and mental energy trying to get it. Then again, what do you expect from a twenty-five year old bachelor? Enlightment? Nah, think again. Come to think of it, the only reason I read it in the first place was to impress some girl I was dating at the time. Needless to say it was a challenge for me trying to stay awake while reading it. I mean for one thing, how in the hell are we supposed to get excited, let alone even interested, about some guy who wakes up one day only to find that he's transformed into a giant bug. YAWN! Anyway, I did finally finish the book, however that was the first and last time I dared to pick up a novel by Franz Kafka again. The guy was just too damn doleful and morose for my taste. If I want to be depressed I'll start watching daytime television.

So anyway, about three weeks ago I was checking out this used book store in San Luis Obispo and just so happened to come across this little book. Now I have to tell you up front that I have never been a huge fan of Mr. Crumb's salacious sketches. No doubt about it, the man is one talented artist, incredibly original and a unique innovator. However, like I said, he just doesn't quite do it for me personally. So the million dollar question is - 'why would I purchase this book if I am not a fan of either artist?
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0xa0929480)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?