Most helpful positive review
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Last words of a dying man
on September 13, 2009
This version, like the original manuscript, ends mid-sentence. Kafka was dying of tuberculosis. An infection secondary to TB developed in his throat, making eating too painful for him, and he died of starvation at a sanatorium near Vienna. A lot of the negative reviews here refer to how unfinished the book seems, or how morbid and dreary. And even good reviews emphasize the bureaucracy primarily as a symbol of social conditions. Kafka, a Czech Jew living through WW I, who had symptoms of hypochondria before he contracted TB, (which was often fatal in those times) spent many years convalescing. He was unable to earn a living to support himself, and virtually unknown as a writer, and probably thinking of death a lot, and his inability to make a living, or stay healthy, or find meaning in his short life. I find this biographical background essential to appreciating the Castle. I understand the bureaucracy of the castle to be a metaphor for illness, as well as for society, and existential angst. Please don't let anyone you know read the book (or review it!) without knowing his background.