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Download Amerika: The Missing Person: A New Translation by Mark Harman Based on the Restored Text Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Amerika: The Missing Person: A New Translation by Mark Harman Based on the Restored Text Audiobook, by Franz Kafka Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (7,457 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Franz Kafka Narrator: George Guidall Publisher: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2009 ISBN: 9781596593626
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A Brilliant new translation of the great writer's least Kafkaesque novel, based on a German-language text that was produced by a team of international scholars and that is more faithful to Kafka's original manuscript than anything we have had before.

With the same expert balance of precision and nuance that marked his translation of Kafka's The Castle, the award-winning translator Mark Harman now restores the humor and particularity of language to Amerika. Here is the story of seventeen-year-old Karl Rossman, who, following a scandal involving a housemaid, is banished by his parents to America. With unquenchable optimism and in the company of two comic-sinister companions, he throws himself into misadventure after misadventure, eventually landing in Oklahoma, where a career in the theater beckons.

Like much of Kafka's work, Amerika remained unfinished at the time of his death. Though we can never know how Kafka planned to end the novel, Mark Harman's superb translation allows us to appreciate as closely as possible, what Kafka did commit to the page.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “We are not too far wrong to see in Karl Rossmann the explorer who maps the internal territory for the later Kafka hero Joseph K. of The Trial. It is a natural segue, after all, from the youth who lives to placate to the adult with the inescapable sense of guilt. In fact, we could propose Kafka as an artist in a lifelong search of the most accommodating conceit for his vision. Karl is the earliest of his eponymous heroes, all of them essentially one tormented soul whose hallucinatory landscape keeps changing.”

    E. L. Doctorow

  • “Eighty-four years after his death of tuberculosis at age forty, Kafka continues to defy such simplifications, to force us to consider him anew. That’s the effect of Mark Harman’s new translation of his first novel, Amerika.”

    Los Angeles Times

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy | 2/8/2014

    " Whereas I argue that "The Trial" might be finished, and that "The Castle" isn't anywhere close to being finished, "Amerika" has just about everything but a middle. The opening image of the Statue of Liberty holding a sword is staggering (every time I see the Statue of Liberty I think of this image), and the Senator's dismissal of Karl Rossmann is appropriately unpredictable, as is Karl's aggravating acceptance of said dismissal (you wonder why, here, Kafka's characters don't go and confront their tormentors), and then we meet the demons who we assume will screw with Karl throughout (Delamarche and Robinson), but then we're in Oklahoma and it's the end. Alas... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chase | 1/22/2014

    " great, kafka-esque, but the ending seemed a bit too quick, too uplifting (maybe). That's why 4 stars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fatemeh | 1/20/2014

    " gotta read that... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robyn Blaber | 1/20/2014

    " This was the easiest book of Kafka's to read. The main character's plight is hopeless as ever, but this is only because the promise of the American dream turns out for the main character to be and empty promise. I'm accustomed to this personally, however and the book flowed rather evenly and expectantly for me. It's a great slice of Kafka, though I would recommend The Trial for a first time Kafka reader. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jordan | 1/12/2014

    " such sweetness and light! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill | 1/2/2014

    " americans have little class "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cody | 12/2/2013

    " Not the Kafka you are used to. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark | 11/12/2013

    " Kafkaesque. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve Shilstone | 8/9/2013

    " Imagine Amerika as a surrealistic dream unfolding in another dimension. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Daniel | 7/20/2013

    " Not my favorite Kafka. I'm glad that I read it, but wouldn't recommend it to anyone not really into K. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 lianne | 6/15/2013

    " considering that kafka had never been to america... well, he's got some of the notes down. this book was okay. i wasn't as excited to read it. i think it had too much hype surrounding it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Trippp Grant | 9/29/2012

    " Huge let down. I didn't know it was an incomplete novel. Plus, I have no idea where the story was going. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Angelo | 8/7/2012

    " Now I know why Kafka wanted to have all his literary works burnt posthumously! This book was a clown affair. If you want to read a similar plot, but with originality and cleverness, read Voltaire's "Candide". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rob | 2/7/2012

    " Not even close to being my favorite Kafka, but still a funky, if uneven, minor piece. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dylan | 12/23/2011

    " a lot uplifting than many of his other works, although sadly ends suddenly due of course to it not ever properly being published. or at least legitimately. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 11/17/2011

    " The weakest of Kafka's novels...and that's saying something, because Kafka was a genius. However, a very very good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sriram P C | 6/24/2011

    " Kafka is the Master - with the capital M. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cristian | 4/30/2011

    " Less nightmarish than Kafka's other works - at least at first -, and that's probably why I like it somewhat less. Still a good read though, and the trademark Kafka surrealism and invisible hand of a malevolent destiny do eventually make their appearance. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carla | 4/11/2011

    " Me dio miedo. Me angustió. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 3/26/2011

    " I wish I had been more consistently coherent for this work. However, I still greatly enjoyed this unfinished novel and have grown a greater respect for the great writer of praha. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sriram | 3/22/2011

    " Kafka is the Master - with the capital M. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yoni | 2/16/2011

    " Humor at the price of fury. Brilliant. "

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About the Author
Author Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka (1883–1924), one of the major fiction writers of the twentieth century, was born to a middle-class German-speaking Jewish family in Prague. His unique body of writing, much of which is incomplete and was mainly published posthumously, is considered by some people to be among the most influential in Western literature, inspiring such writers as Albert Camus, Rex Warner, and Samuel Beckett.

About the Narrator

George Guidall, winner of eighty-eight AudioFile Earphones Awards, has twice won the prestigious Audie Award for Excellence in Audiobook Narration. In 2014 the Audio Publishers Association presented him with the Special Achievement Award for an audiobook narrator of exceptional stature and accomplishment. During his thirty-year recording career he has recorded over 1,100 audiobooks, won multiple awards, been a mentor to many narrators, and shown by example the potential of fine storytelling. Among Guidall’s narration achievements are Crime and Punishment, The Iliad, and John Irving’s A Widow for One Year, which earned him an Audie Award for best unabridged narration of a novel, an honor he captured again for his rendition of Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much Is True. Guidall’s forty-year acting career includes starring roles on Broadway, an Obie Award for best performance off Broadway, and frequent television appearances.