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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, 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:
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This brilliant translation of the great writer’s least Kafkaesque novel is 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, 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, Karl 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 by 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 by 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 by Fatemeh | 1/20/2014

    " gotta read that... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by 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. "

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