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Download The Castle Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Castle Audiobook, by Franz Kafka Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (10,481 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Franz Kafka Narrator: Ralph Cosham Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455174614
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This edition of Kafka’s terrifying and comic masterpiece is the product of an international team of experts who used Kafka’s original text and notes to render this story as close to the author’s vision as possible. Kafka’s final novel tells the haunting tale of a man’s relentless struggle with authority in order to gain entrance to the Castle.

The story of K—the unwanted land surveyor who is never to be admitted to the Castle and yet cannot go home—seems to depict, like a dream from the deepest recesses of consciousness, an inexplicable truth about the nature of existence. A perpetual human condition lies at the heart of this labyrinthine world: dualities of certainty and doubt, hope and fear, reason and nonsense, harmony and disintegration. An unfinished novel that feels strangely complete, The Castle uses absurd fantasy to reveal a profound truth.

Though Kafka seemed to think this work a failure, it has been recognized by critics as one of the greatest novels of its century.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “To read Kafka is always a surprising encounter. It shocks literary conventions and takes you with a jolt to the depths of the soul…The new translation by Harman restores Kafka to Kafka.”

    Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • “A major and long-awaited event in English-language publishing. [A] wonderful piece of news for all Kafka readers…Mark Harman is to be commended for his success in capturing the fresh, fluid, almost breathless style of Kafka’s original manuscript.”

    Mark M. Anderson, Columbia University

  • “Sparkles with comedy, with zest, and with a fresh visual power…This is not just a new, brilliantly insightful, sensitive, and stylish translation, it is a new Castle, and it is a pleasure to read.”

    Christopher Middleton, University of Texas at Austin

  • “A necessary acquisition for anyone interested in Kafka.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Monika Antonova | 2/18/2014

    " Only for true and loyal Kafka fans - it's not easy to get through, and then you get the ice-cold shower of it practically ending mid-sentence. It was definitely a tough but rewarding read - however, I made the mistake of reading it in Bulgarian, which inevitably impaired the experience. I've said it and I'll say it again - you'd better read Kafka in German or not read Kafka at all! "

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

    " Even though I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Kafka's writing style (or the translator's) does not flow very well, causing the book to be a slow read. This book takes a look at beaurocracy and it's inconviences and for anyone who has ever felt frustrated while standing in line at a Goverment office or getting the right signature for approval - this book will make you laugh (or cry). One thing is for sure, Kafka has a unique perspective on things. "

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

    " Can't believe I never read it before. Now I truly know the meaning of Kafkaesque. Ugh, the frustration and the sense of impending doom that this book creates was amazing. I wanted to drink heavily by the time I was halfway through it "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonathan Ball | 1/29/2014

    " THE CASTLE may be the single most radical, exciting, and disturbing novel ever written in world history. Read the Mark Harman translation, which preserves Kafka's irregularities in style and ends mid-sentence where he gave up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hagar | 1/25/2014

    " To get lost, lost lost in a story! Sir Franz Kafka made of me a new K.!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Russell | 1/25/2014

    " Maddening in the best possible way. You wouldn't think it possible to convey bureaucratic absurdity in an interesting manner, but then Kafka was a man of exceptional talents. This book can really frustrate people. I've seen some get positively angry trying to figure out why it was even written. I think this would please Kafka. As for myself, I could hardly put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brandon | 1/15/2014

    " The Trial was better... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Monika | 1/13/2014

    " I got through a quarter of it... i enjoyed it... but i just couldn't get through it all! the mystery was infuriating, and you know it won't be solved either, which makes it more maddening to read. But i want to tackle it again, perhaps next summer, with a more patient eye.. :P "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lia | 12/2/2013

    " Waarom moet ik in dit systeem zoeken naar een versie in het Duits van de werken van Kafka?! Beklemmende en intrigerende boeken, meerwaarde om ze in het Duits te lezen. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve Love | 9/29/2013

    " It was good, but not great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ivy | 4/12/2013

    " Does it end? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Iuliana | 11/20/2012

    " I read the first half of the book and lost interest, tried picking it up again a few months later and couldn't get myself to finish it. Skipped to the end and was glad i didn't waste more time on it. I have enjoyed a few of his works, but this was definitely not one of them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dylan K. | 9/19/2012

    " I just started reading this book, but so far I enjoy it. The suspense is psychological, the situation surreal, and the narrative direct. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jan Zapal | 5/17/2011

    " No I don't want to live in the castle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Conor | 5/3/2011

    " SUDDENLY THE ADJECTIVE "KAFKAESQUE" MAKES SO MUCH MORE SENSE!

    ...

    But, no really, this appears to be a really accurate translation. I can see why Kafka gave up writing it though. It's a pretty great idea, but, oh how it drags. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Camille | 4/6/2011

    " It was fairly dense, and not particularly compelling/interesting in my opinion. Add to that the fact that it's unfinished and I didn't really care whether I got to the end or not. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Peter | 3/23/2011

    " The first 100 pages are what is described by all summaries of this book and is the only part worth reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brad | 3/8/2011

    " Audiobook version with George Guidall narrating.
    (Is there a George Guidall fanclub? Can I join?)

    2 stars for the book itself (I really like a lot of Kafka; I'm surprised by my dislike for this)

    5 stars for the audiobook production. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bob | 3/3/2011

    " Well, it certainly is Kafkaesque! Nobody is sure what is happening and nothing is what it appears to be - or is it? I liked it, but not as much as other Kafka. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 2/23/2011

    " Especially if you ever find yourself working in large organisations from time to time, this book is mandatory reading.

    I try to re read this at least once a decade. "

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

    " if this is not the most vertiginous example of absurdist art ever composed then i don't know what it is. i vomited. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lana | 2/15/2011

    " too bad it's unfinished :/ "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robert | 1/30/2011

    " An infuriating and brilliant book. I give it only two stars because it is hardly an enjoyable reading experience, but give Kafka credit for clearly defining the maddening frustration engendered by bureaucracy disassociated from human beings. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nick | 1/10/2011

    " A tad slow and not much story to it. Could have boiled it down to a 150 pages less I thought. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tamara | 12/24/2010

    " There were passages that I enjoyed as Kafka creates the dream-like imagery. But, overall, I found it difficult to remain interested in the plot and the characters. "

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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

Ralph Cosham (1936–2014), a.k.a. Geoffrey Howard, was a British journalist who changed careers to become a narrator and screen and stage actor. He performed in more than one hundred professional theatrical roles, and several of his narrations were named “Audio Best of the Year” by Publishers Weekly. In 2013 he won the coveted Audie Award for his narration of Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery.