Friday was a holiday at my office. I spent the day reading Kafka's The Trial and assisting an employee I'd never met at a company I didn't know I supported upgrading software I'd never heard of. Life, it seems, has a dark sense of humor.
The Trial is a fascinating book. Kafka is unmatched when it comes to creating a suffocating, paranoid atmosphere. The entire novel feels like being stuck in a crowded room with no ventilation waiting in a line that never moves. First and foremost it's a critique of bureaucracies in a totalitarian society, but there's a good deal more going on. Every new character undermines the protagonist's (and reader's) understanding of what's going on. There's a religious allegory in there as well as no small amount of self-criticism and questioning whether or not the victim is really a victim at all or is rather complicit in his own imprisonment.
Which is all to say that it's a genuinely fascinating piece of literature that's also a terrific read. It's not what I would describe as "fun" but c'mon, who's reading Kafka for laughs?
I genuinely do not want to know the answer to that question.