- Narrated by: Allan Corduner
- Length: 13 hrs and 8 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 04-02-11
- Language: English
- Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
Regular price: £27.09
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By F. J. Gilbert on 19-02-14
Where does The Castle rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
One of the best.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Castle?
Very funny description of the main character, K, waking up in the night to find one of his assistants in bed with him instead of his wife, and then having to deal with the aftermath of this incident the next morning.
What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?
An excellent reader, reminding me of Jon Pertwee in style.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
It is both funny and sad, but creates a menacing tone throughout.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Alan on 27-05-12
A masculine and coquettish reading
So far (haven’t finished) I like this reading much better than George Guidall's or Geoffrey Howard's. Allan Corduner uses his deep, rough voice (breaking like a well rosined cello) with a coquette’s liveliness. Very striking. So much on the reading.
As for this David Whiting translation, I think it is available only in this audio book format. The Muir translation is supposed to be smoother and more poetic than Kafka’s original. The more recent Breon Mitchell’s is said to be most literal, but can be somewhat awkward. I think Whiting’s is somewhere in the middle. Compare these.
German: Lange stand K. auf der Holzbruecke, die von der Landstrasse zum Dorf fuehrte, und blickte in die scheinbare Leere empor.
Breon Mitchell: K. stood a long time on the wooden bridge that leads from the main road to the village, gazing upward into the seeming emptiness.
David Whiting (this audio book): For a long time K. stood on the wooden bridge that led from the country road to the village looking up into the apparent void.
Edwin Muir: On the wooden bridge leading from the main road to the village, K. stood for a long time gazing into the illusory emptiness above him.
The book itself I think is the greatest among Kafka’s works, or at least most Kafkaesque in both substance and technique. (Sorry. Too involved to back that up.) But there are technical imperfections such as the excessive use of long speeches and internal reflections. More substantively, the book can seem poorly motivated in places, even if you grant that one’s standing with the castle is the paramount concern for every character. I have a problem with the two assistants, who look like unfortunate props that somehow got in and obliged the author to use them.
This novel, I am told, like many others by the author, is the first draft with minimal corrections. It is doubtful the piece would have retained much of the current form had he reworked it. Unfortunate that he didn’t get to do it; not as if that went against his grain necessarily; he did publish stories in his life time (I am assuming he polished those). Unedited though, the piece obviously lets you into the author’s mind the way no polished work can.
Some of my favorite passage of this book are the opening scene (until K. falls asleep), the bath day scene with the wan “girl from the castle,” the trek though snow and the arrival at Barnabas’s parental home, interview with Momus (from courtyard to outdoors again), the chance meeting with Frieda in Herrenhof after the breakup.
Olga’s long explanations about Amalia seem extremely artificial and strained to me, something I think Kafka would have dismantled had he come back to it.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
By Roizak on 29-06-18
Felt like wondering in a Salvador Dali picture
1. The book is very much fun to listen due to one basic fact, Kafka is a master of creating arguments to his characters that sound absolutely logical on the one hand and unbelievably grotesque on the other.
2. Excellent narrator.
3. I kept listening in the hope that the hero will put order to everything, sadly, the book never ends. The theme is clear...
4. Something that did bother me was that all characters, so it seems, possessed the same level of intellect while arguing something. You don't feel the diversity between them in this sense.
5. I liked the book a lot and that is the bottom line.