Review by Booklist Review
Like Kafka's last novel, Mairowitz's graphic adaptation ends midsentence. Neither Mairowitz nor any other reader can say whether the land surveyor K. ever meets the Count, his supposed employer, in the castle. Nor can they ever determine whether he meets the Count's agent, who K. repeatedly tries to contact by way of a messenger and with whose disgraced family he ends up sheltering when he fails to discover whether he has actually been hired at all and everyone else in town has closed their doors on him. Of course, the villagers ignorantly in thrall to the castle and its authority haven't helped him at all, regardless of any sympathy they might have for K. Critics have argued that the story might satirize bureaucracy, political authority, or religious salvation. Or might it be an allegory of the Jew in a Gentile society? Jaromir 99 perhaps bets on that last interpretation with artwork that is a matter of stark swatches and blocks of black, white, and gray, suggestive of woodcuts and expressionism in general and German artist Kathe Kollwitz in particular.--Olson, Ray Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Kafka never finished The Castle, his final novel. What he did complete is a vision of a relentlessly dystopian realm where people waste lives in service of a faceless, inhuman bureaucracy whose purpose is obscure, if indeed a purpose exists at all. Summoned to an isolated village, the land surveyor K. finds himself shunned by villagers and unable to contact his erstwhile employer, who is concealed within a forbidding castle. Seeking shelter in a hostile community, K. struggles to find some means to contact his employer, stymied at all turns by a society determined to remain subservient to an obstructive system of rules; progress appears to be foredoomed and escape is impossible. Mairowitz, who has previously adapted Kafka for the stage, does a masterful job of translating the work from its original language and formatting it into a comic book. Artist Jaromir 99's dark and dreamlike art, detailed in some places, abstract in others, reflects the hallucinatory world of shadows and illusions K. wanders through. Too many graphic novel adaptations of classic literature just break down the stories into digestible panels; this is a powerful interpretation of Kafka's timeless themes. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved