The CastleBy Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka's The Castle is one of the greatest modern novels, famous for its dreamlike quality and its richness of interpretative possibility. The protagonist of the novel, K., is plunged into confusion and frustration when he arrives at a village to take up the job of a land surveyor that no-one seems to know anything about. He is told that he can get answers from the castle which rules over the village, but the castle turns out to be impenetrable fortress containing a never-ending paper chain of bureaucracy and inscrutable officials. The novel explores a vast range of themes including the facelessness of government, the impotence of the individual, and doubts about salvation. Kafka's novel pertinently expresses the anxieties of modern life with a healthy dose of black comedy.