by Franz Kafka

Reviewer Rating:


Amerika by Franz Kafka was published in 1927, after the author's death. It was his first novel, and it was left unfinished.

The main character, Karl Rossmann, is sent to the USA after a scandal in which a housemaid seduces him. After landing in America, serendipitously meets his uncle, who is a rich senator. Rossman eventually is sent away from living with his uncle after disobeying instructions to remain home (Rossman visits friends instead). Other immigrant "friends" with which he spends the next several days take advantage of him, while leading him from one absurd adventure to the next.

Amerika is a funny book. More than one page is worthy of laughs from its reader. The language isn't fluffy, so teens would understand it but may not grasp some humors. Some interesting things to pay attention to: which characters are immigrants, Rossman's continued tendency to "escape" his situation, the timing of the absurd adventues in the story.

Overall, Amerika is fun to read but not the best place to start with Kafka.

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