Four Stories by Franz Kafka: A Hunger Artist, A Report to the Academy, A Country Doctor, A Little Woman

Franz Kafka, Author
Franz Kafka, Author , read by Alan Scarfe, Jack Wetherall. CBC Audio $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-660-19550-6
Reviewed on: 05/01/2006
Release date: 02/01/2006
Analog Audio Cassette - 2 pages - 978-0-8072-3533-1
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-8072-3451-8
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Relatively unknown as a writer during his short lifetime, Kafka (1883–1924) became a major influence on 20th-century literature. These recordings, originally produced for CBC Radio's Booktime series, have a special significance since they appears to be the only English-language recording of Kafka material. Broadcast-quality production values, brief introductions and theme music enhance the presentation. The first three stories, presented as a miniseries featuring Kafka's work, share a musical theme. Scarfe reads all but the second story, which is brought to life by the capable Wetherall. Each is a tiny window into the soul of a character, permitting listeners to experience an event. The jaunty theme music of the miniseries might seem a bit frivolous to Kafka purists, but effectively establishes the mundaneness of these individuals' existence. For uniqueness alone, this item deserves a place in library and school collections, and for making the work of a master more approachable it is most welcome. (Mar.)

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