The Trial is a wonderful yet depressing book by Franz Kafka which explores the human condition while telling the story about a mysterious trial endured by a certain Mr Joseph K who works as a Chief Clerk in a bank.
One day, Mr K is surprised to find Police in his home, who are there to arrest him for a crime which they can't reveal - because it's secret. Now, he is faced with the daunting task of preparing his defence, without knowing any details about the accusations, or hearing any arguments from the prosecution. Secret courts, shabby courtrooms located in attics, strange lawyers and even stranger laws all contribute to the madness that Mr K has to deal with.
The book plays on the theme of the Condemned Man - similar to other existentialist literature like Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky and The Outsider by Albert Camus, but is much more enjoyable because of the bizarre, crazy and sadistic bureaucracy involved in the courtroom. Subtle allegories point toward the similarities between the human condition and Mr K's plight.
4/5 - a pleasure to read.