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The Castle

Words by David Zane Mairowitz

Art by Jaromír 99

Paperback with flaps, 144 pp, $19.95

"Life in the Castle is not for me. I want to stay free."
"You don't know the Castle."

When a land surveyor, known only as 'K.', is summoned to the Village, he is forced to negotiate an obscure hierarchy – among assistants and messengers, chambermaids and landladies, masters and… mistresses. But how is he to receive his instructions from the Castle when no one knows what his employer looks like, telephones ring unanswered and there is anyway no land to survey? A piercing study in futility, Franz Kafka's final masterpiece ends – much like life itself – mid-sentence.

David Zane Mairowitz

David Zane Mairowitz is an author, playwright, radio director and translator. As a professional freelance writer for 40 years, he has collaborated on numerous books, including the successful Introducing Kafka (with Robert Crumb), Introducing Camus and Wilhelm Reich for Beginners. His plays for the theatre include a critically acclaimed theatrical version of Kafka's The Trial. His articles have appeared in Harper's, Vogue, Plays and Players, The Village Voice, The Progressive and The Sunday Times. His short stories have appeared in various literary magazines, including Partisan Review, New Directions and the prestigious Penguin Modern Stories. For the past 25 years, he has produced radio dramas and documentaries in over 20 European countries and for the BBC, winning various international radio prizes. He lives and works in France and Berlin.

Jaromír 99

Jaromír 99, whose real name is Jaromír Švejdík, divides his time between the worlds of music and comics. He is well-known as a member of the groups Priessnitz and Umakart, and as the artist behind the Alois Nebel (2003) trilogy. He also worked as a co-screenwriter and artist on its film adaptation (2011), which was awarded Best Animated Film by the European Film Academy. He won a Muriel Award for his comic strip Bomber (2007) and he adapted Kafka’s The Castle (2013) as a graphic novel for SelfMadeHero, which was nominated for the prestigious Eisner Award. Jaromír 99 lives and works in Prague.


"Engrossing and fascinating, both in Mairowitz's adapted prose and Jaromír 99's art. While some may find a 'comic book' adaptation of the last unfinished work of one of the 20th century's most esteemed authors to be something of an anathema, this is no more so than any other adaptation and is, in fact, much less so because of the skill of the writing and the art."
— Pop Matters
"Brilliantly conjures the atmosphere of Kafka's last, unfinished novel."
— Financial Times