"What do I have in common with the Jews? I don't even have anything incommon with myself." Nothing could better express the essence of FranzKafka, a man described by his friends as living behind a "glass wall."Kafka wrote in the tradition of the great Yiddish storytellers, whosestock-in-trade was bizarre fantasy tainted with hilarity andself-abasement. What he added to this tradition was an almostunbearably expanded consciousness. Alienated from his roots, hisfamily, his surroundings, and primarily from his own body, Kafkacreated a unique literary language in which to hide away, transforminghimself into a cockroach, an ape, a dog, a mole or a circus artiste whostarves himself to death in front of admiring crowds. David ZaneMairowitz's brilliant text and the illustrations and comic panels ofthe world's greatest cartoonist, Robert Crumb (himself no stranger toself-loathing and alienation), help us to understand the essence ofKafka and provide insight beyond the cliche "Kafkaesque," peeringthrough Kafka's glass wall like no other book before it. The book is awonderful educational tool for those unfamiliar with Kafka, including abrief but inclusive biography as well as the plots of many of hisworks, all illustrated by Crumb, making this newly designed edition amust-have for admirers of both Kafka and Crumb.