Franz Kafka?s masterpiece is a cautionary tale about the soul-crushing dimensions of the legal system. More allegory than story, this nightmarish parable makes being turned into a bug an improvement over what happens to Joseph K. on the day when officers of the court pay him a visit. Though they leave without ever charging or arresting him, they inform him that he is the subject of a legal proceeding where his guilt is certain. There is no actual legal trial in The Trial (spoiler alert), just the human trial of a man forever transformed by the grinding gears of the law. Joseph K. spends the novel desperately seeking an acquittal from a nameless crime while all of Prague becomes a prison on account of a legal proceeding that can't be stopped even though it has barely begun.