Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Amerika - post II

Just as there were moments in The Trial, notably in the law offices, there are passages here where you feel Karl getting lost down dark corridors and what makes it worse is the size. In America things are bigger so the five lane highway is full of cars, the hotel he gets a job in has 30 lifts and hosts banquets that are so large there is barely room to breathe.

Bullet points from pages 50 – 100

Having been invited to the banker’s house Karl is told that he will be given a letter at midnight and after wandering and getting lost in the dark corridors of the country mansion he is finally given the letter

In the letter his uncle disowns him for what seems to be the sole reason that Karl has visited someone else, returns the belongings he had on the boat and provides a third class ticket to San Francisco

On leaving the mansion Karl trudges to an inn and asks for the cheapest room, which has two beds already occupied by a Frenchman and an Irishman who once awake identify a potential source not just of money but amusement with Karl

They try to convince him to follow them to try to find work and he initially seems to be keen but it becomes clear they are going to take his money and exploit him and things come to a head after they send him to a hotel to get food and ransack his suitcase

Karl returns from the hotel, where the head cook has taken pity on him and offered him a room for the night, and has a showdown with the Irish and Frenchman and it seems to be heading for violence until a waiter from the hotel comes and breaks it up

Once in the hotel Karl becomes a lift boy and starts to discover the joys of a 12 hours shift and no sleep but starts buying into the American dream of starting at the bottom and working his way up

More tomorrow…

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