Kafka's long and remarkable letter to his father, covering their entire relationship, is here sandwiched between fragments of unfinished stories, aphorisms, odds and ends from notebooks and loose pages, poems, and all of the other jottings that a writer makes. The letter itself, being autobiographical, self-justifying and self-blaming, is fascinating and valuable to anyone who has read any of Kafka's novels and stories. He explains to his father why he fears him, the differences in their characters, the effects of the father's methods of upbringing on his son and his daughters and on their relations with their mother, and finally describes Kafka's attempts at escape and independence:- through Judaism, writing, marriage- all failures. The rest of the book, from the earliest known writings by Kafka (forshadowing Metamorphosis and other themes) through a couple of speeches, are of interest mainly to the Kafka student who wants to follow through the development of and variations on the writer's theme. This is the first time the famous letter has been published in English (in a translation by Ernst Keiser and Eithne Wilkins), under the able editorship of Max Brod. Definitely a book for the Kafka addicts.