Kafka's editor and personal friend writes an intimate, searching biography of the Czechoslovakian writer, a book which was halted in translation from the German by the war. Drawing on Kafka's diaries, letters and writing, on his own memories, Brod reveals more of the man and his work than can be learned from Kafka's books. The sad, awkward early years, the desire to escape from and justify himself to a dominating father, his study of law, his evasion of marriage, the turn to religion and Zionism, his finding the woman he loved too late, widening recognition of his genius- these are woven into the portrait of the man, friendly, attractive to all kinds of people, with his vast understanding and sympathy for mankind. The book reflects Kafka's emotional development and the origins of and autobiographical threads in his writings, the tension between daily life and creative life. Literary value in personal recording where critical and evaluative comment is balanced by familiar memories.