—Morten Høi Jensen, Los Angeles Review of Books
If, like me, you are wary of delving into a three-volume account of the life of an ascetic and self-tormenting insurance lawyer, Stach has by some inexplicable thunderbolt of inspiration supplemented his enormous undertaking with a separate volume of biographical detritus, which he suggestively calls ‘counter-images’, titled Is that Kafka? 99 Finds.
—Francine Prose, New York Review of Books
Lucidly translated from the German by Kurt Beals, ingeniously designed, illustrated with photographs of Kafka and the people he knew, of places he visited and art he admired, and with facsimiles of newspaper articles, manuscripts, notes, and letters, Is That Kafka? is a handsome volume.
—Jonathon Sturgeon, Flavorwire
A playful new book from Reiner Stach, one that pulls together 99 facts and observations from the Czech author’s life, all with the purpose of clearing the brush of falsehoods about the man that linger in the public imagination.
—Evan James, Quarterly Conversation
Each turn Stach makes adds nuance to his skillfully collaged portrait of Kafka.
—Patrick McGinty, Propeller
It is fitting that such a tricksy little maze of a book would bloom from the life of Kafka, whose work operates better in smaller spaces.
—Jeffrey Zuckerman, The New Republic
A beautiful display of unexpected wonders and curiosities, each one glittering with light from a source that will never be understood.
—Avi Steinberg, The New Yorker
Reiner Stach has curated a collection of artifacts from the author’s life in his latest book, Is that Kafka? 99 Finds. The book, translated from the German by Kurt Beals, is a crowd-pleasing encore to Stach’s monumental three-volume biography of the writer. Along with minimal commentary, he submits ninety-nine numbered exhibition items—documents, photographs, objects, scribbles, and doodles—for our consideration. The result is a box of fancy Austro-Hungarian chocolates…
—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
Is that Kafka? indirectly contributes to an on going scholarly project, in Europe and America, to revisit many of the assumptions about the writer and his work, in effect, to move beyond the myths and clichés.