There’s an industry when it comes to writing about Kafka.  His works are analysed and reinterpreted again and again.  But has anyone written about baking with Kafka?  Not that I know of.  Not even Tom Gauld.  But he has drawn a cartoon.


Baking with Kafka is a collection of cartoons, mostly commissioned by the Guardian, the New Yorker or the New York Times.  The vast majority have a literary theme with others referring to art, film and world of the critic. As such the cartoons are current, well-informed and extremely witty.  There are a few pointed barbs scattered in the mix, but these seemed reserved (quite rightly) for the world of politics.

Gauld projects into the bookish future with advice such as how to get published in a skeleton apocalypse and a demonstration of the behaviour of a rogue bibliophile in 2500 AD.  Staying firmly in the now, however, whether you are a reader, a writer, a translator, or a critic, Gauld captures your pecadilloes in a way that you will recognise and make you smile.

On second thoughts, maybe translators won’t smile.


Consisting of 150 cartoons, this is a book for devouring in one sitting, and then dipping in and out of whenever in need of a quick pick-me-up.  I’ve also spent quite a while trying to determine my three favourites. It was an impossible task.  Instead I will leave you with three cartoons that tickled my funny bone all over again whilst writing this review.