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The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

The Metamorphosis (original 1915; edition 2009)

by Franz Kafka

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5,667None753 (3.91)132
Title:The Metamorphosis
Authors:Franz Kafka
Info:Martino Fine Books (2009), Paperback, 82 pages
Collections:Your library, E-Book

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The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (1915)

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Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
One of the most famous opening lines in literature: "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect."

Well, this will certainly be a day unlike all others.

A classic work of expressionism. A metaphor for what happens to an individual when he lives a life he loathes, for extreme alienation and rebellion. What the reader brings to the text will inform his or her interpretation, and that makes the work all the more extraordinary. ( )
  Laurenbdavis | Apr 5, 2014 |
Although difficult to understand, this is a great source for a literature class. It will get students to think critically about alternate meanings and symbolism. It shows the psychological process of depression and not being who you want to be. ( )
  megsrene | Feb 3, 2014 |
This is a hard book to nail down. That despite the fact that the basic (infamous) premise is revealed in the first sentence. It was about all I knew about Kafka or The Metamorphosis when I started the book--that the "hero" wakes up as a cockroach:

As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was lying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his domelike brown belly divided into stiff arched segments on top of which the bed quilt could hardly stay in place and was about to slide off completely. His numerous legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of his bulk, waved helplessly before his eyes.

I'd read this work published in 1915 was a seminal work of the early 20th century. I'd read it was important to the Existentialist movement, surreal and absurdest and despairing. So what surprised me about this short novella--it's only about 22 thousand words--is how funny it is. I just found this all pretty hilarious. Is that bad, and wrong? It has been described as horror--but I mean, just the way Kafka describes poor Gregor trying to get around on his little legs--or trying to squeak out explanations to his supervisor or his family... I found nothing very heavy in this--or anything all that philosophical--at least not in any ponderous or pedantic way. It felt more light humor than anything--and really, an engaging introduction for me to this writer who'd I'd definitely read again. ( )
2 vote LisaMaria_C | Nov 30, 2013 |
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: BBC Radio 4 Extra

'I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.'

Imagine you go to bed one night with nothing out of the ordinary occurring only to wake up to find you have transformed into a monstrous insect overnight. Your family can no longer communicate with you, they no longer can even stand to look at you. You've become repulsive and abhorrent for seemingly no apparent reason. What do you do?

Everyone has heard of The Metamorphosis, Kafka's literary masterpiece, a book that is obviously more than meets the eye. The story possessed a dream-like quality where nothing is ever considered appropriately, as Gregor accepted his transformation into insect form a lot more readily than one might normally. Many have attempted to form their own interpretations of the story but I personally can't see it being anything other than a metaphor. While there are bound to be several different opinions on this, this is what I came up with:

Up until that life altering morning Gregor led an uneventful life where he worked constantly to support his family and in turn they steadily grew unproductive the more they began to depend on him. Gregor travels so often for work that communication between him and his family begins to cease and most importantly his family stops being appreciative of all he does for them and instead begins to simply expect it. That fateful morning he woke and began to contemplate his job and how terrible he finds it and if he didn't have his parents to worry about he would have "given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel." The more and more he dwells on this the more he realizes what he does for them, what they don't do and how his work ethic in order to support his family has in turn alienated them from him. By becoming the sole breadwinner of the family he transformed himself into an outsider, the transformation only becoming a physical interpretation when he realizes that himself.

I've never read Kafka before having always found myself intimidated by his works. When I discovered that the BBC Radio had produced a recording of this being read by Benedict Cumberbatch I jumped on the opportunity and I am so glad I did. I had listened to a clip of the audiobook that was released by Blackstone Audio and narrated by Ralph Cosham... that audiobook sat on my phone for so long I forgot about it because it sounded dreadfully dull. Benedict Cumberbatch truly brought this story to life and made this a real treat for me. ( )
2 vote bonniemarjorie | Sep 12, 2013 |
At first, I can't bear reading this book. It was about a person who turned into a bug. It was disgusting. I hate bugs. But towards the middle and end part you begin to feel sympathy for Gregor. Who wants to be a bug? It was something he did not choose. i just felt bad for him and how his family treated him. It actually made me cry in the end. This one classic book everyone should read. ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Aug 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (140 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kafka, Franzprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Appelbaum, StanleyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baioni, GiulianoContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bernofsky, SusanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Corngold, StanleyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graftdijk, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hauptmann, TatjanaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hofmann, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoover, Marjorie L.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnston, IanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muir, EdwinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muir, WillaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nervi, MauroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neugroschel, JoachimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rho, AnitaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Toorn, Willem vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyllie, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug.
When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141023457, Paperback)

Waking after a night of troubled dreams, Gregor is surprised to find himself trapped in the body of a hideous man-sized bug. As he lies on his shell and gazes into space, his mother and father begin calling to him from outside his bedroom door. He must get out of bed, they tell him. He has to go to work. They need his money to live. Gregor replies to them nervously, his voice sounding strange to his ears. He'll be out very soon, he says. He's just getting ready! But he can't keep saying that forever.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:52 -0400)

A novel about a man who finds himself transformed into a huge insect, and the effects of this change upon his life.

(summary from another edition)

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