The Metamorphosis and Other Stories [NOOK Book]

Overview

A brilliant, darkly comic reimagining of Kafka’s classic tale of family, alienation, and a giant bug.

Acclaimed graphic artist Peter Kuper presents a kinetic illustrated adaptation of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. Kuper’s electric drawings—where American cartooning meets German expressionism—bring Kafka’s prose to vivid life, reviving the original story’s humor and poignancy in a way that will surprise and delight readers of Kafka and ...

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The Metamorphosis and Other Stories

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Overview

A brilliant, darkly comic reimagining of Kafka’s classic tale of family, alienation, and a giant bug.

Acclaimed graphic artist Peter Kuper presents a kinetic illustrated adaptation of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. Kuper’s electric drawings—where American cartooning meets German expressionism—bring Kafka’s prose to vivid life, reviving the original story’s humor and poignancy in a way that will surprise and delight readers of Kafka and graphic novels alike.

PETER KUPER’s work has appeared in Time, Esquire, The New Yorker, and the New York Times, among others. He’s the author and illustrator of several books, including Give It Up!, a collection of Kafka stories.

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Editorial Reviews

Jewish Book World
The only stories published in Kafka's lifetime, this collection contains the best-known novellas and stories from one of the seminal writers of the 20th century. Each work is unique and spellbinding. You don't know what's going to happen and you can't put it down.
From the Publisher
In this, his most famous story, Kafka explores the notions of alienation and human loneliness. It is a work of extraordinary narrative technique and imagination. This unique edition also presents six of Kafka’s lesser-known stories.
The Barnes & Noble Review
Who among us, upon awaking from troubled dreams and dreading another soul-sucking day at the office, hasn't felt a bit like a cockroach? So it goes with Gregor Samsa in Franz Kafka's nightmare allegory "Metamorphosis." In the 1915 tale of the dutiful son and exhausted traveling salesman who is unaccountably transformed into a giant insect, Kafka tapped into our fear that we're little more than vermin under the hard-soled shoes of society. We dread a life where we'll end up like Gregor, whose "whole left side was one long, unpleasantly stretched scab, and he was positively limping on his two rows of legs." Only a handful of Kafka's stories were published before his death in 1924; he left his friend Max Brod with instructions to destroy all remaining manuscripts. Fortunately, Brod disobeyed, and today not only has "Kafkaesque" entered the lexicon, but thousands of grad students have labored to dissect the symbolism in Kafka's unfinished novels: The Trial (1925), The Castle (1926), and Amerika (1927). "Kafka's writing is a remarkable instance of something coming out of nowhere and, in the space of a human generation, attaining in its reception the condition of inexhaustible intractability he was so often drawn to describing within it," Michael Hofmann writes in the introduction to his translation of Metamorphosis and Other Stories. To Hofmann, a typical Kafka story is "a perfect work of literary art, as approachable as it is strange, and as strange as it is approachable." Take, for instance, "In the Penal Colony," where he describes how prisoners are strapped beneath a machine whose needles inscribe their crimes on their skin, over and over until nothing but bloody meat remains. Nearly every story in this collection is a classic example of what happens when realism and allegory press against each other and make us writhe in the nightmares of a writer at the peak of his art. --David Abrams
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780191579868
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • Publication date: 7/9/2009
  • Series: Oxford World's Classics Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 857,572
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was one of the giants of 20th-century German literature. His writing is some of the most influential in Western culture, although much of it is incomplete, and was only published posthumously. Christopher Moncrieff has previously translated the work of Jean-Euphele Milce and Victor Hugo.

Biography

Franz Kafka was born in 1883 to a well-to-do middle-class Jewish family. His father, the self-made proprietor of a wholesale haberdashery business, was a domineering man whose approbation Franz continually struggled to win. The younger Kafka's feelings of inadequacy and guilt form the background of much of his work and are made explicit in his "Letter to His Father" (excerpted in this volume), which was written in 1919 but never sent.

Kafka was educated in the German language schools of Prague and at the city's German University, where in 1908 he took a law degree. Literature, however, remained his sole passion. At this time he became part of a literary circle that included Franz Werfel, Martin Buber, and Kafka's close friend Max Brod. Encouraged by Brod, Kafka published the prose collection Observations in 1913. Two years later his story "The Stoker" won the Fontaine prize. In 1916 he began work on The Trial and between this time and 1923 produced three incomplete novels as well as numerous sketches and stories. In his lifetime some of his short works did appear: The Judgment (1916), The Metamorphosis (1916), The Penal Colony (1919), and The Country Doctor (1919).

Before his death of tuberculosis in 1924, Kafka had charged Max Brod with the execution of his estate, ordering Brod to burn the manuscripts. With the somewhat circular justification that Kafka must have known his friend could not obey such an order, Brod decided to publish Kafka's writings. To this act of "betrayal" the world owes the preservation of some of the most unforgettable and influential literary works of our century.

Biography courtesy of BN.com

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    1. Date of Birth:
      July 3, 1883
    2. Place of Birth:
      Prague, Austria-Hungary
    1. Date of Death:
      June 3, 1924
    2. Place of Death:
      Vienna, Austria
    1. Education:
      German elementary and secondary schools. Graduated from German Charles-Ferdinand University of Prague.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1



When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin. He was lying on his back as hard as armor plate, and when he lifted his head a little, he saw his vaulted brown belly, sectioned by arch-shaped ribs, to whose dome the cover, about to slide off completely, could barely cling. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, were waving helplessly before his eyes.

"What's happened to me?" he thought. It was no dream. His room, a regular human room, only a little on the small side, lay quiet between the four familiar walls. Over the table, on which an unpacked line of fabric samples was all spread out--Samsa was a traveling salesman--hung the picture which he had recently cut out of a glossy magazine and lodged in a pretty gilt frame. It showed a lady done up in a fur hat and a fur boa, sitting upright and raising up against the viewer a heavy fur muff in which her whole forearm had disappeared.

Gregor's eyes then turned to the window, and the overcast weather--he could hear raindrops hitting against the metal window ledge--completely depressed him. "How about going back to sleep for a few minutes and forgetting all this nonsense," he thought, but that was completely impracticable, since he was used to sleeping on his right side and in his present state could not get into that position. No matter how hard he threw himself onto his right side, he always rocked onto his back again. He must have tried it a hundred times, closing his eyes so as not to have to see his squirming legs, and stopped only when he began to feel a slight, dullpain in his side, which he had never felt before.

"Oh God," he thought, "what a grueling job I've picked! Day in, day out--on the road. The upset of doing business is much worse than the actual business in the home office, and, besides, I've got the torture of traveling, worrying about changing trains, eating miserable food at all hours, constantly seeing new faces, no relationships that last or get more intimate. To the devil with it all!" He felt a slight itching up on top of his belly; shoved himself slowly on his back closer to the bedpost, so as to be able to lift his head better; found the itchy spot, studded with small white dots which he had no idea what to make of; and wanted to touch the spot with one of his legs but immediately pulled it back, for the contact sent a cold shiver through him.

He slid back again into his original position. "This getting up so early," he thought, "makes anyone a complete idiot. Human beings have to have their sleep. Other traveling salesmen live like harem women. For instance, when I go back to the hotel before lunch to write up the business I've done, these gentlemen are just having breakfast. That's all I'd have to try with my boss; I'd be fired on the spot. Anyway, who knows if that wouldn't be a very good thing for me. If I didn't hold back for my parents' sake, I would have quit long ago, I would have marched up to the boss and spoken my piece from the bottom of my heart. He would have fallen off the desk! It is funny, too, the way he sits on the desk and talks down from the heights to the employees, especially when they have to come right up close on account of the boss's being hard of hearing. Well, I haven't given up hope completely; once I've gotten the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him--that will probably take another five or six years--I'm going to do it without fail. Then I'm going to make the big break. But for the time being I'd better get up, since my train leaves at five."

And he looked over at the alarm clock, which was ticking on the chest of drawers. "God Almighty!" he thought. It was six-thirty, the hands were quietly moving forward, it was actually past the half-hour, it was already nearly a quarter to. Could it be that the alarm hadn't gone off? You could see from the bed that it was set correctly for four o'clock; it certainly had gone off, too. Yes, but was it possible to sleep quietly through a ringing that made the furniture shake? Well, he certainly hadn't slept quietly, but probably all the more soundly for that. But what should he do now? The next train left at seven o'clock; to make it, he would have to hurry like a madman, and the line of samples wasn't packed yet, and he himself didn't feel especially fresh and ready to march around. And even if he did make the train, he could not avoid getting it from the boss, because the messenger boy had been waiting at the five-o'clock train and would have long ago reported his not showing up. He was a tool of the boss, without brains or backbone. What if he were to say he was sick? But that would be extremely embarrassing and suspicious because during his five years with the firm Gregor had not been sick even once. The boss would be sure to come with the health-insurance doctor, blame his parents for their lazy son, and cut off all excuses by quoting the health-insurance doctor, for whom the world consisted of people who were completely healthy but afraid to work. And, besides, in this case would he be so very wrong? In fact, Gregor felt fine, with the exception of his drowsiness, which was really unnecessary after sleeping so late, and he even had a ravenous appetite.

Just as he was thinking all this over at top speed, without being able to decide to get out of bed--the alarm clock had just struck a quarter to seven--he heard a cautious knocking at the door next to the head of his bed. "Gregor," someone called--it was his mother--"it's a quarter to seven. Didn't you want to catch the train?" What a soft voice! Gregor was shocked to hear his own voice answering, unmistakably his own voice, true, but in which, as if from below, an insistent distressed chirping intruded, which left the clarity of his words intact only for a moment really, before so badly garbling them as they carried that no one could be sure if he had heard right. Gregor had wanted to answer in detail and to explain everything, but, given the circumstances, confined himself to saying, "Yes, yes, thanks, Mother, I'm just getting up." The wooden door must have prevented the change in Gregor's voice from being noticed outside, because his mother was satisfied with this explanation and shuffled off. But their little exchange had made the rest of the family aware that, contrary to expectations, Gregor was still in the house, and already his father was knocking on one of the side doors, feebly but with his fist. "Gregor, Gregor," he called, "what's going on?" And after a little while he called again in a deeper, warning voice, "Gregor! Gregor!" At the other side door, however, his sister moaned gently, "Gregor? Is something the matter with you? Do you want anything?" Toward both sides Gregor answered: "I'm all ready," and made an effort, by meticulous pronunciation and by inserting long pauses between individual words, to eliminate everything from his voice that might betray him. His father went back to his breakfast, but his sister whispered, "Gregor, open up, I'm pleading with you." But Gregor had absolutely no intention of opening the door and complimented himself instead on the precaution he had adopted from his business trips, of locking all the doors during the night even at home.

First of all he wanted to get up quietly, without any excitement; get dressed; and, the main thing, have breakfast, and only then think about what to do next, for he saw clearly that in bed he would never think things through to a rational conclusion. He remembered how even in the past he had often felt some kind of slight pain, possibly caused by lying in an uncomfortable position, which, when he got up, turned out to be purely imaginary, and he was eager to see how today's fantasy would gradually fade away. That the change in his voice was nothing more than the first sign of a bad cold, an occupational ailment of the traveling salesman, he had no doubt in the least.

It was very easy to throw off the cover; all he had to do was puff himself up a little, and it fell off by itself. But after this, things got difficult, especially since he was so unusually broad. He would have needed hands and arms to lift himself up, but instead of that he had only his numerous little legs, which were in every different kind of perpetual motion and which, besides, he could not control. If he wanted to bend one, the first thing that happened was that it stretched itself out;* and if he finally succeeded in getting this leg to do what he wanted, all the others in the meantime, as if set free, began to work in the most intensely painful agitation. "Just don't stay in bed being useless," Gregor said to himself.

First he tried to get out of bed with the lower part of his body, but this lower part--which by the way he had not seen yet and which he could not form a clear picture of--proved too difficult to budge; it was taking so long; and when finally, almost out of his mind, he lunged forward with all his force, without caring, he had picked the wrong direction and slammed himself violently against the lower bedpost, and the searing pain he felt taught him that exactly the lower part of his body was, for the moment anyway, the most sensitive.

He therefore tried to get the upper part of his body out of bed first and warily turned his head toward the edge of the bed. This worked easily, and in spite of its width and weight, the mass of his body finally followed, slowly, the movement of his head. But when at last he stuck his head over the edge of the bed into the air, he got too scared to continue any further, since if he finally let himself fall in this position, it would be a miracle if he didn't injure his head. And just now he had better not for the life of him lose consciousness; he would rather stay in bed.

But when, once again, after the same exertion, he lay in his original position, sighing, and again watched his little legs struggling, if possible more fiercely, with each other and saw no way of bringing peace and order into this mindless motion, he again told himself that it was impossible for him to stay in bed and that the most rational thing was to make any sacrifice for even the smallest hope of freeing himself from the bed. But at the same time he did not forget to remind himself occasionally that thinking things over calmly--indeed, as calmly as possible--was much better than jumping to desperate decisions. At such moments he fixed his eyes as sharply as possible on the window, but unfortunately there was little confidence and cheer to be gotten from the view of the morning fog, which shrouded even the other side of the narrow street. "Seven o'clock already," he said to himself as the alarm clock struck again, "seven o'clock already and still such a fog." And for a little while he lay quietly, breathing shallowly, as if expecting, perhaps, from the complete silence the return of things to the way they really and naturally were.

But then he said to himself, "Before it strikes a quarter past seven, I must be completely out of bed without fail. Anyway, by that time someone from the firm will be here to find out where I am, since the office opens before seven." And now he started rocking the complete length of his body out of the bed with a smooth rhythm. If he let himself topple out of bed in this way, his head, which on falling he planned to lift up sharply, would presumably remain unharmed. His back seemed to be hard; nothing was likely to happen to it when it fell onto the carpet. His biggest misgiving came from his concern about the loud crash that was bound to occur and would probably create, if not terror, at least anxiety behind all the doors. But that would have to be risked.

When Gregor's body already projected halfway out of bed--the new method was more of a game than a struggle, he only had to keep on rocking and jerking himself along--he thought how simple everything would be if he could get some help. Two strong persons--he thought of his father and the maid--would have been completely sufficient; they would only have had to shove their arms under his arched back, in this way scoop him off the bed, bend down with their burden, and then just be careful and patient while he managed to swing himself down onto the floor, where his little legs would hopefully acquire some purpose. Well, leaving out the fact that the doors were locked, should he really call for help? In spite of all his miseries, he could not repress a smile at this thought.

He was already so far along that when he rocked more strongly he could hardly keep his balance, and very soon he would have to commit himself, because in five minutes it would be a quarter past seven--when the doorbell rang. "It's someone from the firm," he said to himself and almost froze, while his little legs only danced more quickly. For a moment everything remained quiet. "They're not going to answer," Gregor said to himself, captivated by some senseless hope. But then, of course, the maid went to the door as usual with her firm stride and opened up. Gregor only had to hear the visitor's first word of greeting to know who it was--the office manager himself. Why was only Gregor condemned to work for a firm where at the slightest omission they immediately suspected the worst? Were all employees louts without exception, wasn't there a single loyal, dedicated worker among them who, when he had not fully utilized a few hours of the morning for the firm, was driven half-mad by pangs of conscience and was actually unable to get out of bed? Really, wouldn't it have been enough to send one of the apprentices to find out--if this prying were absolutely necessary--did the manager himself have to come, and did the whole innocent family have to be shown in this way that the investigation of this suspicious affair could be entrusted only to the intellect of the manager? And more as a result of the excitement produced in Gregor by these thoughts than as a result of any real decision, he swung himself out of bed with all his might. There was a loud thump, but it was not a real crash. The fall was broken a little by the carpet, and Gregor's back was more elastic than he had thought, which explained the not very noticeable muffled sound. Only he had not held his head carefully enough and hit it; he turned it and rubbed it on the carpet in anger and pain.
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Table of Contents

Biographical Preface
Introduction
Note on the Text
Note on the Translation
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Franz Kafka

MEDITATION
Children on the Highway 3
Unmasking a Confidence-Man 5
The Sudden Stroll 7
Decisions 8
The Trip to the Mountains 8
The Bachelor's Distress 9
The Small Businessman 9
Gazing Out Idly 11
The Way Home 11
The Runners 12
The Passenger 12
Dresses 13
The Rebuff 13
For Gentleman-Riders to Think About 14
The Window on to the Street 14
Wish to Become a Red Indian 15
Trees 15
Unhappiness 15

THE JUDGEMENT
THE METAMORPHOSIS
IN THE PENAL COLONY
LETTER TO HIS FATHER

Explanatory Notes
Meditation
The Judgement
The Metamorphosis
In the Penal Colony
Letter to his Father

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 242 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(82)

4 Star

(69)

3 Star

(41)

2 Star

(19)

1 Star

(31)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 244 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 16, 2009

    Brilliant Kafka

    Metamorphosis and Other Stories provides some of Franz Kafka's best work, including the title story, of course. The Metamorphosis is easily the best story in the book, though there are other gems like "The Stoker" and "In the Penal Colony." As is the case with Kafka, some of the endings are abrupt and can leave you wanting, such as the end to "The Judgment." The one weak story in the book is "Josephine the Singer," which you learn from the introduction was the last piece he ever wrote as he was dying of illness. A must-have for Kafka fans everywhere.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2004

    There is no Kafka like Kafka and Kafka is his prophet

    The uncanny originality of these most remarkable stories and parables by arguably the most precise delineator of the human mind in all its fear , anxiety and beauty will spellbind the reader, and provide Literature at the very highest level. One of the great books which as Camus said of Kafka demands rereading and rereading.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A great work and read!

    Franz Kafka is one of my all time favorite writers. The Metamorphosis is a wonderfully written story that relies heavily on dialogue, inner monologue and subtle clues rather than big plot twists although it does establish a solid plot line, just one that is not filled with action in every page. There is a great deal of attention being paid to details so it's important to follow it up.
    Change is the main theory behind this book, obviously as the name suggests and how humans handle change, our responsibilities that effects the changes we go through and an ugly side of parent and child relationships.
    The language is a lot different than one a native English speaker is used to, Kafka's use of language, diction and descriptions are quite different than one may be used to. However it creates a great contrast and highlights the differences between U.S. English writers and those of others,which enables one to discover different mentalities in humanity.

    It's a great read with delightful language that made the mirage of fiction more into a reality for me. Though I must admit, a lot of people have difficulty with this book. So approach it with a grain of salt and an open mind.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Good read

    Excellent read for someone that is just being introduced to the world of Kafka. Great samples of the stile and depth of the writer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2008

    Moving

    Out of the book, I only read 'The Metamorphosis.' It was a school assignment, and I thought it would be incredibly dull, but in fact, the story is fast paced, bizarre, and full of irony and dark humor while still expressing the depths of human nature. I was deeply moved by 'The Metamorphosis,' and I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who enjoys reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2013

    I enjoyed Metamorphosis and Other Stories. Some have said Metam

    I enjoyed Metamorphosis and Other Stories. Some have said Metamorphosis is the best but I enjoyed most of the others. If you have not read it take the time to read it. It is well worth the money and time.

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  • Posted June 6, 2013

    The story is good but it is about a guy that turns into a giant

    The story is good but it is about a guy that turns into a giant roach and it's really freaky. I don't like bugs and it's really creepy to read about it, also a little depressing.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2013

    Well written & Interesting

    Needed to read this for a class and ended up loving it. Its beautifully sad.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    Metamorphosis

    Its not simply about adjastment to change in life. Kafka attacts the character of any weak human who allows oneself to be first overcharged and used, then changed into helpless creature. Its about the importance of knowing your value and respecting your life, and foreseeing your own destiny. Kafka shows how having others who are willfull and strong in protecting their own being and own lifestyle could bring the wondering one to the ultimate end.

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  • Posted August 6, 2012

    Like the introduction says, each of Kafka's stories here is abou

    Like the introduction says, each of Kafka's stories here is about failure. He is so great at making a cariciature of what we all must endure day after day in our lives. I read all the stories except for one or two. The one I remember with most detail is The Metamorphosis. This is about a young man, Gregor, who works as a clerk in a business office. He is the main income for his family, which consists of his parents and sister. The fact that his is the main income of the family is taken for granted by them. One morning he wakes and discovers that he is transformed (metamorphosized) into something (I won't tell you what exactly because that will ruin your fun) which disables him from earning an income, leaving the house, or doing anything at all except remain in his room all day, now completely dependent on his family. His transformation is hilarious because of the way Kafka writes in such detail the patheticness of Gregor's attempts. Gregor does not overcome his transformation, he utterfly fails; I haven't spoiled the story by stating that because that is not the point of the story; all of Kafka's characters are failures from the start. You will have to take note of his family's responses to Gregor's transformation; this is the real story.

    You won't enjoy Kafka's stories unless you have a sense of humor and/or you appreciate exisitentialism.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Really tough reading..

    I found the stories slow and monotonous. The idea of The Metamorphosis sounds interesting, but I found it rather boring. I was initially drawn to this book because of Franz Kafka's influences on German culture and various authors. But by modern day times, this book is just too tedious.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    No

    I was a sophmore in highschool when I read this book and i hated it, along with most people that I talk to

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2012

    Why the dung beetle?

    I must be missing some metaphors or something cause im upset at the ending.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Strange but good

    There is a reason that "kafkaesque" means "surreal." The short stories in this book read like dreams/nightmares you would have after eating ham and sauerkraut pizza immediately before bed. I enjoyed their strangeness and trying to figure out what point (if any) Kafka was trying to make in them (alienation seems to be a recurring theme).

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  • Posted August 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good short read

    If you are looking for a short novel that has more than one layer---Kafkha is the right author for you! He will make you think!

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  • Posted August 13, 2011

    Interesting Collection

    This particular edition of Franz Kafka's stories includes some lesser known works with more popular ones. The standout stories for me are "The Metamorphosis" and "The Hunger Artist". The translations were great and did not use too many esoteric words. Some of the stories were just a little boring for my tastes, like In The Penal Colony. Kafka's stories are all strange, but they all have profound messages.

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  • Posted May 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    How to explain why Kafka was a master?

    The guy's writing is simple yet high concept... Subtle points made in blunt situations... Comedic in some scenes that discuss truly dire plots. "Metamorphosis" is a good example of that. Let's face it - a guy waking up and discovering he has turned into a bug is not a happy plot. Yet the first half of the story reads as a mild comedy - and it is not until the end and thinking about it that the really scarily sad point of the story becomes obvious.

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  • Posted November 21, 2010

    Crazily Deep

    The Metamorphosis / 978-1-411-43268-0 When I was in 9th grade, my somewhat harried teacher attempted to assign me Ovid's Metamorphosis (a collection of Greek myths) and instead assigned me Kafka's Metamorphosis. Kafka's tale is short but packed with vivid symbolism in which a young man inexplicably wakes up one day as a large roach creature and subsequently fails to turn back into a man. After a confusing night with the novel, I reported back to the befuddled teacher, and she substituted another book, much to my relief. Years later, I now reread Kafka with an adult's awe and appreciation, rather than the child's confusion. The novel is packed with deep symbolism and, even now, I could not tell you with confidence what it "means". I believe the story is of being trapped in a family that does not appreciate you, except for what you can do for them, and I believe the sad ending masks an even sadder one - that the young daughter will soon become the new symbolic 'roach' to the family, bringing in resources but never loved or appreciated. However, I have heard other interpretations, each meaningful and special. I recommend this book, but the first read through should be with a light eye, not questioning the strangeness nor looking too hard for meaning. Rather, I think Kafka is best when you allow the impressions to kind of wash over you as you go. ~ Ana Mardoll

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  • Posted October 13, 2010

    Moderately Recommended

    Metamorphosis by Kafka was a really good and interesting book. I recommend it to everyone. I believe everyone can relate to this novel in a different aspect. Whether you are a bug or an individual who is hopeless (Gregor), or you just want to learn a moral lesson about life. This book is good, but not great. It can be relevant to any person, but one can also get lost reading it. However, overall this book was an interesting book to read.

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  • Posted October 13, 2010

    must read!

    The first time I read the Metamorphosis, I did not like it at all. I was in high school and I did not understand the meaning. However now that I am in college, I see Metamorphosis in a new light.
    First of all, Kafka's intricate mind is presented throughout the story. His use of atmosphere, setting, rhetoric and symbols is amazing. Even though the story is somber and in a way sicking, it is a great lesson to be learned. Like Gregor and the rest of his family, one can not know how they will react in difficult situations till they are presented with them. One's true character, in difficult situations, may transform for the better and for the worst. Over all transformation is very powerful and is, besides death, out of one's control.

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