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The Metamorphosis Paperback – October 17, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1936594009 ISBN-10: 1936594005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 76 pages
  • Publisher: Tribeca Books (October 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936594005
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936594009
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Kafka s stoic Euro-alienation meets and merges with Kuper s thoroughly American rock and roll alienation. Jules Feiffer

The ride from book to comic can be bumpy. Mr. Kuper navigates the transition with precision. New York Times

Kafka s anguished archetypal characters are easily rendered into visual equivalents and given new life in Kuper s raw, expressionistic graphic style. Publishers Weekly

Darkly appropriate . . . Kuper s work rivals that of Art Spiegelman. Chicago Sun-Times

Bubbling beneath the surface is a caustic batch of black humor that is as much unsettling as it is absurd. This is the magic of Kafka. And Kuper gives it a postmodern edge here, with an intriguing dance of picture and text. Gannett News Service

Kuper s scratchboard style . . . is reminiscent of the German expressionist artists . . . and his cartoony approach accentuates Kafka s dark humor. Booklist --Booklist

About the Author

Franz Kafka (1883-1924) is one of the most influential fiction writers of the early 20th century; a novelist and writer of short stories whose works, only after his death, came to be regarded as one of the major achievements of 20th century literature. He was born to middle class German-speaking Jewish parents in Prague, Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic, in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The house in which he was born, on the Old Town Square next to Prague's Church of St Nicholas, today contains a permanent exhibition devoted to the author. Kafka's work-the novels The Trial (1925), The Castle (1926) and Amerika (1927), as well as short stories including The Metamorphosis (1915) and In the Penal Colony (1914)-is now collectively considered to be among the most original bodies of work in modern Western literature. Much of his work, unfinished at the time of his death, was published posthumously.

Customer Reviews

This is one of those books/stories that gets stuck in your head.
R. Williams
Like I said, it’s a simple tale, and I feel that this was the charm of the short story (short stories usually do well with simple characters anyway).
No.
It stays in the readers' memory that the love between people will change when the finance issue change.
Ngon Le

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By coolhand on June 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I personally prefer Stanley Appelbaum's translation which flows better than the others I have read. . I hope this helps as a guide.

Here is the first paragraph from The Metamorphosis from various translations..

Stanley Appelbaum:
"When Gregor Samsa awoke from troubled dreams one morning, he found that he had been transformed in his bed into an enormous bug. He lay on his back, which was hard as armor, and, when he lifted his head a little, he saw his belly -- round, brown, partitioned by archlike ridges -- on top of which the blanket, ready to slip off altogether, was just barely perched. His numerous legs, pitifully thin in comparison to the rest of his girth, flickered helplessly before his eyes."

Ian Johnston:
"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. He lay on his armour-hard back and saw, as he lifted his head up a little, his brown, arched abdomen divided up into rigid bow-like sections. From this height the blanket, just about ready to slide off completely, could hardly stay in place. His numerous legs, pitifully thin in comparison to the rest of his circumference, flickered helplessly before his eyes."

Donna Freed (the translation found in most kindle editions):
As Gregor Samsa awoke from unsettling dreams one morning, he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous vermin. He lay on his hard armorlike back and when he raised his head a little he saw his vaulted brown belly divided into sections by stiff arches from whose height the coverlet had already slipped and was about to slide off completely. His many legs, which were pathetically thin compared to the rest of his bulk, flickered helplessly before his eyes.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Donna Quesada on June 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
The existentialist theme in The Metamorphosis, and the repurcussions of our dubious choices coming back to haunt us, has been noted many times, elsewhere. In this novella, Gregor's decision to work like a drone delivers a most unspeakable transformation. Granted. But, what I find more interesting is another aspect of existential thought: Taken in its rightful modern context, it shunned religious dogma and the whole idea of predictability. It rejected the seemingly simplistic idea that everything has meaning and purpose, and scoffed at the scientific assuredness that all things can be explained. In other words, weird things happen, and we don't know why! Furthermore, there's often nothing we can do about it and we have to live with it, and then we die without answers.

As if this news wasn't dismal enough, even when we bust ourselves to serve and please others, as Gregor did, that effort often goes without recognition or gratitude. We have to live with that reality, too. Taken to its extreme, we end up feeling oppressed, rejected and sometimes, sadly, completely disjointed and alienated from society. And as if that weren't enough, what if everyone around you could no longer understand you? What if they looked at you as if you were an alien? What if life's simple pleasures--in Gregor's case, a plain old glass of milk--evaded you?

In this case, dehumanization isn't just a figure of speech. Our grotesque protagonist is shut away and left to rot. Yet in this cheerlessness, we discover a beautiful portrait of life. Just as the fog suggests the increasing distance between Gregor and the world, all of Kafka's rich imagery and symbolism culminates in a poetic reflection on the puzzle of existence, itself.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Hilmersen on September 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
Kafka's books are outstanding. It really doesn't happen often that I like books written so long ago, but this one is a classic. The story of the salesman who turns into an insect, and his family's increasingly awful treatment of him, makes one think. In addition, the writing style is easy to follow and at times witty.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Blank on March 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are better translations available, For example I feel that the "Everyman's Press" edition reads much easier Try it and compare
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Philip Thompson on April 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
The Metamorphosis is a sad little story about a boy who wants to be understood, helped, and encouraged by his family. He has become different from everyone else, but yearns for love and care from those who he cares the most. He doesn't expect people to enjoy his new personality, but hopes for some sort of acceptance. But instead he receives abuse (from his father), disgust (from his mother), and betrayal (from his sister). All the family wants is a return to the status quo, with all the futility and emptiness of chasing wealth and position. As the family's true dispositions become clearer, Gregor himself continues to change and become more and more of a recluse. Will the family be able to return to life as usual with Gregor replaced, or will Gregor's new form ruin the family forever?

This novel bears a certain significance to individuals today. We run into people every day who feel unclean or outside the norms of society. Abuse, disgust, and betrayal are the attitudes often shown towards them. They know that they have a major problem, but what they don't know is whether someone will open the door, step into their lives, feed them, love them, and help them in their pain. Now I know that I've screwed up on this account more than anyone. But thankfully I know of someone who has always done a perfect job at this sort of acceptance. Jesus came and broke into the lives of rejected tax collectors, racial minorities, prostitutes, and the physically deformed. He loved and continues to love the ones who hurt and hate themselves. May we also follow in Jesus' example and love others like He did.
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