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The Metamorphosis Paperback – September 12, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Franz Kafka was born to Jewish parents in Bohemia in 1883. Kafka s father was a luxury goods retailer who worked long hours and as a result never became close with his son. Kafka s relationship with his father greatly influenced his later writing and directly informed his Brief an den Vater (Letter to His Father). Kafka had a thorough education and was fluent in both German and Czech. As a young man, he was hired to work at an insurance company where he was quickly promoted despite his desire to devote his time to writing rather than insurance. Over the course of his life, Kafka wrote a great number of stories, letters, and essays, but burned the majority of his work before his death and requested that his friend Max Brod burn the rest. Brod, however, did not fulfill this request and published many of the works in the years following Kafka s death of tuberculosis in 1924. Thus, most of Kafka s works were published posthumously, and he did not live to see them recognized as some of the most important examples of literature of the twentieth century. Kafka s works are considered among the most significant pieces of existentialist writing, and he is remembered for his poignant depictions of internal conflicts with alienation and oppression. Some of Kafka s most famous works include The Metamorphosis, The Trial and The Castle. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 44 pages
  • Publisher: Classix Press; 8/13/09 edition (September 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557427666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557427663
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a strong translation of a seminal work.
Amazon needs to urgently revise their method for posting reviews. The negative review posted below by Steven Burnap applies to a wholly different text.
On a broader note, there is a disturbing trend on Amazon towards this kind of sloppiness, and it undermines the value of a reference-rich website (e.g., this misplaced review, or posting wholly different texts for "Look Inside", etc.)
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Format: Paperback
This book is an existential joke on the reader. It is very funny, yet profoundly sad at the same time, for who has not at some point felt like a bug in the scheme of life's demands? I call it a "robot"; Kafka calls it a bug. We are sacrificing a part of ourselves, perhaps the best part, either for others' happiness or just to survive on a personal level. His protagonist finds, strange as it may sound, that the life of a bug is not that much less unpleasant than that of a working drone. He lives his whole life for the happiness of others. I don't know that it slaps you across the head as a "classic" and yet it reverberates like a classic should; it's true and brutal like a good classic...and more than a bit mysterious and no doubt full of symbolism. Don't wrack your brain; just smoke it like the very strange joint it is and let it mean whatever it means to you. In my worst moments as a working man I used to think "Is employment itself not the worst of addictions? And at the end of the road they give you a little round of applause and a pen set or something and put you out to pasture?" Here's one for the cynic in us all, for those of us who've ever tapped into our inner Peggy Lees and thought "Is that all there is?"
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Format: Paperback
The Metamorphosis is a fiction book that I find rather intriguing because it is fairly straightforward while at the same time complex - just like life truly is. The reason I love this story is because it can be related to real life circumstances, such as what to do and not to do when dealing with one's own family.
The story is written from an outside narrator's point of view about Gregor Samsa, the main character, and his sudden change - a metamorphosis - into some insect. It starts out in a sort of comic way; however, do not be fooled by seemingly comical scenes because the entire story actually has a dark, depressing tone.
Franz Kafka never directly says what specific "vermin" Gregor may have transformed into; but he left his readers descriptive passages that help convey Gregor's new, repulsive image. The most common insects that Gregor is believed to be is either a cockroach or a beetle because they are both mentioned in the book and can match Kafka's descriptions of Gregor. What bug Gregor may be is unknown but can probably be determined through research or asking bug experts. However, I am not a big bug fan so I will be doing no such thing.
In the end a reader might say that the way the Samsa family functions is sad and ironic because they're hardly a family at all. After all that Gregor has done for his family before his transformation, his family, instead of truly caring for him through comfort and acceptance, confines him in his room like he's a carnivorous monster.
I recommend The Metamorphosis to any and all readers because it has a unique point of view that should always be considered when thinking of how any person's actions can affect others; it is one of Kafka's classics; and it's a short story with easy reading.
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Format: Paperback
“Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka provides a rare experience for the reader. The Novella gives the reader the opportunity, with a bit of imagination, to experience what it might be like to wake up one morning with one’s mind intact but one’s body changed into that of a giant cockroach. This is what happened to Gregor Samsa. The day before Gregor was a hardworking travelling salesman the breadwinner of his dependant family of parents and sister as well as a key element in his employer’s workforce.

By describing in minute detail the difficulties Gregor the cockroach has in getting out of bed, moving around the room, communicating with his family and eating Kafka enables the reader to feel and understand his condition.

The family and his employer come across as users discarding Gregor when he had previously devoted his life to them. With his mind still in tact as a human Gregor tries hard to express his love and sympathy for his sister. All in no avail.

I have read this book many times over the years and still find it haunting experience proving once again that reading can provide new experiences that perhaps only extreme sports can match.
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Worthwhile reading from an historical perspective.
Not sure why, but, despite not having been all that engrossing when I read it, the story lingers in my mind--probably has to do with the piercing insights into the thoughts and emotions of the characters. Certainly the greatest dung beetle story ever written and the best excuse ever for calling in sick.
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This isn't my favorite copy of the short story - it's more of a pamphlet then a book and I had to return - so for this version I'd give a three star. However if you need it for a class and don't want to spend much, then it's a five star. Just depends. I preferred reading it in an anthology. The story review itself: amazingly complex and it's so much fun to do a critical theory read on this Kafka piece. It's one of my favorite literature texts of all time. Small in size but with a huge impact and it's filled with meaning. While the nature of the story is dramatic and tragic the nonchalant tone offsets this and it is as lighthearted/matter of fact as it is depressing. So the irony and that conflicted tone too, is a pretty interesting result!
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