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on July 22, 2017
It's fine as it is, and I'm getting my money's worth. This book is what I need for my English class.

Unfortunately, it wasn't exactly what I was looking for. I was going for a different print than what I got, despite searching the same ISBN. The version I got is slightly different from the one on the picture when I ordered the book. Pages are slightly off numerically, which throws me off when I read this in class.

It's a big deal 'cause what I got is basically not what I was looking for, and, as a result, the preview for this book is misleading. That being said, it does what it's supposed to do and I can still read it, so I can't call it a bad buy.
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on June 28, 2010
Kafka is certainly not for everyone, that being said if you like Kafka or are new to his writing this is certainly a good volume to pick up. It includes some of his shorter pieces that are less well known (they weigh in at a little over or right at a paragraph in length) such as A Country Doctor and longer classics like The Metamorphosis.

The hardback with the thick weight of the paper makes this a volume you can keep for many years without fear of damage and overwear from rereading that can occur with paperback copies. The translation is wonderful and better than many that are available for purchase, the low price also makes this a fine addition to your home library without the worry that taking it off the shelf every now and then won't cover the cost. This collection of Kafka is worth every penny, if not a few more than Amazon is asking.

For those who have never read Kafka it is best not to spoil the authors work which is surreal in some cases, poignant in all, and entertaining in every light. If you have read Albert Camus or the sometimes acerbic but witty style of Louis Ferdinand Celine then this author is right up your alley.
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on October 28, 2014
I was interested to read some of Kafka's work. This book contains a good collection of his shorter works and allows you to get a feel for the author's style. I recommend reading the Introduction after reading some of the stories, because it contains some spoilers.
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on March 7, 2014
Who doesn't love a cochroach? Okay, nobody I know loves them but this is a classic and is certainly about far more than a man turning into a bug.
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on July 28, 2015
Interesting read. Short, sweet, and thought provoking.
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on June 21, 2007
Some of the other editions are about the same price but only has the Metamorphosis, while this includes a lot more!
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on January 1, 2015
For student kiddo, its a book
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on September 19, 2017
As a general rule, I don't critique classics. I will, however, gladly offer commentary on my experiences reading them. I hadn't read anything by Kafka before, including "The Metamorphosis." Needless to say, Kafka is weird. I found myself following along with a story pretty well...until I wasn't anymore, or until it abruptly ended. But this made me think harder, and I think I enjoyed his works more for it.

I also found myself reading Kafka at the dentist and realized I'm that person. And proud?
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on October 30, 2003
As the content of the book seems not published: this collection contains the stories "A Message from the Emperor," "The Metamorphosis," "The Judgment," "The Stoker: a Fragment," "In the Penal Colony," "A Country Doctor," "An Old Leaf," "A Hunger Artist," "Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse People," in this sequence.
I found the book opening with "A Message from the Emperor" very befitting, as it seemed to me that this story, in fact just a single page, nicely condensed the tone of the entire collection. In my opinion the stories explore the common theme of irreconcilable discrepancies (among human beings). "A Message from the Emperor" in particular depicts a person, a "contemptible subject" of the Emperor, waiting for a message from the Emperor that will never arrive. He knows for certain that the message won't arrive; yet he still waits.
In the well-known Metamorphosis, the discrepancies take on a physical form -- the protagonist, Gregor Samsa, finds himself turned into a bug one morning. While Samsa attempts his best to convey what he thinks to his family, the members of family, understandably, are incapable of even conceiving that this bug, Samsa, may have any intellect. Communication between these two parties is broken beyond repair; the present discrepancies are irreconcilable.
Likewise in "In the Penal Colony," and in "A Hunger Artist." In the former a foreigner is made to judge whether it is right to ban a particular execution machine of the past. The last remaining advocate of the machine, an army officer, tries his best to highlight the merits of it. He goes through great pain explaining how each and every piece of the machine works with great affection. No, the foreigner wont be deterred. The foreigner is as foreign as one could be from the idea of cruel execution. The hunger artist's vocation is to fast. He fasts in public and receives compensation from the spectators. He takes great pride in what he does; he only stops fasting because the convention prohibits him from going on. But his is a dying occupation. People gradually lose interest. How is it possible to convey to those ignorant people what noble a deed it is to fast?
Remember the time you felt deep despair for not being able to get through to someone you care for (when no matter what you say just won't mean the same thing to you as to the other person)? Albeit in varying contexts, it is this devastation that Kafka so masterfully depicts in these stories.
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on June 18, 2017
This book has the smallest print I have ever seen! I have 20/20 vision, and I still need 3.0 reading glasses for this book. Would not buy again.
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