BOOK REVIEW: THE METAMORPHOSIS BY FRANZ KAFKA

METAMORPHIS

GENERAL INFORMATION

TITLE: THE METAMORPHOSIS

AUTHOR: FRANZ KAFKA

PAGES: 82

PUBLISHER: MARTINO PUBLISHING

YEAR: 2009

GENRE: HORROR FICTION

COVER TYPE: E-BOOK

www.amazon.co.uk/The-Metamorphosis-Franz-Kafka/dp/1578987857/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357983576&sr=8-1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Kafka

BLURB FROM THE COVER

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

REVIEW

The Metamorphosis is one of the creepiest things I’ve read in a while. It reminds me very strongly of Joe Hill’s story You Will Hear the Locust Sing from his collection 20th Century Ghosts. I’m fairly certain Hill was inspired by Kafka. In fact I know he was. The opening sentence of Hill’s story is almost identical to the opening sentence of The Metamorphosis.

At a base level The Metamorphosis is your average gruesome horror tale about a man who transforms into a giant bug.

But The Metamorphosis is much more than that.

The great thing about it is how Kafka portrays Gregor’s struggle to come to terms with his situation. He’s very human and very real. I believed every word of it. At first Gregor is determined to go to work until he realises he can’t.

The situation becomes more and more hopeless, especially when his family pretty much lock him in his room, let other rooms out to lodgers and he hears them plot ways to get rid of him. It was incredibly sad.

The Metamorphosis doesn’t have a happy ending. This is clear from the outset but that doesn’t make it any less sad.

The thing that impressed me the most about The Metamorphosis is that it’s really got nothing to do with Gregor becoming a giant bug. It’s about the dynamics of a family. Gregor is the bread-winner in the house. He works ridiculous hours as a slave driver to pay off his father’s debt and allow his family to live in the lap of luxury. They treat him like dirt. Their biggest concern when he turns into a bug is how to find the money to live on. Never mind their son’s been turned into a bug.

Gregor’s family are horrible to him. I sort of wanted him to squash them with his giant bug body or eat them.

It’s the hidden meaning behind everything that’s going on that makes The Metamorphosis rise above the level of an average horror yarn about a horrible creepy crawly. Did Gregor really turn into a giant bug? Or is the novella about his shitty family and the disrespect they feel for him?

Kafka is another writer I want to read more of.

THE OPENING LINE

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…   

FINAL THOUGHTS

I was very impressed by The Metamorphosis. I’d never read anything by Kafka before. Giant bugs are usually not my kind of thing but I thought this was great.

RATING

4 STAR RATING

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