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As many of you can see, I've been a pretty terrible blogger lately! What can I say...Life.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Book Review #8: “The Metamorphosis” by Fran Kafka

Title: The Metamorphosis
Author: Franz Kafka
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Edition: Paperback: February 17, 1996
Summary: A novella about a man who finds himself transformed into a huge insect, and the effects of this change upon his life.


Now, with a summary such as, “A guy wakes up only to find that he has turned into a giant bug,” I can hardly see why one would pick up such a novella in the first place. However, it was assigned for my World Literature class so I was forced to pick it up and see what I could make of it. This was my first attempt at reading surreal fiction.

High Notes: It’s actually quite the entertaining story. Not because the poor man gets turned into a bug, but because NO ONE, not even the main character himself, asks WHY! Everyone freaks out for a few moments and then it’s on with normal life. The man insists on getting out of bed, trying to get on clothes and go to work. Sadly, it takes him forever to get out of bed because he is stuck on his back, his clothes do not fit, and he can hardly make it out the door without injuring himself. It’s actually funny until everything turns unbearably bad.

Low Notes: the lowest note is the pain you feel for the character. He spent his entire life taking care of his family and then when he actually needs them to take care of him, even just feed him something, they eventually fail him. He suffers, unable to communicate as he actually begins to feel and act like a bug, lost in this world that no longer suits him. It’s heartbreaking. It was the worst feeling as he withered away and his family just waits for it to happen so that they may be free of him and the burden he had become, like they weren’t terrible burdens on HIM when he was slaving away to take care of them! I just wanted to punch a character in the face!


Character Development: 4/5
Dialogue: 3/5
Prose: 5/5
Believability: 3/5 No one EVER asked why! But it is mean to be surreal.
Style and Grammar: 5/5
*NEW* Entertainment Value: 4/5
Overall Rating: 80% Strange!


  1. "Franz" Kafka, not "Fran" Kafka. He was a man. :P

    The story is actually closer to being a novella than it is to being a novel. It's longer than a short story, but not quite long enough to warrant novel-grade.

  2. Surprising and very strange! 80 percent is a very high rating. Nearly beat Shakespeare.

  3. I have never read this book, but I have to admit I'm a bit intrigued now.

  4. The Metamorphosis was one of those books we had to read in high school and I hated it. I read it again in college and it wasn't so bad, I guess it made more sense. I read it for the third time together with my students and it sort of made even more sense. Conclusion? I like it.

  5. This was a very deeply disturbing story for me, and it didn't help that I was 15 when I read it. I still remember the visuals I got from it - as if a bad dream!

  6. Mmmm - great review - I won't be reading this. Hope your PC gremlins are gone - I get them way too often myself.

    Wanted to let your know that I've nominated you for a most supportive award and the Bloscars over at http://eisymorgan.blogspot.com/. Nominations end in around 12 hours, then voting begins. Good luck. Shah .X

  7. Matt...You are correct. I misspelled the name and meant to say novella. I must have been quite distracted. Lol. Thanks for the comment.

  8. Shah...Thank you! You are an absolute dear! I think my computer is ok now. My mom and I put it through all sorts of tortures the others day. School is still pretty crazy though. I am hoping it will slow down here for a bit though. I was very lucky to have so many posts pre done so I could keep sharing my thoughts and research with everyone without really being there. But I mIss you all!!!!!

  9. I've heard of this novella but I've not read it. Bugs freak me out! I wonder though, if his metamorphisis is symbolic of something else. Sounds like a HSC topic my son is studying on 'belonging'. I'll mention it to him, he may be able to refer to it while essay writing. Thanks for sharing, AubrieAnne

  10. Have you ever read Ovid's Metamorphoses?

  11. HI! I just wanted to let you know that you are a FINALIST for the BLOSCARS! Voting starts at 8:30 am and winners will be announced Sunday night! We would love to do an interview with you if you have time. Please email me at eisymorgan@gmail.com if you are interested and mention BLOSCARS in the subject! Thanks!! Congrats and Good Luck!

  12. I've always heard so much about Franz Kafka, but I've never felt an interest for reading his work. I got the impression that it was all boring and weird and OLD for some reason. But this review changed my view on it! :-) Thanks!

    I'm hosting a creative writing contest, join in if you like! :-) click here:


  13. dtwilight...I know. When I first read, I didn't really think of it much, but then I had to write and essay on it and found a bit more appreciation for it. Plus, when comparing it to all the other doom and gloom stuff we have been reading, this one seems better. lol.

    a woman's right to shoes...it can be read pretty fast if you are ever interested. I would recommend borrowing it though over buying it. I don't think it is the kind of novella you would read more than once.

    Mira...Yeah, I don't like it when grade schools make you read stuff like this, it's so far beyond some of our comprehension, plus, it makes kids HATE to read! College is way different. This book is appropriate then.

    Patrick...Exactly! Just like I was saying before. We shouldn't have to read this stuff until at least college.

    Moana...Yes, there is more to the metamorphasis. Almost everyone in the novella goes through one. However, if bugs freak you out, this book would freak you out. :)

    Matt...No, I haven't. Is is a book?

    Ashley...Thank you!

    The Creative Muslimah...Kafka is definately very very VERY weird! Also, thanks for letting me know about your creative writing contest. I don't know if it is still going on, but I've been so busy! Definately let me know if you ever host another. :)

  14. Yes, it's a very ancient book that brings every piece of Greek mythology into one connected story.

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