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
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!