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Publisher's Summary

“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.”
With this startling, bizarre, yet surprisingly funny first sentence, Kafka begins his masterpiece, The Metamorphosis. It is the story of a young traveling salesman who, transformed overnight into a giant, beetle-like insect, becomes an object of disgrace to his family, an outsider in his own home, a quintessentially alienated man. Rather than being surprised at the transformation, the members of his family despise it as an impending burden upon themselves.
A harrowing - though absurdly comic - meditation on human feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and isolation, The Metamorphosis has taken its place as one of the most widely read and influential works of 20th-century fiction. As W. H. Auden wrote, “Kafka is important to us because his predicament is the predicament of modern man.”
FRANZ KAFKA (1883–1924), one of the major fiction writers of the twentieth century, was born to a middle-class German-speaking Jewish family in Prague. His unique body of writing, much of which is incomplete and was mainly published posthumously, is considered by some people to be among the most influential in Western literature, inspiring such writers as Albert Camus, Rex Warner, and Samuel Beckett.
© Public Domain (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

“In The Metamorphosis Kafka reached the height of his mastery: he wrote something which he could never surpass, because there is nothing which The Metamorphosis could be surpassed by - one of the few great, perfect poetic works of this century.” (Elias Canetti, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Patrick Weldon on 03-19-12

Kafka-esque terrific

Would you listen to The Metamorphosis again? Why?

A true classic. Works very well on audible. Almost a short story, but a wonderful narrative.

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful


By damarques on 03-29-14

Depressing, but good book

Would you listen to The Metamorphosis again? Why?

Yes, because it is always good to read about human nature.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The main character, Gregor Samsa. All the others are more disgusting than the creature he becomes.

Did Ralph Cosham do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

This was the second book I heard with this narrator. I didn't like him very much. It's a matter of taste, but I didn't like his voice and his interpretations. He sounded rather monotonous.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Well, I felt a bit disgusted throughout the book, and a bit depressed with the end. All in all it was a very good book. It makes you think about life.

Any additional comments?

This book is about a human being who lived among verminous creatures. When he becomes a nasty bug like them, they realize they have to start living like human beings.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By trufflesmummy on 07-29-16

An uncomfortably necessary book to experience.

This was hard work for me to stomach happily. I found it cruel, sad, tragic and emotionally authentic. I'm glad I heard it. But it left me strangely bereft. The human condition can shift to extremes for self preservation.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Stephanie Jane on 09-04-13

Excellent introduction to Kafka

My first Kafka book which I approached with a little apprehension as I wasn't sure I would understand the story. My fears were unfounded as Metamorphosis is a very accessible story. I listened to it on audio and I think that hearing the words at speaking pace was good because I tend to rush when reading which, in this case, would have meant missing a lot of the more subtle meanings.
Gregor Samsa's transformation is the most obvious in Metamorphosis, but all the family undergo a change in their characters caused by his situation. I found myself able to identify with aspects of his sister's behaviour and his father's distance, as well as Gregor's sense of isolation.
Metamorphosis was an excellent introduction for me to Kafka's work and I shall seek out more of his stories.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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