The Metamorphosis

  • by Franz Kafka, Susan Bernofsky (translator)
  • Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini
  • 2 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

"This fine version, with David Cronenberg's inspired introduction and the new translator's beguiling afterword, is, I suspect, the most disturbing though the most comforting of all so far; others will follow, but don't hesitate: this is the transforming text for you." (Richard Howard)
Franz Kafka's 1915 novella of unexplained horror and nightmarish transformation became a worldwide classic and remains a century later one of the most widely read works of fiction in the world. It is the story of traveling salesman Gregor Samsa, who wakes one morning to find himself transformed into a monstrous insect. This hugely influential work inspired George Orwell, Albert Camus, Jorge Louis Borges, and Ray Bradbury, while continuing to unsettle millions of readers.
In her new translation of Kafka's masterpiece, Susan Bernofsky strives to capture both the humor and the humanity in this macabre tale, underscoring the ways in which Gregor Samsa's grotesque metamorphosis is just the physical manifestation of his longstanding spiritual impoverishment.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Mysterious and beautiful

Edoardo Ballerini is a wonderful narrator, and this is a wonderful story.

Is it an allegory? What did Kafka mean by having Gregor Samsa turn overnight into a giant, repellent bug? (He certainly is repellent: some of the passages in this translation are very hard to listen to.) One possibility is a moral failing of some kind; another is a terrible wasting disease like cancer. And of course it's also possible that no allegory is intended, that Kafka simply wanted to put this family in an extreme situation so we could watch their reactions. And in fact, by the end, Gregor's family is every bit as metamorphosed as he is himself.

Whatever the "meaning," the story is a mysterious and beautiful one, and this audiobook is well worth the short time it takes to listen to it.
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- Tad Davis

A wonderful experience.

The narration is wonderful. He didn't detract but, rather, he accompanied the tone of the author, I believe.
As for the story, personally I enjoyed The Stranger more than this experience. The artistry of Kaka's syntax made for an enjoyable read. But the former book had me raptured by the end. Maybe with some more growth in my part will make for a better experience the second time around.
My time spent was well worth it. This is the only translation I have read.
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- Josh Morgan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-20-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios