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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.

©2014 Susan Bernofsky. Introduction 2014 David Cronenberg. (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Sympathy for Insects

The Metamorphosis is possibly Kafka's most iconic work. It is the story of a man, the sole provider for his family, waking up to discover that he is now a giant bug. I wouldn't dare risk any spoilers for this, but if you've never experienced this story you are in for a real treat. Further, Edoardo Ballerini's narration really brings Gregor's plight to life. Very highly recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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best of kafka

kafka at its best a joy to listen to recommended to anyone on a long ride or on a dreary winters morning

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent!

A beautiful fictional story, with a powerful metaphor that can bring tears to your eyes. Exceptional translation and narration. Highly recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Narration of a Classic

The narrator's voice is wonderful and really adds something to the story. This makes for a really good listening experience to one of the best author's the Czech Republic (back then Czechoslovakia) has ever produced.

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A Surprising Read

I read this book because Kafka is one of those great writers, but honestly the premise of this story was not appealing. In fact it was creepy.
What blew me away was the details, descriptions, and the short plot line which actually was super interesting. I know classics are never entertaining like the best sellers today, but this book was entertaining in a different way. The narrator did a great job as well in making the book interesting. This was a great short read. I was surprised it was this short, because I remember the book being very big in school. :-P
AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY
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Mixed feelings

narrator was great. The story itself pulled at the heartstrings, but I felt like the message (if there was one meant) was unclear. I kept waiting for something to happen to pull everything together but it never came. Saying that, i still enjoyed the story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Love!

After reading the Metamorphosis it made me want to read more Kafka books! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Beautifully translated for the 100th anniversary

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Absolutely. A must listen esp. for HS and college students

Who was your favorite character and why?

The sister because of her freak out scene.

What aspect of Edoardo Ballerini’s performance would you have changed?

He gives a very soft, sensitive read. Good. As a huge fan of the material I preferred another version. It's called Change by Chris Selna. Much more unexpected interpretation.

Could you see The Metamorphosis being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

It's already been two movies, a ballet, several plays

0 of 1 people found this review helpful