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Metamorphosis

A BBC Radio 4 Reading
Narrated by: Benedict Cumberbatch
Length: 1 hr and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (341 ratings)
Regular price: $10.65
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Publisher's Summary

Benedict Cumberbatch reads Franz Kafka's famous story of man-turned-insect, Metamorphosis.

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile

After a night of troubled dreams, Gregor Samsa wakes to discover that he has turned into a huge, monstrous, cockroach-like creature, with an armour-plated back and multiple limbs. 

Gradually, he comes to terms with his new state - but his parents and sister are horrified and increasingly revolted. To them, Gregor is unclean, verminous and entirely repellent, and as he becomes more and more of a burden, their horror turns to a terrible indifference.... 

First published in 1915, Kafka's surreal existential novella explores concepts such as the absurdity of life, alienation and the disconnect between mind and body. Read by Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Star Trek, The Imitation Game), this tale - often described as one of the greatest in the history of fiction - is chilling, captivating and darkly comic. 

©2018 BBC Digital Audio (P)2018 BBC Digital Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Very Sad

Emotional story of humanity and much more. With a narrator like this you want it to go on forever just to hear his voice. Beautiful job.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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One of the best, with amazing narration

This was already one of my favorite books. Add Benedict Cumberbatch? =magic. Get this now.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Kafka in English

Not quite sure what I expected - from the book and from Benedict Cumberbatch.

About the book: As a native German, I think that while you can get enjoyment and growth from reading translated Kafka, to me Kafka is the essence of German language. In English, the “inevitability of the next word” I feel in German isn’t there. Metamorphosis is probably the one story where the story, it’s absurdity easily distracts more from the style than is the case with Der Prozess or Das Schloss.

I like the reader as an actor - but I don’t think that he added anything specific to the book by the way he read it. Not saying he should have - just feel like I fell a bit for the celebrity reader here. Read well, in summary.

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Disappointed

I love BC and this book but why is soooooo much edited out? It really ruins the translation and makes it utterly useless to use in a classroom. For a casual listen, it's good. For anything scholarly look elsewhere.

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Strange Story

This performance was quite good, and the story was weird but written well enough. However, it seemed to be a different version of the story than the book I wanted to follow along with. There were lots of changed lines and dialogue in comparison to the Wisehouse Classics physical release of the story. I needed this specific printed version for a class and hoped this audiobook would help me keep attention. It's hard to follow along. The story is the same, though.

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Great Performance, quick listen, interesting

Basically, it's all just variations on a theme; spoiler alert (100+ years after publication, not much to spoil), the main character wakes up as an insect. The rest is just a rumination on that condition. But, it's a great reading by Cumberbatch. And it's under two hours, so an easy way to hear a 20th century classic.

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Like listen to a play

The cost at first seems, unnecessary but once you start listening to it it is immediately understood why it costs more than other versions. The narration is amazing and his voice fits the tone of the book. But the best part is the musical transitions. It makes the book almost like listening to a play rather than just a reading.

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Bizarre story

I will start off by saying that I am glad that I listened to this but after finishing the story, I had to ask myself, “what the heck did I just hear?” This is rather unique story and, as would be expected, Cumberbatch performed it well. If you are looking for an off the beaten path story, this is it.

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Great narration

I could listen to Benedict Cumberbatch any day! This story was quite odd and I actually expected a different ending! But I encourage you to listen to the whole thing!

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Well Done

Read this a long time ago, but really loved hearing Benedict Cumberbatch read it.

#QuirkyFamilies #FishOutofWater #Germany #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

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  • Bronny Jones
  • 01-10-18

Enjoyed the narration more than the story.

I found this a strange but interesting story, not something I would usually listen to but got because I am a big fan of Benedict. His narration is amazing, such a rich voice and i like how he gives the characters their own voices too. I dont think I completely understood the meaning of the story but enjoyed it nonetheless. Would definitely recommend to other Benedict fans, and would listen again just for the narration.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Christian Newlove
  • 03-02-19

Best narration ever!

Benedict Cumberbatch is a true star. This strange and often difficult story is made simple and fun by his top class performance! Bravo Ben!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-06-19

expecting better plot

great narrator. Cumberbach!
My 1st Kafka novel. I expected better plot line. Left unsatisfied. Maybe Kafka fans can convert me.

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  • Charles King-Tenison
  • 01-05-19

Bit odd

The reading of the book is fantastic and the book itself it’s also quite great. But you need to have a strong understanding of literature to appreciate the critiques in it. I unfortunately don’t so found it a bit difficult.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • TheNameless
  • 09-25-18

Beautifully read, strange and sad

For such a short story, Metamorphosis packs a powerful emotional punch, which is made all the greater by Benedict Cumberbatch's beautiful narration. He draws every ounce of feeling from the words, without ever crossing the line into melodrama.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-06-18

great story, fantastic narration

The story was a wondeful commentary on capitalist society and the family, while Benedict Cumberbatch's narration was perfect.

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  • luke
  • 02-03-18

Franz by Benedict Cumberbatch

BC reads the story in a way that makes it easily deciphered and able to follow, a problem I had when reading the book solo.