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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 listeners say about The Metamorphosis

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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!

2 people found this helpful

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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.

9 people found this helpful

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Engaging and poignant! ..A must for workaholics.

Narration was performed beautifully. It was easy to drift off and allow the novella to spur visuals via imagination.

1 person found this 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!

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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 person found this helpful

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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 people found this helpful

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Thought provoking.

Fascinating and what an ordeal, not just the initial shock but where the mind goes as to who will provide for his family. Quite an enjoyable listen.

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Wow!

Different book than what I have read all these years. Highly recommended.

Go get a copy!

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out of date

This was brutal to listen through, by no real fault of the reader.

I can imagine that this might have been extraordinary back in 1912. Reading in 2021 it feels dull and pointless.

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Less than exciting

An anti-climatic story upon first reflection. Maybe the symbolism will grow on me in time. The narrator did a very good job and was easy to follow.

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  • R. Grindley
  • 01-15-21

A delightful short listen. Thoroughly enjoyable!

Hats off to the translator Susan Bernofsky. This has clearly been a work of love for her and the attention to detail and accuracy in the translation is commendable. The story itself, is classic Kafka. Harrowing, filled with morbid curiosity and an unwealding realism - as though it could just happen to anyone.
An easy access sort of book for those looking to understand and enjoy Kafka.