Review of The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka

Up until today I had never really read, or heard anything about this book.  Truth be told I didn’t even read the blurb, (but then again I never really do) I only knew of the name, so I didn’t have any prior expectations. Well… Only the one and that was me judging the book by it’s cover but we’ve always been told not to do that and I was definitely proved wrong when I did.

I read the description after I finished the book (because I felt unsatisfied by the ending and thought I was reading the wrong version of the book)  and it very simply told the whole story in under a paragraph. The story is, dark, brutal and really does know how to make one feel depressed, I had read the right book.

I remember reading Alive by Piers Paul Reid back in college and the descriptive language placed you right there in the Andes, in the cold, and had you feeling worried for your health and safety. This book does the same. Kafka’s writing is sophisticated to say the least but it’s his writing style that’s attractive. The Metamorphosis belongs to the group of rare books that give you the ‘this is going to be good’ vibe as soon as you begin reading. It pulled me in like I was being told a bed time story, almost as if the narrator was some one I knew and they had said ‘come here, I’ll tell you something cool that happened.’

Instead I would recommend it to be read during daylight hours as the main character Gregor – without revealing too much – is confined in a room and slowly you begin to feel chostrophobic and helpless. Unless of course you like to feel tense and bothered before you sleep.
The gist of it is though, that I love a book that makes you empathise as well as sympathise with characters. It is clear that Kafka wants us to feel some kind of empathy for Gregor’s character and he places the character in such a well position for us to do this.

The only drawback is that where the middle of the story should be entertaining it is not. It becomes slightly repetitive and you yearn to find out what finally happens in the end. However, considering that this is a very small book of only 67 pages (eBook edition) I think this little factor can be overlooked and for some readers the repetitiveness bit is emphasis on the lonely and inadequate emotion the book displays.

All in all, I would recommend this book to read for the following reasons:

1. With it being such a short read, it can’t do you too much harm to give it a go.

2. Being used as study material globally, there is definitely something in there that heeds yours attention and it will stare you in the face.

3. It’s a book that you feel like you shouldn’t read because it’s a bit weird and it doesn’t explain why, nevertheless you read it anyway because it’s so well written and it’s captivating.


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