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The Metamorphosis

A New Translation by Susan Bernofsky
Length: 2 hrs and 33 mins
4 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

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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.

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  • Lampros
  • 12-12-2016

Excellent!

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Tad Davis
  • 02-05-2015

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 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • David S. Mathew
  • 17-10-2017

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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  • Ishay
  • 26-12-2016

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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  • Josh Morgan
  • 06-02-2015

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 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-05-2019

Great Book

Glad I finally got to read it! Franz Kafka is a phenomenal artist. I would suggest to read this asap.

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  • Jody R Forbeck
  • 28-03-2019

Translation

Such a pleasure to see works in translation, particularly by a current translator, lauded in her field. I would love to see more similar works and be able to search for new works in translation in your app.

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  • kim
  • 31-01-2019

brilliant short classic

Of course you have to read it. It's a classic and very good one too. Perfect for the times when you want a good read but not a long one

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  • Rachel
  • 13-11-2017

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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  • Pree Bee
  • 27-10-2017

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
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