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The Metamorphosis cover art

The Metamorphosis

By: Franz Kafka,Susan Bernofsky - translator
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini,Victor Bevine,Christa Lewis
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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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Wish I read this earlier

This is strangely beautiful, I wish I had read this earlier, when I was younger, when I needed to grow a spine.

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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.

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  • Tad Davis
  • 02-05-15

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.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Josh Morgan
  • 06-02-15

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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  • David S. Mathew
  • 17-10-17

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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  • Angel
  • 21-12-19

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lampros
  • 12-12-16

Excellent!

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

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  • Samtagri
  • 10-07-16

Utter nonsense

Would you try another book from Franz Kafka and Susan Bernofsky (translator) and/or Edoardo Ballerini?

I will read one more Kafka book just to give him a fair chance and decide for sure whether he is really as bad as I think after reading this book or whether this one was just a rotten apple.

What could Franz Kafka and Susan Bernofsky (translator) have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Well he could have written a more interesting story. Or one that had some meaning. This book is a disgusting, depressing, boring, gloomy story that makes no sense and totally uninteresting.

What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

The narrator was good. The book sucked.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Mainly boredom.

Any additional comments?

Don't waste your time on this book unless you have a very active imagination and like to create your own world in your head and want this book to stimulate your imagination. And you like to be depressed and disgusted and bored.

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  • ilse du plessis
  • 27-07-22

Profound

Original new translation of a classic, making it accessible and relevant to a modern audience, with same fundamental truths pervailing.

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  • Terry
  • 14-04-21

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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  • JH
  • 03-02-20

Best Narrator Ever!

First and foremost Edoardo Ballerini is perhaps the best narrator I have ever heard. Perfect voice, perfect cadence and inflection. Just everything you want in a good narration was delivered. I will now search out all books with him as a narrator. Absolutely fantastic. The story was difficult for me. I felt bad for poor heir Samsa. Sad at the alienation from his family. Short but good book. Worth the few hours especially if you are looking for something quick.

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  • Ishay
  • 26-12-16

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