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Author: Franz Kafka
Published: 1912
Language: English
Wordcount: 22,020 / 65 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 74.6
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 43,002 4056
License: ©

Translated by David Wyllie.

Show Excerpt

lerk, while his father continued to speak through the door. "He isn't well, please believe me. Why else would Gregor have missed a train! The lad only ever thinks about the business. It nearly makes me cross the way he never goes out in the evenings; he's been in town for a week now but stayed home every evening. He sits with us in the kitchen and just reads the paper or studies train timetables. His idea of relaxation is working with his fretsaw. He's made a little frame, for instance, it only took him two or three evenings, you'll be amazed how nice it is; it's hanging up in his room; you'll see it as soon as Gregor opens the door. Anyway, I'm glad you're here; we wouldn't have been able to get Gregor to open the door by ourselves; he's so stubborn; and I'm sure he isn't well, he said this morning that he is, but he isn't."

"I'll be there in a moment", said Gregor slowly and thoughtfully, but without moving so that he would not miss any word of the conversation. "Well I can't think of any other wa

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.8 from 13 reviews: *****

This is a great book,indeed thought and change provoking.the death of the insect as a result of being outcasted and ensuing gratitude or lack of it at his death.relished this writ.


A book, not only too interesting, but also greatly thought-provoking.It needs a whole lot of insight and introspection to relish this apparently absurd tale.Wonderful use of symbolism and relations.Kafka's style of writing enhances it making it a book worth treasuring!

Andrew Ives

Famous though this book somehow is, the whole idea, premise and subtext is as facile as it is absurd. Even though this novella is fairly short, it could still have been achieved in half the time, and probably been more powerful for it. Kafka's writing style is merely mediocre, lacking in any real art, flair or even wit. There were many parts where Gregor wishes he had food or a proper mouth, as if the fact he's suddenly turned into a giant cockroach didn't bother him quite so much? For goodness sake! The subtext about self-righteousness and feeling distanced from the family is hardly earth-shattering and may not even be quite as intentional as art critics make it out to be. The idea that the family manage to get by afterwards without Gregor supporting them, and quickly forget him as some kind of burden, is as facile a denoument as I've ever seen in an allegedly high-brow book. A real disappointment.


Life changing! The only prescribed text that I have ever really enjoyed. The story, though short, is filled with metaphors and underlying motifs that really show off Kafka's flair and leaning towards existentialism

An insectuous tale

A dedicated employee is unappreciated by his employer and is poorly treated – like an insect.

He wakes up one morning to find he has changed into a giant insect. His family is shocked by the change. However, he and his family determine to make the situation as unpleasant for each other as possible.

However as time passes the family begins to treat him more like an insect while his soul becomes more human.

He dies; his sister then stretches her back – like an insect.

Leaving us the question; who are the insects and how does the metamorphosis begin?

A great story – subject to many interpretations

Jamil Ahmed

A real disaster! metamorphsis is a tragedy. imagine a man who is healthy and is the earner of the bread and butter for a family. Will the society love him and care for him; If he loses this potential and becomes a burden to the relatives. This story is just astonishing and a reader is seduced towards thinking the reality of the situations made by KAFKA. i believe that an entity which has even few elemnts of humanity, such as criminals and terminally ill people, need some kind of sympathy and humane respect.

Shay Stephens

Short and amazing. You really feel for all the characters in their new plight. I may even read the book again at some point.


I agree. This is a must read. I like the fact that the book focuses on the present and not in the past; how people perceive you as your are now and not as to how you were.

Hanan Al-Harbi

i'd like to say that, this book one of best

books i ever read. It represents the real

life in somehow ( How can a major change in

someone's life affect his surrounding).

It's full of action & reaction events.

I strongly recommand this book for all

interested readers.


This is one of the few nightmarish books that have not much "story stuff," but can leave you quite puzzled and startled once you've finished them, trying to understand what is what, and why did who.. etc

But to me, I've never read such a book. Just the first few lines, and I couldn't help finishing the book the same night. The thing that really got me mad was the thoughts of the main character, Gregor.

It's a real nightmare I wish I never go through, especially how it ends. Really as weird as it is loathsome.

Read it at your own peril...


I can't help but agree with Kurt on what's happening not just in Britain but across the pond. Metamorphosis is such a strange and perfect story that you are guaranteed to never forget it. An intellectual nightmare.


A true literary genius. Read as many of Kafka's short stories and books as you can, especially The Trial, which, in light of the way Britain seems to be heading into a kind of bureaucratic-manic state these days, is in many ways a more prophetic book than Orwell's 1984.


This book, to me, seems to represent the ongoing struggle between man and pest.



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