The Metamorphosis & Other Stories by Franz Kafka

The Metamorphosis - Franz KafkaThe Metamorposis. Finished 4-25-08, rating 2.5/5, fiction short stories, B&N edition 1996

Kafka’s Metamorphosis is a bizarre tale full of dark humor that sometimes had us laughing out loud.  Gregor is turned into an insect and forced to live out his days at the mercy of his horrified family. Jason was hoping for a little more closure I think.  I remember reading it in college and not liking it then and nothing this time changed my opinion.  Jason and I read this and a few of the others out loud to each other and were ambivalent.

There were a few stories in this collection that I enjoyed.  I enjoyed The Stoker, which I understand is the first chapter of his book Amerika.  A sixteen year old, Karl, made his way to Ellis Island and somehow managed to befriend a ship stoker who had grievances with authority.  Karl tried to aid him, but only managed to find himself the beneficiary of some very good luck.  I can see this as the beginning of an interesting novel.

We both enjoyed A Hunger Artist and I thought In the Penal Colony was very good.  These two stories had different things to say about death which I found thought provoking.  Josephine the Singer, or The Mouse People was enjoyable if a bit too long.  Before the Law was also interesting.

The rest of them I would have been happy to have not read at all.  The Judgement neither of us liked, although it was the one that led to the most discussion after.  The Country Doctor, An Old Leaf, and A Message From the Emperor were a waste of my time.