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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (27,217 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Franz Kafka, Guy de Maupassant Narrator: Tom Whitworth Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2009 ISBN: 9781400181094
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Throughout his amazing career, Franz Kafka created some of the most haunting, timeless, and enduring images of the nightmare world of everyday life. First published in 1915, “The Metamorphosis” is one of Kafka’s most famous works. The story begins when traveling salesman Gregor Samsa wakes from a series of disturbing dreams to discover that he has transformed overnight into a giant insect. Instead of arousing surprise or horror in his family, however, Gregor’s condition is merely despised as an imposition, a burden. 

In addition to Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis,” this collection includes eight pieces by one of the fathers of the modern short story, Guy de Maupassant: “The Englishman,” “The Piece of String,” “The Necklace,” “A Crisis,” “The Will,” “Love,” “The Inn,” and “Was It a Dream?”

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ammon | 2/15/2014

    " Although Kafka's friend Max Brod originally promoted these stories as quasi-religious, it is much more profitable to read them, as Kafka apparently did, as (admittedly extremely black) comedies. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Corey | 2/15/2014

    " Of his short stories in this book, "Metamorphosis" was not one of my favorites. I felt some of the early pieces seemed rough and unfinished... but there were two or three later stories that I loved. Glad I read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alison Coffey | 2/3/2014

    " It's hard out there for a bug. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy | 1/31/2014

    " it didn't change my life. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Quinn | 1/24/2014

    " Most boring book I've ever started and then taken back to the library in fear my brain would seep out of my ear at night in search of a more stimulation in the head of a squirrel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mamaligauk | 1/22/2014

    " Not as dark as I had been led to believe. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hasan | 1/18/2014

    " The Metamorphosis and In the Penal Colony are great. Be just! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michaela | 1/17/2014

    " Had to read this for school and LOVED IT. The metamorphosis was an awesome read with a really cool twist! totally recommend it for someone just looking for a small read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chee Chee | 1/7/2014

    " Liked Metamorphosis, but only dipped in and out of the other stories. I like the way he writes, but after a few sentences I just seem to get a bit lost... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jake Cooper | 12/30/2013

    " The Metamorphosis is terrific, but I didn't care for any of the others really. (A Country Doctor, The Judgement, In the Penal Colony, and A Report to an Academy.) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hillaury | 12/20/2013

    " Metamorphosis is Magical Realism at it's most basic, easily understood form. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 12/17/2013

    " Having Kafka read to you amid the din of early morning traffic is nearly as weird as are his stories. Kafkaesque! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vik | 12/16/2013

    " 5 stars just for a totally leftfield idea considering when this was written "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob | 12/15/2013

    " Haunting, existentialism at its height. The Metamorphosis is the standard model for the absurdity of life. The other stories are good, too. I found "In the Penal Colony" to be poignant. These are my opinions, read them and make your own! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hillary | 11/24/2013

    " "Could he be an animal, to be so moved by music? It was as though he sensed a way to the unknown sustenance he longed for. He was determined to go right up to his sister, to pluck at her skirt, and so let her know she was to come into his room with her violin, because no one rewarded music here as much as he wanted to reward it. He would not let her out of his room, at least not as long as he lived; for the first time his frightening form would come in useful for him; he would appear at all doors to his room at once, and hiss in the faces of attackers; but his sister wasn't to be forced, she was to remain with him of her own free will" "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer L | 11/21/2013

    " Great story! Kafka really makes you live the story! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patricia | 10/31/2013

    " what a fantastic writer. i learned how to understand complicated and intriguing metaphore about life and people. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 10/25/2013

    " Kafka creates bizarre, nightmarish worlds. Several good short stories are included. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sue | 10/20/2013

    " Read this with my high school students who always have one thing to say at the end: depressing. Always sparks interesting discussions though about so many topics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samuel | 9/14/2013

    " Absolutely full of a multiplicity of gems (picked straight from all the little things we pass by in life.) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cassaundra Curd | 9/9/2013

    " I'm not sure what exactly I've learned from this book - it's one of those reads you have to discover a few times before you truly 'get it'. But one thing is for sure - Kafka is one of the great geniuses of our time. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Suzie Fullmer | 7/22/2013

    " A little too weird for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie | 6/25/2013

    " I don't get it. These stories are completely bizarre. The opening lines really drag you in, but then the stories have no real build up or resolution. If I were the judge, I would not give these stories the status of classics. That's really all I have to say about this. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 DaraB | 5/9/2013

    " Only read the Metamorphisis. Hated it. Hard to read, visualize and understand much of the plot and characters. I guess I am just not a Kafka fan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris Mendius | 4/29/2013

    " Mindblowing. Kafka is one of my biggest influences as an author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gina | 1/14/2013

    " I actually read Metamorphosis from this collection in college and loved it! I have yet to read any of his other works in this collection. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Morgan | 11/12/2012

    " Brilliant, of course. My favorite stories weren't The Sons ("The Stoker", "The Metamorphosis", and "The Judgement") but "The Metamorphosis" alone and "In The Penal Colony". "A Country Doctor" also haunted me, but perhaps that's because I read it while I was sick. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Librarian | 10/30/2012

    " My favorite subject! LONELY PEOPLE! And then you add in the whole bug thing and you have got a sweet ass story, friends. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy | 8/6/2012

    " it didn't change my life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 [hillary] | 7/28/2012

    " This collection of stories gave me the weirdest dreams. Therefore, awesome. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenna | 5/8/2012

    " I like Kafka, but honestly, most of the time I just don't really know what he's talking about. But I feel like the whole point of his writing is to not know what it means, or maybe I'm way off. But the over achieving honor student inside me, still wants desperately to know what he's talking about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sue | 4/21/2012

    " Read this with my high school students who always have one thing to say at the end: depressing. Always sparks interesting discussions though about so many topics. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jo | 4/16/2012

    " Weird and wonderful. Turns your perspective on its head. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Walter Ortiz | 4/3/2012

    " One of my all time favorite stories to read, a guy wakes up as a roach one day and tries to communicate with his needy family. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darrell Pitt | 2/3/2012

    " One of the classics. Well worth a read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Barrow | 2/3/2012

    " The Matamorphosis is superb and worthy of a 4 grade. The other stories in the collection are of variable quality. Letter to my father is dreadful (I'd give that a 1) though it was useful in placing the other stories in perspective. Metamorphosis is highly remmended though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Izzie | 1/24/2012

    " I really enjoyed this book. I was impressed and surprised by how Kafka's simple and to-the-point narration produced such haunting and memorable images, and how original each story was. I hope to read Kafka again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gina | 1/3/2012

    " I actually read Metamorphosis from this collection in college and loved it! I have yet to read any of his other works in this collection. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tiffany | 5/21/2011

    " The title story is great, of course, but the reason I give this collection a 5 instead of a 4 was because of "A Hunger Artist". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 5/17/2011

    " only read the metamorphosis.. found it very interesting, although somewhat strange
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Goleta | 4/23/2011

    " i only read metamorphosis. Had to read it for school. Twice! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie | 4/21/2011

    " I don't get it. These stories are completely bizarre. The opening lines really drag you in, but then the stories have no real build up or resolution. If I were the judge, I would not give these stories the status of classics. That's really all I have to say about this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darrell | 4/20/2011

    " One of the classics. Well worth a read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Yare | 4/15/2011

    " it was an interesting book, with different stories, one of my favorites is the metamorphosis but was a little sad at the end.. but most dificult was the way Kafka express his ideas, or the situation on the stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cooper | 4/11/2011

    " Contains the texts that Kafka published (or prepared for publication?) during his life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 4/11/2011

    " In The Penal Colony ... now there's a mental image that will stay with me, unfortunately! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zakiya | 4/6/2011

    " I read this book in college as part of the Fiction Writing curriculum. We actually had to write a parody of The Metamorphosis. It's good reading though. I enjoyed his work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dodokins | 3/4/2011

    " What can I say? There are people crazier than I. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Reznik | 2/22/2011

    " The Penal Colony was a great short story "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sonia | 2/3/2011

    " One of the most disgusting and wonderful books Kafka has written. I was grossed out by the description of the cockroach, no doubt. Loved the story and the story telling. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kate | 1/21/2011

    " Kafka is one of those iconic writers that I really want to like but just don't. I love the premises of his stories, but I find them a chore to actually read. His language is overly formal and rather obfuscatory to me, which is perhaps intentional on his part, but in reality really puts me off. "

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About the Author
Author Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka (1883–1924), one of the major fiction writers of the twentieth century, was born to a middle-class German-speaking Jewish family in Prague. His unique body of writing, much of which is incomplete and was mainly published posthumously, is considered by some people to be among the most influential in Western literature, inspiring such writers as Albert Camus, Rex Warner, and Samuel Beckett.

About the Narrator

Tom Whitworth is a published author and a narrator. Some of his narrated works include The Lost World, The Wisdom of Father Brown, Candide, and The Metamorphosis, and Other Stories.