When I wrote For Daniels Benefit, I had never read Kafka’s short story Metamorphosis nor was I familiar with the details as I was with George Orwells Animal Farm. Yet people assumed I had read it due to the transformations – the metamorphosis – of the staff working for Southborough Council. I can understand where comparisons come from on a superficial level.
I’ll be honest though. When I did start reading Metamorphosis in January on my Kindle, I found the start of the story very uninspiring. Rather dense and lifeless. It didn’t spark. I kept reading though because it was one of those books the literati declare must be read and, after all, it was only a short story. Gradually Kafka’s sense of humor and ability to observe human behavior won me over. By story’s end, don’t worry I won’t spoil it, I was very saddened by what had happened to the protagonist. Most fiction has a conflict and resolution, often happy, Kafka brings a sense of realism to his fantasy.
If you can get through the opening pages to develop a connection with the characters, Metamorphosis is an absorbing read and certainly one I would recommend. My fiancée has a graphic novel version of Kafkas ‘The Trial’ and I will probably read that sometime soon following my enjoyment of this story.
Below I have attached an animated version of the first third of the story which I feel captures my impression of the tale vividly. I watched a few of the live action videos but none really caught my imagination, but this little animated one is spot on. Obviously, it will spoil plot elements of the first third but may interest you in reading the whole story.
If you have any favorite audio or video telling of the story feel free to share it in the comments below, as well as your first impressions on reading this so definitively ‘Kafka’ story.