Keeping up with the transformation theme (The Chrysalids, reviewed earlier), I decided to listen to Benedict Cumberbatch’s recording of The Metamorphosis. If not for Benedict’s velvet-like voice, and an undeniable talent for reading books out loud, I would have bailed on the idea. Now, I am glad that I got myself acquainted with the book, but I am also glad that I listened to it, instead of reading.
The story can be summarized in two sentences. Gregor Samsa wakes up to find himself transformed into an enormous insect. After a year or so he dies, leaving his family sighing with relief and happier than they have ever been. Indeed, I didn’t like it. I don’t know what the “deeper meaning” of it may be, but it has not resurfaced itself to me. I admit, the idea of turning a man into an insect to show the degrading human existence, was brilliantly conceived! but far from brilliantly executed. The story was monotone, with few symbols that still leave literary critics pondering. Perhaps for the best.
I never describe things as “abstract”, but this book really was, rather abstract.
Sorry, Franz Kafka, your book earns only: