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Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

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"Metamorphosis" is a 1915 science fiction novella by Franz Kafka. It is about a man who awakens to find himself transformed into a horrible, insect-like vermin.

I Love Ants

I don’t know how much I would want to be transformed into a horrible vermin, but if I did have my choice I would choose to be an ant. Yep, I think ants are extremely cool! Ok, just thought you’d want to know that. Anyway, here is a great story about a man who doesn’t have any choice. It is kind of a sad and depressing story, but very beautifully written.

Non-Spoiler Summary

Cockroach by xcode

Gregor Samsa receives the shock of his life when he wakes up one morning – yep, he has been transformed! He doesn’t dare leave his room, and his family begins to worry about him. This is a distressing situation because Gregor is the only bread-winner in the family, and as his condition persists they all become more and more desperate. Finally they have no choice but to confine Gregor to the house and get menial jobs themselves. This is stressful but works out until his mother rents a room to 3 stuffy gentlemen. And once they discover what is really living in the house, things which are already bad take a turn for the worse!

Some Interesting Tidbits

  • Word count: 22,086 (26 pages)
  • Did you know that Franz Kafka was born to middle class German-speaking Jewish parents in Prague? Yep. You can learn more about this famous author on Wikipedia.

Where To Find Metamorphosis

  • This famous story was first published in 1915 as Die Verwandlung.
  • You can read a fantastic English translation of "Metamorphosis" online for free at Project Gutenberg.
  • It has also been collected in many anthologies, like the excellent Franz Kafka: The Complete Stories.

Craving More SF Stories Like This One?

If you liked "Metamorphosis" then you may also enjoy “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” by F. Scott Fitzgerald – about a strange child who is born as an old man and then ages backwards throughout his life.

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