I’m not sure what brought it up, but a colleague mentioned Franz Kafka wrote the saddest stories ever. A pathos fan myself, my interest was piqued. My colleague recommended and lent me the ebook version of Metamorphosis, a supposed stunner.
It was a small book, and I managed to tolerate reading it on a screen. I finished it last night and gave it a two-star rating on Goodreads. And then I scrolled through reviews to see what other readers had said thought about the book. I was stunned; a lot of people had given four or five stars, and words like “wonderful,” “amazing,” “deep,” and “emotional” jumped out at me.
I scratched my head. Huh?
It was as if they had read a different book altogether. I wondered if my copy had been just the preface, and if there was more to the tale than I had read.
I had expected dramatic change, something that would topple the lives of all the characters. I know all that did happen, still, it was too matter-of-fact, like.
It’s not that I didn’t like the story, but I didn’t see what the big deal was. It was well written, sure. It had an uncanny plot, yes. And an unconventional ending. But other than that, I didn’t feel the sadness ebbing from the words, I wasn’t moved to tears, my eyes didn’t burn, my nose didn’t stream, and my neck didn’t hurt from crouching.
It was a good story with a beautiful narrative. It wasn’t gripping or as sad as I had hoped. Nevertheless, the comments on Goodreads unsettles me. I feel almost inhuman not seeing what’s so intriguing about the book.
Have you read Metamorphosis? Pray tell, what did I miss?