Understanding  Metamorphosis

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?

9 thoughts on “Understanding  Metamorphosis

      1. Thanks. Thames is like the others that I share post Heading North, first attempts, work in progress kind of thing. Sometimes they don’t change much, though, from the original writing.


  1. I believe you didn’t miss anything! Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” and basically all of his other stories have garnered praises all over, but in my opinion, they are really subjective reads.

    For me, Kafka’s style do not actually promote the average story flow or even a clear plotline. The point of Kafka is to send a message with occasional in a seemingly surreal manner, with occasional dark themes and humor. In “The Metamorphosis”, the concept of estrangement and existentialism is nicely explored and it delivers that point. I think that most people rated it highly either because they really liked the unique premise and the powerful message (for some people), or simply followed the majority trend.

    Kafka’s tales might not suit everyone’s tastes since there is a lack of character attachment being built, but again, the point is to deliver a certain message. If you can relate to the message greatly, you will most likely love it. If not, then it will be a unique, yet average story.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Stumbled upon this after reading my own review for Kafka, I hope you don’t mind me showing up 😀


    1. You’re right, though the story and the narrative threw me off, I still thought that The Metamorphosis was a unique read. I couldn’t get my head around the idea, but I could appreciate the themes in the story.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts about Kafka. I value your time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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