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Metamorphosis

A BBC Radio 4 Reading
Narrated by: Benedict Cumberbatch
Length: 1 hr and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (163 ratings)

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Summary

Benedict Cumberbatch reads Franz Kafka's famous story of man-turned-insect, Metamorphosis.

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile

After a night of troubled dreams, Gregor Samsa wakes to discover that he has turned into a huge, monstrous, cockroach-like creature, with an armour-plated back and multiple limbs. 

Gradually, he comes to terms with his new state - but his parents and sister are horrified and increasingly revolted. To them, Gregor is unclean, verminous and entirely repellent, and as he becomes more and more of a burden, their horror turns to a terrible indifference.... 

First published in 1915, Kafka's surreal existential novella explores concepts such as the absurdity of life, alienation and the disconnect between mind and body. Read by Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Star Trek, The Imitation Game), this tale - often described as one of the greatest in the history of fiction - is chilling, captivating and darkly comic. 

©2018 BBC Digital Audio (P)2018 BBC Digital Audio

What members say

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A remarkable reading.

An icon of European literature. Read brilliantly!
A really effective way of engaging with a classic text.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great story

A great story from a great writer and a great performer. I enjoyed it and hope that you also like it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyed the narration more than the story.

I found this a strange but interesting story, not something I would usually listen to but got because I am a big fan of Benedict. His narration is amazing, such a rich voice and i like how he gives the characters their own voices too. I dont think I completely understood the meaning of the story but enjoyed it nonetheless. Would definitely recommend to other Benedict fans, and would listen again just for the narration.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Best narration ever!

Benedict Cumberbatch is a true star. This strange and often difficult story is made simple and fun by his top class performance! Bravo Ben!

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expecting better plot

great narrator. Cumberbach!
My 1st Kafka novel. I expected better plot line. Left unsatisfied. Maybe Kafka fans can convert me.

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Bit odd

The reading of the book is fantastic and the book itself it’s also quite great. But you need to have a strong understanding of literature to appreciate the critiques in it. I unfortunately don’t so found it a bit difficult.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully read, strange and sad

For such a short story, Metamorphosis packs a powerful emotional punch, which is made all the greater by Benedict Cumberbatch's beautiful narration. He draws every ounce of feeling from the words, without ever crossing the line into melodrama.

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great story, fantastic narration

The story was a wondeful commentary on capitalist society and the family, while Benedict Cumberbatch's narration was perfect.

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Franz by Benedict Cumberbatch

BC reads the story in a way that makes it easily deciphered and able to follow, a problem I had when reading the book solo.

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  • ilene
  • 05-02-18

Very Sad

Emotional story of humanity and much more. With a narrator like this you want it to go on forever just to hear his voice. Beautiful job.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • drwatson
  • 21-02-18

One of the best, with amazing narration

This was already one of my favorite books. Add Benedict Cumberbatch? =magic. Get this now.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-03-19

Disappointed

I love BC and this book but why is soooooo much edited out? It really ruins the translation and makes it utterly useless to use in a classroom. For a casual listen, it's good. For anything scholarly look elsewhere.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-04-19

As lovely as I remember

I read this story many years ago when in the 9th grade, and listening to it now with this delightful narration my view of the story is as good as it was if not better presently.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • henry
  • 20-09-19

classics are classic for a reason

I found the characters moving and relatable. the ending left quite an impression and the journey there was both entertaining nd moving. the setting of the story was simple and an excellent back drop for something so unusual.

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  • Roxana Donahue
  • 04-08-19

a classic worth listening to

I really enjoyed listening to Benedict Cumberbatch smoothing voice as he brought the story to life.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-07-19

Incredible

This book is a classic, and getting to listen to it from the unmatchable voice of Benedict Cumberbatch made it so much greater an experience!

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  • melissa moon
  • 23-06-19

Great narration! Loved it! Just one question...

Really enjoyed this book. Listened to it again and again. But I have to wonder, did Benedict dress up as a beetle during the recording?

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  • Jonas Blomberg Ghini
  • 12-05-19

Brilliant

And I think I just might make it to work on time, despite the imposition of being a giant bug.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-05-19

Great but drop the music

The story and performance are amazing, but the interrupting music at the end of tracks is obnoxious.