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Summary

In the bizarre world of Franz Kafka, salesmen turn into giant bugs, apes give lectures at college academies, and nightmares probe the mysteries of modern humanity’s unhappiness. More than any other modern writer in world literature, Kafka captures the loneliness and misery that fill the lives of 20th-century humanity. The Metamorphosis and Other Stories reveals the author’s extraordinary talent in a variety of forms—prose poems, short stories, sketches, allegories, and novelettes—and showcases the straight–faced humor, startling psychological insight, and haunting imagination for which he is revered as a modern master. In this brilliant new translation, prize–winning translator Joachim Neugroschel preserves the delicate balance, rich timbre, and wondrous language of Kafka’s original works. In addition to "The Metamorphosis", this collection includes "Early Stories", "Contemplation", "The Judgement", "The Stoker", "In the Penal Colony", and "A Country Doctor".

Public Domain (P)1995 Recorded Books, LLC

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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

More Muddled Than Kafka Himself

'Disappointed' is probably the easiest way of summing up this audiobook. For some inexplicable reason there are no chapter titles which, when the audiobook is a large collection of short stories, is kind of important to know where you are and what you are listening to.

For example, this audiobook is called 'The Metamorphosis and Other Stories' but I don't know which of the 51 untitled chapters is 'The Metamorphosis', which is a shame as it is primarily for that story I bought the audiobook.

This is not helped by the first two chapters, 19:57mins and 29:24mins respectively, being introduction and analysis. That's nearly 50 minutes of the audiobook devoted to something other than the actual stories. I never understand why publishers feel it necessary to include these lengthy introductions and forewords to books. Imagine sitting through a film or play or television programme where the first twenty minutes or more was taken up with analysis of the forthcoming drama. No? Me neither. Cut it out! We don't read them and I certainly

Having said all this I do need to mention that Mr Guidall reads it in his usual exemplary manner.

One day, when I have a lot of time on my hands, I may get round to flicking through all the chapter until I find 'The Metamorphosis'. Until that day I will listen to something else.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Story
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  • a
  • Bristol, United Kingdom
  • 29-07-16

Pity about the introduction

This would have been a lot better it it was just the stories rather than a long introduction at the beginning/

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • dc
  • 17-12-17

what an over rated story...

People have talked about switching between human and animal for centuries. This is one of the boring and over rated stories I have had the misfortune to read.

However the positive side, it makes me appreciate those other stories.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ryan
  • 24-03-13

Excellent Translation, Excellent Narration!

Would you listen to The Metamorphosis and Other Stories again? Why?

Of course! I return to this book again and again when other fiction is not satisfying. Kafka has such a unique voice and such a masterful ability to entrance the reader. Joachim Neugroschel's translation captures Kafka's dark humor (and ability to maintain the fictional dream) much better than the Muir's translations did.

Any additional comments?

"A Country Doctor" and "In the Penal Colony" are the best

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • P. Madden
  • 21-02-16

Frsutrated

What did you love best about The Metamorphosis and Other Stories?

The thing that frustrates me the most about this collection in its audible format , is one doesn't know what short story one is listening g too. They are not listed in the chapter heading or introduced at the start of the said story being read. I ask you what genius oversaw this aspect of the production needs a kick in the literary ass.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Himanshu Modi
  • 20-08-18

Great assortment of stories

The stories in this book are a strange assortment. And not just Kafka strange. It is a mix of proper "stories", random ruminations - some of them only a minute long, and some really weird... umm... passages...? Really, there is no better way to describe them. Metamorphosis is the big famous story among the collections, of course. (The feature Hulk Hogan vs. Undertaker special... back from the days when wrestling had only one big-ticket match in the day.) Then the couple of other memorable stories are The Penal Colony, and The Stoker, Report for an Academy. These stuck with me. Others are all right, and an insight in the quirky Kafka mind. But even by his standards a few stories are bizarre. Seriously, I have no clue what was Eleven Sons about. And what the sour grapejuice was going on in Jackal and Arabs, and conversation with a worshipper (which is apparently called as conversation with a supplicant, in other translations). Also, a couple of stories from The Trial find it's way here.

George Guidall is just spectacular with the narration. I have listened to his narration of Trial as well and the man's voice lends the perfect amount of mystery to Kafka's stories.

The one frustration with the audio book was that no where in the description or chapters do we find the list of stories. And neither could I find this particular book edition online anywhere to get the list of chapters. Besides, for a few of them, there are a couple of chapters bundled together in a single audible chapter. That didn't make it easy at all. So, anyways, I compiled the chapter list here. I am not sure if that "Nature of Naturally" is an actual Kafka story or if its a note by the translator on the challenges of choosing a word while translating Kafka works... but it was still a great listen.:

1. Notes on translation
2. Nature of naturally and Conversation with the worshiper
3. Conversation with a drunk
4. Great noise
5. The judgement
6. Contemplation - a sudden stroll
7. Children on the highway
8. Exposing a city slicker
9. Decisions
10. The outing in the mountain
11. The bachelors unhappiness
12. The businessman
13. Absently gazing out
14. The way home
15. The people running by
16. The passenger
17. Frocks
18. The rejection
19. Reflections of an amateur jockey
20. The window facing the street
21. The wish to be an Indian
22. The trees
23. Unhappiness
24. The stoker - a fragment
25. The stoker - continued
26. The stoker - Continued
27. Metamorphosis
28. Metamorphosis - Continued
29. Metamorphosis - Continued
30. Metamorphosis - Continued
31. Metamorphosis - Continued
32. Metamorphosis - Continued
33. The country doctor collections - a new lawyer
34. The country doctor collections - the country doctor
35. The country doctor collections - Up in the gallery
36. The country doctor collections - An ancient manuscript
37. The country doctor collections - Before the law
38. The country doctor collections - Jackals and Arabs
39. The country doctor collections - A visit to the mine
40. The country doctor collections - The next village
41. The country doctor collections - An imperial message
42. The country doctor collections - The anxiety of the head of family
43. The country doctor collections - Eleven sons
44. The country doctor collections - The fratricide
45. The country doctor collections - A dream
46. The country doctor collections - A report for an academy
47. In the penal colony
48. In the penal colony - Continued

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Niels J. Rasmussen
  • 15-03-17

Too Kafkaesque For Me

My title, as I pray you guessed, is a bad joke.
This audiobook is as close to a perfect execution as is possible when having to make editorial decisions left and right due to the author being dead for .... Well he has been dead for a long time. No one can dispute that.

The artistic liberties that had to be forcefully undertaken in each of the included story's translation (German & Belgian to English) were flawless. I haven't seen as good a job in that respect since the audiobook incarnation of The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem (available on Audible too).
Both works left me scratching my head trying to figure how such beautiful alliteration and pun could have POSSIBLY been kept in tact while still holding true to the original works. REALLY GREAT listen. Top marks.

10.00 / 10.00

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • james g standing
  • 27-03-12

kafka

What did you love best about The Metamorphosis and Other Stories?

The reader was excellent. We really enjoyed the pre- lecture regarding the language and nationalism and judism. We recommend both the reader and the book. We also had never read or listened to the short stories, which were a bonus.

Who was your favorite character and why?

gregor - he fought to maintain his human-ness.

Have you listened to any of George Guidall’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, oh yes. We pick books that are unknown and read by him based solely on his narration. He was excellent reading Kafka.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • cjwheeler
  • 16-03-15

interesting stories

I read the castle and didn't like it at all, these stories are not like the castle. I think most of these stories are interesting and a few are even quite good. I like Haruki Murakami, and some compare him to kafka, so I thought I would read Kafka. I don't understand the comparison, maybe I haven't read the right books yet and I don't think I will.
I think George Guidall does a fine job reading the stories. I have listened to other books he's read. I wouldn't put him on my favorite narrators list, but I think he does a decent job.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful