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Collected Stories

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4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  413 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Franz Kafka’s imagination so far outstripped the forms and conventions of the literary tradition he inherited that he was forced to turn that tradition inside out in order to tell his splendid, mysterious tales. Scrupulously naturalistic on the surface, uncanny in their depths, these stories represent the achieved art of a modern master who had the gift of making our probl ...more
Hardcover, Everyman's Library, #145, 566 pages
Published October 26th 1993 by Knopf
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MJ Nicholls
I first bought this in 2009, in an edition where Vintage had removed the full stops from the text in error, or to lure me into some Kakfaesque trap. Thanks, Vintage! I complained and received a freebie of Bulgakov’s The Heart of a Dog instead. I parked the stories for a long time, until this moment in time, when I revisited the most terrifying story in the universe, ‘The Metamorphosis’, the most horrific and significant story in the universe ‘Inside the Penal Colony’, the breathtaking debut ‘Des ...more
Bbrown
May 17, 2014 Bbrown rated it really liked it
In the worlds that Kafka creates, cause and effect tend to have been tossed out the window. Actions and reactions don’t link together as neatly as we think they should, and when a connection does become apparent it’s often only in retrospect. In many of Kafka’s works the rules aren’t clear, and often are made even more opaque by the end of the story. By furthermore keeping references to the real world to a minimum in his work, Kafka severs our tether to reality and sets us adrift in what is some ...more
Salem
Aug 03, 2008 Salem rated it really liked it
Trippy
Derek
Jun 04, 2012 Derek rated it really liked it
This is my first encounter with Kafka and, I must say, it was a relatively enjoyable one.

Collected Stories contains every work of fiction written by Kafka during his lifetime, at least what we know of, aside from his novels. There were several misses -- most notably Kafka's longer works, which hammer away constantly, consistently, unrelenting on the same string of thought with the longest sentences that would make Mark Twain blush -- but many of his "flash fiction"-like pieces were remarkable,
...more
Gavin
Apr 12, 2007 Gavin rated it it was amazing
Still my favourite book. I recently started re-reading my favourite story from it, The Burrow, which so convincingly undermines any sense of stability that it makes me nauseous after too steady a session. So I guess, a love/hate.

But if you look past the grisly (In The Penal Colony) and the hopeless (The Burrow, A Hunger Artist, or The Trial (not in this collection)), you find the brilliantly strange (The Metamorphosis, The Bucket Rider), the funny (A Report to an Academy, in which the speaker is
...more
Megan
Jun 04, 2011 Megan marked it as to-read
I've renewed this from the library a couple of times and still haven't finished it (I got to "In the Penal Colony") so I guess I'll return it and come back to it later. This is definitely a book that would be better to buy than check out, just so you're not rushed and can have time to digest each story. I ended up reading it in spurts between other, less depressing books. Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying Kafka's stories. They're extremely interesting studies of human nature and explorations of ...more
David Melbie
Dec 10, 2010 David Melbie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Readers who like the extraordinary, the not-normal modes. . .
Recommended to David by: Frank Zappa, although he probably did not read any of it!
Some of these stories I have read before -- The Metamorphosis, The Penal Colony, etc., but most were new to me. The opening page says it all:

"Franz Kafka's imagination so far out-stripped the forms and conventions of the literary tradition he inherited that he was forced to turn that tradition inside out in order to tell his splendid, mysterious tales. Scrupulously naturalistic on the surface, uncanny in their depths, these stories represent the achieved art of a modern master who had the gift o
...more
Lars K Jensen
Dec 23, 2011 Lars K Jensen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, kafka
Although this book doesn't include Kafka's probably most popular work, 'The Trial', 'The Castle' and 'America' (although 'The Stoker' which became the first chapter of 'America' is there) is still an eminent collection of the works of Franz Kafka.

The book is separated in two parts. Part one includes the stories published in Kafka's lifetime, part two the stories published after his death - both in chronological order.

This book is a must-read if you're into Kafka. Some of the stories are hard to
...more
Zak J
Feb 07, 2014 Zak J rated it really liked it
A great read. I had only read Metamorphosis before this and wanted to hear more from Kafka. I don't usually read short stories but thought it could be nice. I really enjoyed the change of pace and was amazed by the depth Kafka could extract from a character in less than a page in some cases. It was wonderful to peer into his mind and it's clear he's an extremely observant and thoughtful person capable of jumping into the "skin" of anything, alive or not. I'm sure there were dense metaphors I was ...more
Lars
Dec 23, 2011 Lars rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, kafka
Although this book doesn't include Kafka's probably most popular work, 'The Trial', 'The Castle' and 'America' (although 'The Stoker' which became the first chapter of 'America' is there) is still an eminent collection of the works of Franz Kafka.

The book is separated in two parts. Part one includes the stories published in Kafka's lifetime, part two the stories published after his death - both in chronological order.

This book is a must-read if you're into Kafka. Some of the stories are hard to
...more
Joe
Jan 03, 2011 Joe rated it it was amazing
Comment:

Greatest short story writer of the twentieth century. I am sorry but the novels are another matter; they remind one of jokes that go on far too long. 'Betrayed, betrayed, a false alarm rung on the night bell, once answered, can never be made good again.' -This is the History of Philosophy in a very small nutshell!
Edward
May 31, 2009 Edward rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classic
A little Kafka goes a long way. I put this book down, actually returned it to the library, without finishing it.

In addition to his "classics" there are many short stories, almost notes, some only a page long. This edition has a good introduction and a chronology as well as the requisite bibliography. It's a book I'd like to have on my bookshelf for when I feel the need for a "Kafka moment."
Bradley
Nov 29, 2009 Bradley rated it it was amazing
The Metamorphosis works for me as symbolic of someone going through a bout with depression, and/or some kind of mental illness. It also works on other levels of course, but for me its an allegory for someone who is just not feeling like themselves, cannot work, and then gets all sorts of crap from their family... interesting.
Destin Kozojed
Nov 04, 2009 Destin Kozojed rated it it was amazing
Kafka is one of the most important authors in Western Literature. This book has his greatest short stores: The Metamorphosis, The Judgment and A Hunger Artist. It also includes some of his very short stories...almost parables. Kafka's work is so important to me- this is one of my favorite books. His grim stories would not appeal to the faint of heart, I don't think.
Marc
Aug 08, 2011 Marc rated it really liked it
Well, read much of it. At first I was annoyed with the whining. But then, I realized in "Metamorphisis" there were some Buddhist undertones, and I was much more excited about that story. I might go back to some of the others with a new eye open to them.
Daniel
Aug 22, 2007 Daniel rated it it was amazing
Not sure if this is the same as the one I read -- I read a collection of everything he wrote, except for the novels, translated by the Muirs. It took me a little while to get used to his style, but once I did I really dug his stories. Gread stuff.
Michael Pesant
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Mar 13, 2009
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Yes & Not Yes
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Jun 25, 2008
Joe Hecker
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mommydressup
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Shobeir
Shobeir rated it it was ok
Mar 04, 2007
Jeff
Jeff rated it it was amazing
Jan 24, 2008
Donald
Sep 04, 2010 Donald rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only read "The Metamorphosis", but I really liked it! Not a huge fan of the ending though.
Magnús
Magnús rated it really liked it
Apr 30, 2011
Sandra
Sandra rated it liked it
May 29, 2013
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Franz Kafka was one of the major fiction writers of the 20th century. He was born to a middle-class German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, Bohemia (presently the Czech Republic), Austria–Hungary. His unique body of writing—much of which is incomplete and which was mainly published posthumously—is considered to be among the most influential in Western literature.

His stories include The Metamorpho
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