Owen's Reviews > The Meowmorphosis

The Meowmorphosis by Coleridge Cook
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's review
Jun 02, 2011

did not like it

In compliance with FTC guidelines, I disclose thatI received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

I have never thrown a book away after reading it before in my life until I read The Meowmorphosis. I will admit that I am not particularly good at reading works of literature and divining the meanings, allusions, and symbolism, but this book has no value at all.

In order to get a good basis off which to judge this book, I read Kafka's The Metamorphosis. It was a very strange tale; weird, bleak, and depressing until the very end. It is spoken of as an extensively taught short story and a cornerstone of the academic literary world. It is because I read Kafka the same day that when reading The Meowmorphosis I realized it was almost a word for word copy with "cat" in the place of "bug", even when the change made little sense. The quality of the writing plummets in the middle, the section of 'original' writing, and reads like a high school student trying to mimic Kafka. Then Gregor the Cat returns and the book ends with Kafka's lines with the respective changes made to denote the cat transformation; again, even when it makes little sense in relation to the other lines.

Kafka's The Metamorphosis is in the public domain and easily available for free online from a number of sources, or as part of a print collection. What the people/business geniuses/plagiarizers at Quirk Classics are doing is taking a free book, making a few cosmetic changes, adding a rather poorly written middle, and charging $10-15 for it. Its a great strategy, but in terms of quality it is reprehensible. This book is the equivalent of staging a serious play, say 'Hamlet', and having the actors randomly throw pies and run around like loons while the audience stuffs their face with fast food and guffaws and the silly people on stage.

I will freely admit that there is a perfectly valid use of mocking serious works, but this book takes the tone of "Oh, funny 'literature', lets be goofy, mock it for being serious, and reduce it to a simpleton level" without the skill it requires to be genuinely entertaining.

I had always thought these books started off the same as the classic they mimicked, then went off the rails with crazy ideas and plots. This was a huge disappointment. Advertising this book as an original work is borderline criminal.
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Reading Progress

05/04/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Huston Thank you for writing an honest review. I think I will skip this one -- I can understand the original's Gregor turning into a cockroach and all of the attendant hooharra about it, but I really can not picture a cat in the same situation. I can really give this one a miss.

message 2: by David (new)

David Maine You're right, this book sounds criminal on so many levels it's hard to know where to start. Thanks for the review.

message 3: by Quirkyreader (new)

Quirkyreader I got to page 100 and couldn't take it anymore. It gave me a rather bad headache.

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