Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Metamorphosis and Other Stories” as Want to Read:
The Metamorphosis and Other Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Metamorphosis and Other Stories

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  53,109 ratings  ·  1,829 reviews
The Metamorphosis and Other Stories, by Franz Kafka, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
All editions are beautifully des
Paperback, 224 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Barnes Noble Classics (first published 1915)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Metamorphosis and Other Stories, please sign up.
Recent Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  53,109 ratings  ·  1,829 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Metamorphosis and Other Stories
Ahmad Sharabiani
Die Verwandlung und andere Erzählungen = The Metamorphosis and Other Stories, Franz Kafka

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, Franz 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
Dave Maddock
Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, short-story
I suspect interpreting Kafka says more about the reader than the author so here's some insight into my psyche:

Gregor's family are losers. Gregor takes over the "bread winner" position after his father's business fails and provides enough money for the family to live as well as help to pay down the large debt his father's business incurred. The rest of them are fine to let him and sit on their asses. Gregor's father is perfectly healthy, but is happy to mooch too. Then, we find out that his fathe

The Metaphormosis - a tiny tale

The field lay sparkling in the sun. The cold night had covered it with a white blanket which the grass was now reluctant to shed. The distant sun did not mind the ground’s slumber. It gazed benevolently down to the field and saw shimmers of its big bright self reflected in the small flakes that had bundled together into an untouched canvas of astonishing whiteness. Everything was still. Birds flew over in silence, forest creatures stayed under the trees and dar
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you are no vermin
Recommended to Dolors by: dear Professor Weinstein
I first met Kafka’s haunting prose while staying in Prague. Not even a year gone by and I find myself re-reading him again, trying once more to decipher what hidden messages might be found in his daunting short stories.
After having read his tales twice I have come to the conclusion that there is no use in trying to deconstruct the unrealistic situations of the imaginary worlds he created, there is no need to unveil any encrypted symbolism in order to weave out some sort of moral code from his ni
It's totally kafkaesque (

I would have given this collection 5 stars based on "The Metamorphosis" alone. The rest of the pages could have been filled with grocery lists, recipes, driving directions, what have you, I would still have given it 5 stars. But the thing is, there are so many other stellar stories in this collection, five stars seems like an insult. "The Judgement" astounded me; "A Hunger Artist" captivated me; "In the Penal Colony" sickened me.
Lamski Kikita
Oct 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Do not, under any circumstances, believe any of the introductions to Kafka books especially if they tell you that there is no point of trying to interpret, read into, or analyze Kafka's writing, and that it just is; read it for its poetic prose and for the beauty of the stories... BULLSHIT!!!
If you have any sense at all, you will read Kafka, and you will read into the stories, you will come up with hidden messages, and you will see the politics and sociology in it, and it will mess up with your
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Maybe could be titled Metaphor. When one starts to bug one's parents, it's time to move out.

Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈

Read a book originally written in a different language.

Finally writing a review of this thing that I really don't wanna write. Because I'm really being generous with two stars because I really hated reading this thing. Probably why I read it in February and only now posting a review, because I feel like an asshole slamming a piece of world literature that has been read so many times by so many people, is taught in classrooms around the world, and has a lot of things to say. Oh well, I plead the
I didn’t want to like Kafka. When I first heard of him, I classified him as one of those writers people like so they can have some self-validation about their intelligence, like an association with college professors of something. I decided to try Kafka after a Breaking Bad episode entitled “Kafkaesque.” A humorous moment in the episode shows one of the main characters, a recovering meth addict and dealer, talking in a street-slang vernacular and saying something to his partner like, “You wouldn ...more
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’ll never forget that winter night at Christmas break when I read this one, during the transition phase into high school senior year.

What struck me Most the first read-through was the image of the pitched Apple that had pierced and penetrated into the soft, gooey underbelly of this hapless and balefully misunderstood giant caterpillar (with pressing business appointments, no less)!

That was so me, back then, in 1967! An outsider at school, my soft belly was routinely pierced by the fierce verbal
Raul Bimenyimana
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Strange, incredibly well written stories. The characters are all helpless to the events happening around and to them and thus are rendered observers to their mostly unfortunate fates, as much as they are subjects. Through them, we go step by step immersed in their own sense of helplessness and alienation.

The prose is incredible and concise, filled with clear and rich descriptions so that whether it is pain, fear or even disgust, we're transported to these inescapable situations and left marvelli
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Shiela
This book is composed of 6 short stories by Franz Kafka. The writing is glorious and the storytelling is engaging. However, most of the messages are unclear to me. I just don't see the point of reading these except to savor Kafka's eccentrically beautiful prose and give oneself a chance to pick his/her own takeaway when he/she is finally done reading the whole book the book.

Metamorphosis. 3 STARS
I really felt sad for Gregor Samsa. He is the family breadwinner because he is the only one working i
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nothing demands meticulous attention more than Kafka's prose. He weaved the false thread of inner lives of his characters in a way that is as ridiculous and surreal as it possibly can be. They try to make sense, but alas, it is the world Kafka had woven and hence, absurdity reigns triumphantly.

The eponymous story in this collection depicts the pain of a metamorphosis. Gregor Samsa wakes up from "uneasy dreams" and finds himself in another. His transformation into a giant insect stripped him of h
“Metamorphosis” is a slog. Might be one of those stories that doesn’t translate well. It’s outstanding point thematically seems to be the utter incuriousness of the Samsas. They are overcome by tragedy to which they seem blind, and go on with their lives utterly unmoved by their loss.
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The philosopher Adorno wrote of Kafka, "Each sentence says "Interpret me", and none will permit it." Kafka's words are unsettling, torturous and crisp with details. They are devoid of metaphors, yet while trying to read between the lines, meanings can be seen lying surreptitiously.

1. Meditation
Meditation is a series of short sketches, with isolation as its recurrent theme. It begins with the happiness of a child and ends with an adult's unhappiness.

2. The Judgement
Georg Bendemann is a succes
Here's Kafka with the best thing anyone's ever said about literature:
We need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be like the axe for the frozen sea inside us.
This collection is what you should start with if you haven't read him before, or if it's been a while. (I like the Penguin Deluxe Classics edition translated by Michael Hofman.)
Nov 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: have, e-book
Okay, I guess the first thing that I should mention is that I didn't actually read the "other stories", mainly because those other stories were not attached to my nookbook version of this short novel.

Of course, I selected the wrong version of this work from the 10,000,000 options that Goodreads provided and now it's just too complicated to change editions so . . . on to my review.

I have this obsessive need to write a review on everything I read. Not because I think anyone really cares, but beca
Sentimental Surrealist
I plan to finish Kafka's complete shorts (and Amerika) eventually, but I have to read this guy slowly, no more than one or two stories a day, because he gets overwhelming otherwise. I don't know if it's possible to say anything new about these shadowy parables on human loneliness, but they're some of the most profound and powerful fiction ever set to paper. Kafka's protagonists gaze into the abyss and sometimes cower in terror but other times laugh, and for as petty and as spiteful as they often ...more
RJ from the LBC
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In addition to a short biography and timeline of the author's life, this collection contains an Introduction by Jason Baker, a translator's afterword by Donna Freed, Endnotes, notes on works inspired by Kafka, Comments/Questions, and Suggestions for Further Reading, as well as the following stories:

A Message from the Emperor - 3/5 - There is an interesting piece in the Atlantic Monthly that describes how this very short parable can be used to define the term "Kafkaesque" (read it here: https://
Jonathan Terrington

There is a particular reason why Franz Kafka's works have come to be defined by the style of 'Kafkaesque'. Like Mervyn Peake in his Gormenghast works, Kafka defines his own style and ways of writing - working in a genre that is not quite pure fiction and not quite non-fiction. That is to say that Kafka mixes reality and imagination in a way that few writers can. His style is his own in a haunting way that does not quite fit into any genre. Is he a realist? Is he Gothic? Is he a romance author? I
Simon Clark
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This made me feel uncomfortable in a number of ways, not least because I seriously identified with a man-sized insect. Kafka's prose here is very spartan and descriptive, devoid of metaphor, and the effect is to show the horrifying events of the novella in unflinchingly crisp detail.

I would rate the book higher but to be honest it just didn't affect me in that many ways, nor do I anticipate that it will stay with me for a significant length of time. The only story I can think to compare it to i
Jan 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
Riddle me this…… why is it that Kafka is praised for having a continuous theme of ‘alienation and anxiety in a bizarre, hostile, and dehumanized world’ (taken right from the introduction by Kafka-aficionado Jason Baker) but Art Alexaksis of Everclear is constantly derided for never giving up the theme of his parent’s divorce and family instability in his suburban American life?

Really, who is more pigeonholed and obsessed with a single theme; a guy who puts a few 3-minute, 3-chord, hastily-writt
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: little creepy monsters in your head
My first date with F. Kafka and his gothic tales was in my school years. The impression, it gave me, is the same - a negative and pessimistic picture of the world: black color gives the tone for almost everything and if there is a ray of hope, it is short-lived, because it is swallowed by the dark night.

Despair rules the stories, because everything seems pointless. The thing that surprised me at first is that it is really simple to read Kafka’s stories. There aren’t any long and boring descript
Mike Puma
An amazing collection of shorter works by Kafka. For my money, “In the Penal Colony” is the entry that will, likely, prove the most memorable—perhaps, it’s due to my recently reading Christopher Hitchens’ God Is Not Great or it might be owing to my being midway in Sam Harris’ The End of Faith, but I kept picturing an Inquisitor in the role of the ‘officer’ and wishing that the story had been true. I’m likely to have appreciated the entire collection more had I taken more time to read it—spread t ...more
whilst other german authors delve in complex syntax and elongated words, Kafka has chosen the simplicity of his purest language. the hardest work would be to translate him, as it's not his words that differentiate him, but the meaning he coats them with. it has been a pleasure to pick on his simplest structures, because he seems to be generating depth out of nowhere. i enjoyed both his writing and his stories, where he combines imaginative situations with the dirty, mundane world.

plus, i'm real
Sep 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mary by: Mark
Shelves: fiction, 2012
I read The Metamorphosis for the third of fourth time while reading this collection and it still blows me miles away. The absolute horror and poignancy and multiple angles of interpretation are just brilliant. It’s possible this is the best short story every written.

The other stories also drip with agony and imagination. Kafka's pain over his strained relationship with his father gave us these beautiful and important pieces and oh, how lucky we are.
Maria Lago
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it
The Metamorphosis isn't an iconic piece of literature for nothing. It certainly takes multiple readings and reviewings and much discussion.
I tell you what doesn't: In the Penal Colony. Guys and gals, this is gore. Gore like Chuck Palahniuk has only dreamt about.
So. There you have it. The reason why Kafka was the greatest writer of them all.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I genuinely think Kafka could never, under any circumstances, become overrated. For though us crude men never know when to stop, he does, and it's more often than not a tad later than one expects it to be.
Leo Robertson
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of these I didn't get at all! But the ones I did I liked very much. Metamorphosis of course, Penal Colony, Hunger Artist in particular.
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aside from the introduction by Anne Rice, which should be skipped, this is a good collection and great introduction to Kafka.

"The Metamorphosis," "In the Penal Colony," and "The Judgment" are worth it alone. But Schocken includes three collections of short stories in this volume, all of them filled with amazing moments. "A Hunger Artist" might be my favorite, but there are many others that left me a little in awe of Kafka's abilities.

Reading Franz isn't particularly difficult, at least not most
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Weird Fiction: "The Metamorphosis" Discuss Everything *Spoilers* 11 10 Jul 30, 2020 01:51PM  
Weird Fiction: "The Metamorphosis" First Impressions *No Spoilers* 14 11 Jul 23, 2020 10:26AM  
Challenge Corner: The Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka -> Starting January 12th, 2019 9 5 Feb 20, 2019 02:16PM  
Goodreads Librari...: please add cover too 2 12 Jul 02, 2018 12:51PM  
Book Review Pre-Ap 1 2 Mar 21, 2018 04:53PM  
Kafka’s humble wish 6 50 May 24, 2017 07:31AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Add cover photo 5 20 Jul 13, 2016 01:24PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Heart of Darkness and Selected Short Fiction
  • The Stranger
  • The Fall
  • The Plague
  • Notes from Underground & The Double
  • Nausea
  • Notes from Underground
  • The Myth of Sisyphus
  • Franz Kafka's The Castle (Dramatization)
  • The Communist Manifesto and Other Writings
  • Moartea lui Ivan Ilici și alte povestiri
  • Crime and Punishment
  • من و نازی
  • Death in Venice and Other Tales
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  • The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays
  • L'interpretazione dei sogni
See similar books…
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 Metamorph

Related Articles

It’s rare that a debut novel gets the kind of love and attention that Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing, which spanned centuries and continents, received. Her...
78 likes · 13 comments
“What am I doing here in this endless winter?” 243 likes
“And so gentlemen, I learned. Oh, if you have to learn, you learn; if you’re desperate for a way out, you learn; you learn pitilessly. You stand over yourself with a whip in your hand; if there’s the least resistance, you lash yourself.” 61 likes
More quotes…