Hannah M.'s Reviews > The Meowmorphosis

The Meowmorphosis by Coleridge Cook
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's review
May 24, 2011

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bookshelves: 2011-read, fiction, mash-up, review-copy
Read in May, 2011

The Meowmorphosis is the story of Gregor Samsa, a traveling salesman working his hind-end off to pay off his fathers debt and provide for his parents and sister. One morning, after a fitful night’s sleep, Gregor wakes up to find that not only is he late for work, but he appears to be a kitten! Of course, Gregor’s new status as a kitten means he’s not exactly able to work – what with the lack of opposable thumbs and perhaps the whole communication thing, which leaves his family in an uproar trying to figure out how they will keep the bills paid.

Shortly after turning into a kitten, Gregor finds his chance for escape, and so he bolts for freedom from the family apartment to the streets of Prague. It doesn’t take Gregor long to find out that he isn’t the only man turned cute little kitty-cat. That one crazy night with the men-turned-cat’s of Prague leaves Gregor reeling, and so he returns home.

Of course his father is still miffed, his mother still can’t breathe with him in the room, and his sister no longer wants to cuddle him… so much for the rainbows of love he was hoping to go home to, eh? And so Gregor lives out the rest of his days with a family that is quite content to leave this no longer kitten-sized, but overgrown cat be.

So, was The Meowmorphosis better than the original? Most definitely.

This is a mash-up, so there are many parts of The Meowmorphosis that mirror the original, and for me this ended up giving the story a slow start. Once stuff actually started happening though, namely Gregor’s escape from the apartment, I became far more involved. I loved the addition of meeting the other man-turned-cat’s and all that came along with Gregor’s discovery of this group. Even if he did go back home towards the end, which I had hoped wouldn’t happen, I still really liked the book.

Coleridge Cook’s writing fit in really well with the essence of Kafka and consequently, the story has a good flow to it. There were some pretty humorous moments as well. This is, after all, a story that happens from the perspective of a cat and while a lot of the story was about what was going on around Gregor, there were moment’s of very cat-like interjections (you know, ear scratching, pouncing, kneading, all that stuff that cat’s adore – on their schedule of course). Gregor’s night on the town and seeing the different perspective of Josef K and Franz (other men-turned-cat’s) made for some good moments as well.

The Meowmorphosis is a fresh take on an old story joined by those ridiculously awesome illustrations that Quirk novels always have, an fairly hilarious Appendix titled ‘The Curious Life of Franz Kafka, author of The Meowmorphosis,’ and what I think are some of the best discussion questions I’ve ever seen in a book. Basically, I consider this one definitely worth checking out.

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

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