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“One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that he had been changed into an adorable kitten.”

Thus begins The Meowmorphosis—a bold, startling, and fuzzy-wuzzy new edition of Kafka’s classic nightmare tale, from the publishers of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! Meet Gregor Samsa, a humble young man who works as a fabric salesman to support his parents and sister. His life goes strangely awry when he wakes up late for work and discovers that, inexplicably, he is now a man-sized baby kitten. His family freaks out: Yes, their son is OMG so cute, but what good is cute when there are bills to pay? And how can Gregor be so selfish as to devote all his attention to a scrap of ribbon? As his new feline identity threatens to eat away at his personality, Gregor desperately tries to survive this bizarre, bewhiskered ordeal by accomplishing the one thing he never could as a man: He must flee his parents’ house.
Published: Random House Publishing Group on May 10, 2011
ISBN: 9781594745126
List price: $12.95
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I enjoyed reading Meowmorphosis on a couple of levels. I thought it was a clever parody of the Franz Kafka original and could introduce a whole new generation to this classic piece of literature. I also enjoyed it as a cat lover and found the LOLCats reference hilarious. Coleridge Cook did a good job of capturing the German style of writing (one sentence paragraphs are not unheard of in German). The tragedy of Gregor still came through, even though he was a cat, which is much more beloved than a cockroach. I bemoan the fact that some may only approach classic literature through parodies, but I’m in favor of anything that gets people reading.read more
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I've been reading this book for ages now... since I got it, basically. I just don't like it. At first, it was cute... but it's just difficult to get through and I'm just not enjoying it in any way, so I don't think I'll ever even finish it. Great concept, though. I perhaps just dislike Kafka too much to be swayed by kitties.read more
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Newest from Quirk Classics (Pride, Prejudice & Zombies, etc) - Kafka's Metamorphosis is altered into a feline soul-search. The book is more overtly humorous in the beginning, as Gregor finds himself newly kitten-ized, but then mostly remains - to me - rather whiny and overblown and excessively long. Also, I was not familiar with 'The Trial' but it's is also mashed up within this story and I felt it added more heaviness to an already weighty story. I think I enjoyed the special notes on Kaka's life most of all (found after the ending) - they were beyond sharp and biting and the link to cats made me laugh. However, the reader discussion points were weak and unfunny. To me, overall - the final word for the entire book = uneven.read more
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I read this book in one day. Of course, Kafka's Metamorphosis was not exactly novel-sized, so I don't feel like I rushed through it. It's my first of the 'Quirk' Classics - I wasn't going to touch the Pride and Prejudice butcherings, but I figured since the only Kafka I'd ever read -The Trial- was not a favorite of mine I wouldn't mind a bit of quirk thrown in. But I was confused, because I didn't quite get how big he was supposed to be. Then I had to go back to the original, because I wondered why Kafka would have stuck The Trial into this story. Actually, the was Coleridge Cook's doing. Guilty! As a fan of LOLcats, this wuz grate! As a classics reader, it was okay. As not such a Kafka fan...whatever.I want to frame the picture of the Gregor Samsa getting a bath. I'm a little scared of framing pictures now, though - look where it got Samsa!read more
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Hmm... what to say about The Meowmorphosis? I own two other Quirk Classics - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Android Karenina - but haven't had the chance to read them yet. However, since I was asked to provide a review of this book in exchange for a free advance copy, I felt required to buckle down and read it from start to finish.Well, I use "start to finish" loosely here, because there were some parts that I just couldn't struggle through; I skipped several pages when the narration waxed too long-winded for me. That is not to say that I didn't enjoy some portions of the book, because I definitely did. However, there were portions (perhaps they were part of Kafka's original, or the author was attempting to emulate his style with great success) that I just couldn't get through because I couldn't connect with what George Samsa was thinking or what Joseph K was saying.My favorite portions of the book included the jabs at Kafka himself, such as the time when Joseph K says that he is telling a story in the classic German literary tradition and asks if George noticed the parallels between the story being told and some remote aspect of the Bohemian movement. I chuckled at those parts and at several other spots where the book did not take itself too seriously. However, in the parts that did appear to be taken a bit too seriously, I became bored. Perhaps it's because my first introduction to Kafka was in high school when I was forced to read The Trial with less guidance than I needed at the time (which, by the way, did afford me the ability to smirk and even chuckle at the trial homage), but I just couldn't get into the thick of some of the narration.I know enough about The Metamorphosis to have gotten the cockroach jokes and such, but I don't feel like rushing out and tackling Kafka's original now. I think it's kind of like when I finished Anna Karenina last summer and then couldn't stomach "reading it again" through the Quirk Classic. I know enough about The Metamorphosis (even moreso than I did before) that I feel that I can function fully and intelligently without having to read the original.Though I did have some laughs while reading, my general reaction to this book was lukewarm; reading it felt more like a chore than I would like for my summer reading, and I was actually put to sleep a few times during my attempts to finish the book. Oh well. It wasn't a wholly bad experience, just one that was less-than-stellar for me.ETA: I had not read the "Discussion Questions" before writing this review. I must say that I enjoyed them immensely - in fact, more than many portions of the book itself.read more
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This book was surprisingly entertaining. I hadn't read Kafka's Metamorphosis but I knew the general premise. Once I got into The Meowmorphosis I became obsessed with comparing it to the original so I sought it out and skimmed for a comparison.Quirk Classics has added a rather large section in the middle which was interesting at first, but really weird. When the story steered back to the original plot it was a little clunky. The illustrations were horribly awesome.Ultimately I enjoyed this book because I find kittehs are more palatable than bugs, but of course the ending was still gross.read more
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If you like kitties and philosophical discussion then "The Meowmorphosis" is your book. This mash-up has got to be one of the boldest that Quirk Classics pulled off (and that is saying something when they have already added zombies and sea-creatures to the Jane Austen prim and proper universe). You have to read this if you are either a fan of Franz Kafka "Metamorphosis" and or you are a fan of Quirk Classics.read more
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Same as with Android Karenina, this book mash-up was a let down. I expected so much more from a novel with so much potential, but it just felt lacking and left me pushing myself to finish it. The story-line didn't even remind me of Kafka's original masterpiece. Not impressed with this new-age twist.read more
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Thank you to Quirk Books for providing me with a copy of this book. I was dismayed, at first, to find it such a thin book...and then I started to read. The main character, Gregor Samsa, wakes up to find he's been transformed into a kitten. He's confused and honestly so was I pretty much the entire way through the story. From what I could gather, Gregor finds his life so frustratingly confining he transforms into a cat which to him embodies freedom. I felt conflicted by all the characters. Half the time I felt pity or empathy for Gregor, the other half I just wanted to scream "snap out of it". His parents are just dysfunctional from start to finish. At times, his sister Grete is loving and other times just plain mean. I'd want to run away from them and his work responsibilities as well. Gregor is just so wishy-washy. Decide already! Do you want to take advantage of this magical freedom you've been gifted with or do you return to the environment that was suppressing and depressing you in the first place? I still don't know what to make of the ending. One way or another, at least Gregor will finally be free.read more
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Coleridge gets kudos for chutzpa, the cover and blurb that actually had me hooked enough to pick it up.Having never endured the original, I can honestly say that the adaptation was at once cuter and more fluffy, and still just as horribly deep and depressing as I expected. I admit, I skipped ahead to assure myself that yes, indeed, Gregor met the fate I expected. Despite the advance knowledge, I found myself caught up in the flowing prose as the tale unfolded - although I was ultimately left with absolutely no desire to ever re-read it. Bizarre and outrageous as the original must be, the sheer, unbearably adorable ridiculousness of Gregor's feline predicament lends a macabre sense of the absurd to what otherwise must be a supremely bleak and horrid classic. (Gregor certainly meets a predictably pathetic end, although arguably I expect his sister's to get what's coming to her, as well.)And of course, the afterword in which the reader is invited to picture Kafka running a Eastern Block version of the Fight Club? Priceless.read more
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The Meowmorphosis Franz Kafka and Coleridge Cook Quirk Publishing Trade Paperback 208 Pages Published Date: 05.10.2011 ISBN: 9781594745034The Meowmorphosis is a literary mash-up* or blend similar in technique to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and is produced by the same publishing house, Quirk. This story, however, does not embrace vampires or zombies or even sea monsters or robots. Instead, it re-vamps Franz Kafka’s dark classic The Metamorphosis and replaces the insects with cats. For the most part, large portions of this book are word-for-word redrafts of the original text, modified slightly with the words “kitten/cat” substituted for “insect/beetle” and references to meowing, pawing, and playful kitten antics replacing all things insect-like. And that’s the real problem with this rewritten mash-up. There’s really nothing new or creative or disturbing or frightening about this work and the substitution of the cats for insects diminishes greatly from the dark and foreboding nature of the original. It suffers under this conversion and all its Kafkaesque is lost. While on the outside a substitution mash-up of The Metamorphosis might appear to be a winning combination this narrative is nowhere near as strong as the other works mentioned above. Franz Kafka sometimes wrote absurd, distorted, often sinister stories and those peculiarities do not carry over well in this type of mash-up. I think the romantic period comedies are better suited for this style. Zombies in Victorian England? Well, that just makes all kinds of sense. But supplanting kittens for cockroaches? To me that’s just plain weird. Seriously though, waking up as an unclean, much-maligned, and disease-ridden insect can never compare to the same transformation as a cuddly, soft, warm kitty. The ramifications are nowhere near as astonishing or fear-inducing. The entire “creep factor” is lost when this replacement is made. And believe me when I tell you that the underlying dreadfulness of the morphed insect is the best thing about The Metamorphosis. In Kafka’s original story transforming into an insect becomes a social commentary on alienation, about being set apart from humanity. By substituting a cat for an insect the important distinction of fear and estrangement is less impactful in my mind’s eye. The Meowmorphosis comes off considerably more adorable than creepy, more charming than dark, and more familiar than alienating. On the surface, transforming The Metamorphosis into a mash-up probably seemed like a good idea at the time. Unfortunately, in my opinion, it just doesn’t work and probably should have been left alone. 3 out of 5 starsThe Alternative Southeast WisconsinNote: For a better mash-up of The Metamorphosis (and to see where this idea probably came from) I recommend Peter Capaldi’s Oscar-winning short film Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life. The plot of the film has the author trying to write the opening line of The Metamorphosis and experimenting with various things that Gregor might turn into, such as a banana or a kangaroo. The film is also notable for a number of Kafkaesque moments.* The literary mash-up is basically, a classic work of literature (e.g., War and Peace ), with added elements of current pop culture (zombies or vampires or robots ) with the resulting work an updated version of the original literary classic (War and Pieces – A Zombie Tale.)read more
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A remake of the classic The Metamorphosis, instead of waking as a vermin, Gregor Samsa finds himself transformed into a cute kitten. The book follows the same path as the original, with kittenish behavior instead of bug-like behavior. There were some cute cat-like thoughts that were enjoyable, but the story veers from the original slightly when Gregor escapes the apartment and meets other cats, I liked this at first, but it dragged on and seemed as if it was only added to try and explain the story. That I did not like, the whole point of reading is to make it personal to you, you can read as much or little into the story as you wish, but I skipped much of this off shoot until Gregor returned to the apartment and the story continued as before. While I am not a big fan of stories like The Metamorphosis, I can understand why it is a classic... it makes you think, The Meowmorphosis did not disappoint. I loved the strange biography of the author, and the discussion questions at the end. I probably will not read this book again, but I am glad I read it.read more
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"Be grateful, I say. I once knew a man who woke up a cockroach." - Franz the Policecat.I have a soft spot for Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis. I have a strong feeling that it has less to do with my love of depressing literature (of which I have none) and more to do with the fact that it was the first book that I got on that level deeper than, "Wow, this guy turned into a bug!"In this mashup, Gregor has turned into an adorable - but humongous - kitten. His sister coddles him, his mother is scared of him, and his father hates him. I'm not sure who can hate an adorable kitten but there it is. It follows the trials of Gregor Samsa as he tries to figure out how to adjust to being a kitten and all the new sensations. Not being a kitten myself, I can only speculate that Cook figured it out. The kitten in my house agrees.Funnily enough, this book actually takes symbolism and insults it. Literally. Josef K goes on and on about it in chapter three (or four). But it's not a bad book. It deviates from the original, as it most certainly must, in long rambles of why Gregor is a cat. And why he is convicted of being a bad one. And why that doesn't mean much in the cat world. In a few places, the book earned a few chuckles because there are obvious references to both the original novel, other novels by him and Kafka himself.But be warned - just because there is now a cuddly giant kitten, this book is not happy. Nothing Kafka writes can really be said to be "happy." And, I think that since Samsa was a kitten this time instead of a bug, it made the family's treatment of him all the more poignant. As a lover of the original work, I will put this book on my shelf beneath it (because there is no room beside it) and point to it as, "And that's the cutsey cat version."read more
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Despite the substitution of a cute and cuddly kitten for a cockroach, the Meowmorphosis still has the basic theme of the original story. Having read the story before in high school english, I was unfamiliar with the trial by the court of cats, which I am assuming is added material, perhaps from another Kafka work. The kitten doesnt make the story any less depressing. I always felt bad for Gregor since he had been providing for his family, yet in the end they were so ungreatful to him!I have never had an easy time reading Russian authors, the flow of the writing or perhaps the verbosity makes it difficult. I have never mangaged to put my finger on what makes Russian literature so hard for me to understand. Ahh well, on to the next book!read more
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So, niche, yes. An interesting turn on Kafka's original tale of man turned bug, but not as great as i might have been hoping. When taking a classic and making it quirky, I had hoped that more might have been added to the original, giving it a life of its own. Here, however, I will be honest, in saying that I was left a bit cold.I enjoyed it at times, but there was not enough meat to this retelling to make me feel like it was a fully valuable use of my time. I am all for classics, and I am all for twists. Though, pairing them in this mash-up left me hungry for a bit more.read more
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I read other Quirk Classics and was thrilled with them so was excited to get my hands on this one as well. I was hoping the original material would be made better with the mash-up like other Quirk classics but in this case, I can't say that it was. The original was so dark and bizarre in it's own right - I actually enjoyed "The Metamorphosis" - but, in my opinion, the changing of the insect-like creature into a cat really didn't work all that well. I guess adding lightness and humor to a dark book doesn't have the same effect as adding darkness and despair to a light book does.read more
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When Quirk Classics revealed that their latest mash-up was going to be based on Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, I wasn't really sure what to think. After tackling Jane Austen's popular classics and the fairly well-known Anna Karenina, I thought this was a very strange choice for a mash-up. Kafka and The Metamorphosis don't seem to be as well known, so it makes me wonder why Quirk chose this novel as the next in their classics series -not only that, but cats? Either it was a gutsy decision or a stupid one.In Quirk's feline mash-up The Meowmorphosis, Gregor wakes up one morning and finds that he has been turned into a cat. Gregor now finds that his world has complete changed, and his family can't accept it -even though, of course, he's incredibly cute as a now human-sized kitten. Gregor must escape from his family's home and make his own away -even as an adorable cat.I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by The Meowmorphosis. I thought it was would painful and downright terrible. Though it does start out a little slow, once the story gets past the intial set up, and further away from the source materia,l and, ultimately, spiral out of control for Gregor, it only gets better and better. Cook, which is acutally a pen name for a fantasy novelist, does an excellent job of taking the source material and injecting it with plenty of whimsy and action that makes the story go quickly. Cook did a particularly good job of describing Gregor's life as a cat and making it feel authentic -not to mention hilarious to the reader.Though I did have to warm up a little to the idea of using The Metamorphosis as the source material, I quickly grew into this hilarious book -even as someone who prefers dogs over cats. Recommended for fans of the mash-up and the Quirk Classics line.read more
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I am not sure exactly why I picked this book as one I would want to review...I was not really a fan of the original Metamorphosis, but maybe I thought it would somehow be cute because it involved kittens instead of a bug? It may also be that since I had enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I just figured I would enjoy this one as well? I have tried to finish reading it since I received it, but am finding it difficult to stick with the book, and find myself turning to other books rather than finishing this one...I think it is a strange blending and find that I just do not enjoy it. I had hoped for cute and maybe funny but in my opinion, I'm afraid it's neither.read more
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Too much mash up, not enough substance. Sort of? I think this is one of the better literary modifications lately, and with it's relatively short length, more approachable. The author is clearly familiar with Kafka, and perhaps more importantly, respects him as an author. But there's not enough to justify the adaptations. The novel starts off strong, presenting an interesting twist when Samsa, rather than being transformed into a horrifying bug, becomes a small, fluffy kitten. However, the addition of "The Trial" is confusing, unnecessary, and off-purpose. Samsa's journeys are prolonged and muddled, with varying descriptions of his cattish size and surroundings. He remains unlikeable - despite being a kitten, something more understandable when he's a bug - and his own attitude is no different from his original's. And for that reason, the book just staggers until it finally dies, much like our protagonist. Honestly, if you want all the gloom and despair inherent in Kafka, and if you want kittens go look up pictures on the internet. I fear that while well done, this mash-up brought very little to the table - nothing quirky, nothing terribly clever. If you haven't read the original works, this will make absolutely no sense, and perhaps even leave you a bit bitter.read more
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I was really excited to win this book as I am one of the few people I know who enjoyed reading the original in school. That and I love cats. (who doesn’t?) I have to say it was real let down. I was hoping it would be as entertaining and funny as the pride prejudice and zombies but really I had to force myself to get through it.read more
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Unlike their earlier offerings, Quirk's latest tackles a novella which already included an element of horror - the salesman, Gregor Samsa awakening to find himself an insect - with the intention turning the tables by replacing insect with kitten. While this starts well, it just doesn't carry through as easily as the notion of zombies roaming the 18th century English countryside, and it feels more like an attack on Kafka's work than an imaginative retelling. Cook also breaks from the orginal novella by including at least one other work - "The Trial" - which serves to further berate and belittle Gregor Samsa the kitten.I tried to like this, and actually was looking forward to reading it after having flipped through and seeing the illustrations (which are funny. Or at least fun). Sadly, between the feeling of Kafka bashing, the peculiarities of dropping in "kitten" for "insect", and the general lack of mirth to be found in the orginal text (that's all Kafka's doing. I agree with Cook; he was a joyless man and that comes across in his writings), this was nowhere near as enjoyable as the Austen mashups.Sent to me by the publisher, as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewersread more
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I was excited to win this book, having a deep affection for cats, as well as enjoying the 'resurrection' of classics into modern soft-horror fiction, i.e., Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies. However, with Meowmorphosis, I found myself laboring to continue, and eventually gave up and moved on. I just could not get into the story. Rather than adding an unique element to the story line of a classic, placing established characters into unique situations as a result, Meowmorphosis simply could not sustain an engaging story line.read more
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The Meowmorphosis is the latest from Quirk's hugely successful line of mash-ups of classics, this one penned by a fantasy writer writing under a pseudonym. This one is a gutsier step than some of the previous mash-ups: no staid Austen here. This time, we're doing the Kafkaesque as Kittenesque, which is a whole new liteary territory (modernism) taken to a whole new level of surreal.What works well is that, for the most part, Cook doesn't just try to swap out "kitten" for "bug." The Metamorphosis plot trajectory is there, but there's not a one-to-one identification, which would have been simplistic and would have left out a lot of good jokes (such as Gregor's sister's overwhelming adoration for her cuddly kitten brother). The book fortunately didn't go for the LOLcat humor, as I feared it might, which would date an otherwise "classic" mashup. It takes advantage of Kafka's gloomy modernist glumness and sense of the absurd and makes us see them through the eyes of a tortured kitten's soul, and the results are hilarious.There's a departure in the middle of the book that lampoons The Trial. For readers who are familiar only with The Metamorphisis, this is going to be confusing and potentially boring. I wouldn't edit it out because it adds absurdist meat to the text and builds up Gregor's character and his torments, but readers who are only casually interested in Kafka may want to be advised.The biographical note on Kafka at the end deserves special note; it's a riot. Satirical and biting, it finds a shocking thread in Kafka's life (cats!) and lampoons modernism at large. Don't skim over it-- it's a nice little treat waiting at the end of this novel.Quirk does it again.read more
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considering I don't particularly like the original Metemorphosis, I just expected this to be silly parody of that story. Which it was, but it is still nothing spectacular.read more
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The Meowmorphosis by Frank Kafka & Cooleridge CookWaking up late is a bad way to start the day. Waking up late to find that you have been transformed into a large kitten is a worse way to start your day. George Samsa is a traveling salesman who takes care of his parents and sister, so this is an inconvenience to say the least. Staying very close to The Metamorphosis until Samsa’s adventure outside; I didn’t like it anymore or any less. The cat transformation made it a little less creepy, but that’s just a personal opinion. It’s obvious, in both, that this is a depressing story about what we would call a dysfunctional family today. I think Cook did a great good of making this story a little easier to read and maybe even a little more entertaining. For the full effect of what Kafka was trying to get across I think that reading the original is required. Overall, I recommend The Meowmorphosisread more
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I really enjoyed the Pride & Prejudice & Zombies trilogy from Quirk Classics, so I was super excited that I won this one. I had never read Kafka before but I had been meaning to, so this was the perfect kick in the butt to finally get to it. I read "The Metamorphosis" right before reading this one, so it was pretty repetitive at the beginning. Essentially, Coleridge Cook replaces the word "insect" with "kitten" and leaves the rest of the story the same (except for some descriptions of how cute and cuddly Gregor has become) until about the middle of the book, when he escapes from the apartment and has an adventure with some other cats in an alley. After reading some other reviews and looking around online, I found out that this middle section is a retelling or twist on Kafka's other short story "The Trial" (which I have not read yet). I really didn't like this part. Josef K (the leader of the businessmen-turned-alley-cats) goes on and on with rambling, pointless, nonsensical speeches that last up to six freaking pages. I almost gave up on the book around that point, but since I had had such high hopes for it I pushed on and finished it. I had several problems with this retelling of "The Metamorphosis." (1) Why does Cook glorify cats so much in this version? Kafka never glamorized insects (in fact he rarely even mentioned the fact that Gregor was a bug, except when it posed problems and Gregor was forced to look at himself and figure out how to move in his new state). The whole cat society thing just seemed like a monumental waste of time and space, a filler to flesh out Kafka's original novella so that Cook could market this as a novel. (2) Cook somehow manages to butcher Kafka's story and make it boring and meaningless. The words are minced and made fluffy to accommodate kittendom and the problems it poses but Cook seems to get lost in the hierarchy of the crazy cat society and the pointlessness of their trial. I think Cook tried to put too much Kafka and kitten history into one story and ended up with a hot mess. Whereas the P&P&Z trilogy added fun, wit, and adventure to the Austen original, this version just falls flat.Gregor Samsa does indeed make for a precious, cuddly kitten, but this novel failed miserably to entertain me or do the original any justice at all. My recommendation is to just read the original and stay away from this one. (2 stars because it includes cute pictures of kittens in human clothes)read more
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Quirk Classics, you are one awesome publishing house. Not only did you send me the ARC copy of this book, but you also sent me a poster to go with it. And now I don’t know where to put it (see the original review at witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com to see the picture of said ARC/poster!). That said, I loved the original version (even if it did make me feel extremely anxious and paranoid after reading it), and this version makes Kafka’s classic even more palatable with the idea of Gregor Samsa turning into a kitten instead of a cockroach. And a lot less anxious afterward, too.If anything, this made Kafka’s original easier to understand in terms of philosophy. For some reason, using cats instead of cockroaches just makes more sense to me with all of these ideas (especially in the “trial” part of the novel). I can see why Kafka originally used cockroaches (duh), but I just like the idea of a cat salesman better.Quirk Press puts out a ton of awesome mashups each year, but all of the ones I’ve read this year so far pale in comparison to the fuzzy wuzzy politics of cat society versus human society. (Seriously though, guys, enough with the Jane Austen and Zombies series. I’m done with it, no more, please and thank you.) Coleridge was very careful with rewriting the original, and basically left most of it intact aside from changing words and people/cats involved. That’s hard to do when doing a literary mashup, and I applaud him for sticking to the original as he did.What I also appreciated was the short but hilarious writeup about Kafka as an appendix after the book. It educates the reader if they haven’t read the original, but does it tastefully. By doing this, I hope that those who haven’t read the original do. If anything, the literary mashup genre has renewed the interest and love of modern classics within the Western canon of literature (though I’d love to see them do something with “The Three Kingdoms” or “Tale of Genji” — now THAT’s a challenge!) that, over the years with technology booming and print books decreasing/becoming more expensive, has definitely wavered. Here’s hoping that a lot more kids (and adults) read the classics after the mashups.Quirk, you’re doing a great job. Keep it up. Now try doing more Kafka, and you’ll have my love (and money) forever.(crossposted to goodreads, shelfari, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com)read more
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I have not read Kafka, I could never get myself into the "right" frame of mind so I thought this would be a fun introduction. I have stopped and started on numerous occasions and finally have given up on finishing. The story for me was boring and the character Gregor was difficult to care about even a cute kitten. the best of the Quirks was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, action packed and silly.read more
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I won this from the early reviewers program.I haven't read the original novel first,but this sounded so good I had to read it. At times the book seemed to read a little slow, but I stuck with it to the end. I was as the publishers name goes [Quirk]y but it was very enjoyable. Who really would turn down a book with adorable kittens in it?read more
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This is the first literary “mash-up” I’ve ever read…a new format that combines classic texts with a modern twist. Quirk Classics have produced these, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Android Karenina were early successes. I was a little hesitant at first, having found Kafka’s The Metamorphosis so intriguing. In this mash-up, the anonymous writer “Coleridge Cook” twists Kafka’s tale of a man waking up to find himself as a bug into a tamer form: he wakes as an adorable kitten instead. Gregor as a cat experiences the same sort of issues as Gregor the bug, except that he’s more inclined to nap than scuttle around under furniture. Staying fairly true to Kafka’s outline, it really does change the way you react to the scenes. It makes it wickedly funny to see his family react with such outrage and fear to what should be normal: a fat and lazy housecat. In this retelling, aside from his irresistible urge to sleep, Gregor does get out and has a run-in with some other cats. This ties into another Kafka story, The Trial, which I haven’t read but which Cook is clearly familiar with. I think I lost a bit of meaning here because I could sense that the names and actions of the other cats is important to understanding this version. My friend Lisa Hayden discusses the important relevance between The Trial and Kafka himself in her review of the book and read her explanation of the connection between both Kafka books at her blog. She’s smart like that!"...which all led to the conclusion that for the time being he would have to keep calm and --with patience and the greatest consideration for his family--tolerate the troubles that in his present condition he was now forced to cause them.""He had never acted according to his desires alone, but only according to the dicta of his kin, his duty, and that great filial ledger that ruled his life....That difference of spirit he had always felt on the inside was now evident on the outside..."Now if you’ve never read The Metamorphosis, I think you’d enjoy this version for its play on images. Having read it recently, however, made me feel that the overall take from the story is just too different to get the same meaning as Kafka intended. For all of his images of absurdity with the bug, the idea of a man waking to find himself a horrifying insect was not the point of The Metamorphosis. What I took from it was more how absurd his family reacted and raised the question of why Gregor had put up with their dependence long before he turned into a bug. In this, the question is still there—but the cat contrast distracts a bit from the actual horror of his family situation.I think this would be an excellent way to introduce someone to Kafka’s work, and since you can hardly find a book that isn’t described as “Kafkaesque” these days, it might be a good way start, as the majority of it stays very close to Kafka's telling. The illustrations are a fun addition as well...who doesn't love a cat?read more
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I enjoyed reading Meowmorphosis on a couple of levels. I thought it was a clever parody of the Franz Kafka original and could introduce a whole new generation to this classic piece of literature. I also enjoyed it as a cat lover and found the LOLCats reference hilarious. Coleridge Cook did a good job of capturing the German style of writing (one sentence paragraphs are not unheard of in German). The tragedy of Gregor still came through, even though he was a cat, which is much more beloved than a cockroach. I bemoan the fact that some may only approach classic literature through parodies, but I’m in favor of anything that gets people reading.
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I've been reading this book for ages now... since I got it, basically. I just don't like it. At first, it was cute... but it's just difficult to get through and I'm just not enjoying it in any way, so I don't think I'll ever even finish it. Great concept, though. I perhaps just dislike Kafka too much to be swayed by kitties.
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Newest from Quirk Classics (Pride, Prejudice & Zombies, etc) - Kafka's Metamorphosis is altered into a feline soul-search. The book is more overtly humorous in the beginning, as Gregor finds himself newly kitten-ized, but then mostly remains - to me - rather whiny and overblown and excessively long. Also, I was not familiar with 'The Trial' but it's is also mashed up within this story and I felt it added more heaviness to an already weighty story. I think I enjoyed the special notes on Kaka's life most of all (found after the ending) - they were beyond sharp and biting and the link to cats made me laugh. However, the reader discussion points were weak and unfunny. To me, overall - the final word for the entire book = uneven.
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I read this book in one day. Of course, Kafka's Metamorphosis was not exactly novel-sized, so I don't feel like I rushed through it. It's my first of the 'Quirk' Classics - I wasn't going to touch the Pride and Prejudice butcherings, but I figured since the only Kafka I'd ever read -The Trial- was not a favorite of mine I wouldn't mind a bit of quirk thrown in. But I was confused, because I didn't quite get how big he was supposed to be. Then I had to go back to the original, because I wondered why Kafka would have stuck The Trial into this story. Actually, the was Coleridge Cook's doing. Guilty! As a fan of LOLcats, this wuz grate! As a classics reader, it was okay. As not such a Kafka fan...whatever.I want to frame the picture of the Gregor Samsa getting a bath. I'm a little scared of framing pictures now, though - look where it got Samsa!
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Hmm... what to say about The Meowmorphosis? I own two other Quirk Classics - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Android Karenina - but haven't had the chance to read them yet. However, since I was asked to provide a review of this book in exchange for a free advance copy, I felt required to buckle down and read it from start to finish.Well, I use "start to finish" loosely here, because there were some parts that I just couldn't struggle through; I skipped several pages when the narration waxed too long-winded for me. That is not to say that I didn't enjoy some portions of the book, because I definitely did. However, there were portions (perhaps they were part of Kafka's original, or the author was attempting to emulate his style with great success) that I just couldn't get through because I couldn't connect with what George Samsa was thinking or what Joseph K was saying.My favorite portions of the book included the jabs at Kafka himself, such as the time when Joseph K says that he is telling a story in the classic German literary tradition and asks if George noticed the parallels between the story being told and some remote aspect of the Bohemian movement. I chuckled at those parts and at several other spots where the book did not take itself too seriously. However, in the parts that did appear to be taken a bit too seriously, I became bored. Perhaps it's because my first introduction to Kafka was in high school when I was forced to read The Trial with less guidance than I needed at the time (which, by the way, did afford me the ability to smirk and even chuckle at the trial homage), but I just couldn't get into the thick of some of the narration.I know enough about The Metamorphosis to have gotten the cockroach jokes and such, but I don't feel like rushing out and tackling Kafka's original now. I think it's kind of like when I finished Anna Karenina last summer and then couldn't stomach "reading it again" through the Quirk Classic. I know enough about The Metamorphosis (even moreso than I did before) that I feel that I can function fully and intelligently without having to read the original.Though I did have some laughs while reading, my general reaction to this book was lukewarm; reading it felt more like a chore than I would like for my summer reading, and I was actually put to sleep a few times during my attempts to finish the book. Oh well. It wasn't a wholly bad experience, just one that was less-than-stellar for me.ETA: I had not read the "Discussion Questions" before writing this review. I must say that I enjoyed them immensely - in fact, more than many portions of the book itself.
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This book was surprisingly entertaining. I hadn't read Kafka's Metamorphosis but I knew the general premise. Once I got into The Meowmorphosis I became obsessed with comparing it to the original so I sought it out and skimmed for a comparison.Quirk Classics has added a rather large section in the middle which was interesting at first, but really weird. When the story steered back to the original plot it was a little clunky. The illustrations were horribly awesome.Ultimately I enjoyed this book because I find kittehs are more palatable than bugs, but of course the ending was still gross.
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If you like kitties and philosophical discussion then "The Meowmorphosis" is your book. This mash-up has got to be one of the boldest that Quirk Classics pulled off (and that is saying something when they have already added zombies and sea-creatures to the Jane Austen prim and proper universe). You have to read this if you are either a fan of Franz Kafka "Metamorphosis" and or you are a fan of Quirk Classics.
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Same as with Android Karenina, this book mash-up was a let down. I expected so much more from a novel with so much potential, but it just felt lacking and left me pushing myself to finish it. The story-line didn't even remind me of Kafka's original masterpiece. Not impressed with this new-age twist.
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Thank you to Quirk Books for providing me with a copy of this book. I was dismayed, at first, to find it such a thin book...and then I started to read. The main character, Gregor Samsa, wakes up to find he's been transformed into a kitten. He's confused and honestly so was I pretty much the entire way through the story. From what I could gather, Gregor finds his life so frustratingly confining he transforms into a cat which to him embodies freedom. I felt conflicted by all the characters. Half the time I felt pity or empathy for Gregor, the other half I just wanted to scream "snap out of it". His parents are just dysfunctional from start to finish. At times, his sister Grete is loving and other times just plain mean. I'd want to run away from them and his work responsibilities as well. Gregor is just so wishy-washy. Decide already! Do you want to take advantage of this magical freedom you've been gifted with or do you return to the environment that was suppressing and depressing you in the first place? I still don't know what to make of the ending. One way or another, at least Gregor will finally be free.
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Coleridge gets kudos for chutzpa, the cover and blurb that actually had me hooked enough to pick it up.Having never endured the original, I can honestly say that the adaptation was at once cuter and more fluffy, and still just as horribly deep and depressing as I expected. I admit, I skipped ahead to assure myself that yes, indeed, Gregor met the fate I expected. Despite the advance knowledge, I found myself caught up in the flowing prose as the tale unfolded - although I was ultimately left with absolutely no desire to ever re-read it. Bizarre and outrageous as the original must be, the sheer, unbearably adorable ridiculousness of Gregor's feline predicament lends a macabre sense of the absurd to what otherwise must be a supremely bleak and horrid classic. (Gregor certainly meets a predictably pathetic end, although arguably I expect his sister's to get what's coming to her, as well.)And of course, the afterword in which the reader is invited to picture Kafka running a Eastern Block version of the Fight Club? Priceless.
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The Meowmorphosis Franz Kafka and Coleridge Cook Quirk Publishing Trade Paperback 208 Pages Published Date: 05.10.2011 ISBN: 9781594745034The Meowmorphosis is a literary mash-up* or blend similar in technique to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and is produced by the same publishing house, Quirk. This story, however, does not embrace vampires or zombies or even sea monsters or robots. Instead, it re-vamps Franz Kafka’s dark classic The Metamorphosis and replaces the insects with cats. For the most part, large portions of this book are word-for-word redrafts of the original text, modified slightly with the words “kitten/cat” substituted for “insect/beetle” and references to meowing, pawing, and playful kitten antics replacing all things insect-like. And that’s the real problem with this rewritten mash-up. There’s really nothing new or creative or disturbing or frightening about this work and the substitution of the cats for insects diminishes greatly from the dark and foreboding nature of the original. It suffers under this conversion and all its Kafkaesque is lost. While on the outside a substitution mash-up of The Metamorphosis might appear to be a winning combination this narrative is nowhere near as strong as the other works mentioned above. Franz Kafka sometimes wrote absurd, distorted, often sinister stories and those peculiarities do not carry over well in this type of mash-up. I think the romantic period comedies are better suited for this style. Zombies in Victorian England? Well, that just makes all kinds of sense. But supplanting kittens for cockroaches? To me that’s just plain weird. Seriously though, waking up as an unclean, much-maligned, and disease-ridden insect can never compare to the same transformation as a cuddly, soft, warm kitty. The ramifications are nowhere near as astonishing or fear-inducing. The entire “creep factor” is lost when this replacement is made. And believe me when I tell you that the underlying dreadfulness of the morphed insect is the best thing about The Metamorphosis. In Kafka’s original story transforming into an insect becomes a social commentary on alienation, about being set apart from humanity. By substituting a cat for an insect the important distinction of fear and estrangement is less impactful in my mind’s eye. The Meowmorphosis comes off considerably more adorable than creepy, more charming than dark, and more familiar than alienating. On the surface, transforming The Metamorphosis into a mash-up probably seemed like a good idea at the time. Unfortunately, in my opinion, it just doesn’t work and probably should have been left alone. 3 out of 5 starsThe Alternative Southeast WisconsinNote: For a better mash-up of The Metamorphosis (and to see where this idea probably came from) I recommend Peter Capaldi’s Oscar-winning short film Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life. The plot of the film has the author trying to write the opening line of The Metamorphosis and experimenting with various things that Gregor might turn into, such as a banana or a kangaroo. The film is also notable for a number of Kafkaesque moments.* The literary mash-up is basically, a classic work of literature (e.g., War and Peace ), with added elements of current pop culture (zombies or vampires or robots ) with the resulting work an updated version of the original literary classic (War and Pieces – A Zombie Tale.)
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A remake of the classic The Metamorphosis, instead of waking as a vermin, Gregor Samsa finds himself transformed into a cute kitten. The book follows the same path as the original, with kittenish behavior instead of bug-like behavior. There were some cute cat-like thoughts that were enjoyable, but the story veers from the original slightly when Gregor escapes the apartment and meets other cats, I liked this at first, but it dragged on and seemed as if it was only added to try and explain the story. That I did not like, the whole point of reading is to make it personal to you, you can read as much or little into the story as you wish, but I skipped much of this off shoot until Gregor returned to the apartment and the story continued as before. While I am not a big fan of stories like The Metamorphosis, I can understand why it is a classic... it makes you think, The Meowmorphosis did not disappoint. I loved the strange biography of the author, and the discussion questions at the end. I probably will not read this book again, but I am glad I read it.
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"Be grateful, I say. I once knew a man who woke up a cockroach." - Franz the Policecat.I have a soft spot for Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis. I have a strong feeling that it has less to do with my love of depressing literature (of which I have none) and more to do with the fact that it was the first book that I got on that level deeper than, "Wow, this guy turned into a bug!"In this mashup, Gregor has turned into an adorable - but humongous - kitten. His sister coddles him, his mother is scared of him, and his father hates him. I'm not sure who can hate an adorable kitten but there it is. It follows the trials of Gregor Samsa as he tries to figure out how to adjust to being a kitten and all the new sensations. Not being a kitten myself, I can only speculate that Cook figured it out. The kitten in my house agrees.Funnily enough, this book actually takes symbolism and insults it. Literally. Josef K goes on and on about it in chapter three (or four). But it's not a bad book. It deviates from the original, as it most certainly must, in long rambles of why Gregor is a cat. And why he is convicted of being a bad one. And why that doesn't mean much in the cat world. In a few places, the book earned a few chuckles because there are obvious references to both the original novel, other novels by him and Kafka himself.But be warned - just because there is now a cuddly giant kitten, this book is not happy. Nothing Kafka writes can really be said to be "happy." And, I think that since Samsa was a kitten this time instead of a bug, it made the family's treatment of him all the more poignant. As a lover of the original work, I will put this book on my shelf beneath it (because there is no room beside it) and point to it as, "And that's the cutsey cat version."
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Despite the substitution of a cute and cuddly kitten for a cockroach, the Meowmorphosis still has the basic theme of the original story. Having read the story before in high school english, I was unfamiliar with the trial by the court of cats, which I am assuming is added material, perhaps from another Kafka work. The kitten doesnt make the story any less depressing. I always felt bad for Gregor since he had been providing for his family, yet in the end they were so ungreatful to him!I have never had an easy time reading Russian authors, the flow of the writing or perhaps the verbosity makes it difficult. I have never mangaged to put my finger on what makes Russian literature so hard for me to understand. Ahh well, on to the next book!
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So, niche, yes. An interesting turn on Kafka's original tale of man turned bug, but not as great as i might have been hoping. When taking a classic and making it quirky, I had hoped that more might have been added to the original, giving it a life of its own. Here, however, I will be honest, in saying that I was left a bit cold.I enjoyed it at times, but there was not enough meat to this retelling to make me feel like it was a fully valuable use of my time. I am all for classics, and I am all for twists. Though, pairing them in this mash-up left me hungry for a bit more.
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I read other Quirk Classics and was thrilled with them so was excited to get my hands on this one as well. I was hoping the original material would be made better with the mash-up like other Quirk classics but in this case, I can't say that it was. The original was so dark and bizarre in it's own right - I actually enjoyed "The Metamorphosis" - but, in my opinion, the changing of the insect-like creature into a cat really didn't work all that well. I guess adding lightness and humor to a dark book doesn't have the same effect as adding darkness and despair to a light book does.
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When Quirk Classics revealed that their latest mash-up was going to be based on Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, I wasn't really sure what to think. After tackling Jane Austen's popular classics and the fairly well-known Anna Karenina, I thought this was a very strange choice for a mash-up. Kafka and The Metamorphosis don't seem to be as well known, so it makes me wonder why Quirk chose this novel as the next in their classics series -not only that, but cats? Either it was a gutsy decision or a stupid one.In Quirk's feline mash-up The Meowmorphosis, Gregor wakes up one morning and finds that he has been turned into a cat. Gregor now finds that his world has complete changed, and his family can't accept it -even though, of course, he's incredibly cute as a now human-sized kitten. Gregor must escape from his family's home and make his own away -even as an adorable cat.I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by The Meowmorphosis. I thought it was would painful and downright terrible. Though it does start out a little slow, once the story gets past the intial set up, and further away from the source materia,l and, ultimately, spiral out of control for Gregor, it only gets better and better. Cook, which is acutally a pen name for a fantasy novelist, does an excellent job of taking the source material and injecting it with plenty of whimsy and action that makes the story go quickly. Cook did a particularly good job of describing Gregor's life as a cat and making it feel authentic -not to mention hilarious to the reader.Though I did have to warm up a little to the idea of using The Metamorphosis as the source material, I quickly grew into this hilarious book -even as someone who prefers dogs over cats. Recommended for fans of the mash-up and the Quirk Classics line.
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I am not sure exactly why I picked this book as one I would want to review...I was not really a fan of the original Metamorphosis, but maybe I thought it would somehow be cute because it involved kittens instead of a bug? It may also be that since I had enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I just figured I would enjoy this one as well? I have tried to finish reading it since I received it, but am finding it difficult to stick with the book, and find myself turning to other books rather than finishing this one...I think it is a strange blending and find that I just do not enjoy it. I had hoped for cute and maybe funny but in my opinion, I'm afraid it's neither.
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Too much mash up, not enough substance. Sort of? I think this is one of the better literary modifications lately, and with it's relatively short length, more approachable. The author is clearly familiar with Kafka, and perhaps more importantly, respects him as an author. But there's not enough to justify the adaptations. The novel starts off strong, presenting an interesting twist when Samsa, rather than being transformed into a horrifying bug, becomes a small, fluffy kitten. However, the addition of "The Trial" is confusing, unnecessary, and off-purpose. Samsa's journeys are prolonged and muddled, with varying descriptions of his cattish size and surroundings. He remains unlikeable - despite being a kitten, something more understandable when he's a bug - and his own attitude is no different from his original's. And for that reason, the book just staggers until it finally dies, much like our protagonist. Honestly, if you want all the gloom and despair inherent in Kafka, and if you want kittens go look up pictures on the internet. I fear that while well done, this mash-up brought very little to the table - nothing quirky, nothing terribly clever. If you haven't read the original works, this will make absolutely no sense, and perhaps even leave you a bit bitter.
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I was really excited to win this book as I am one of the few people I know who enjoyed reading the original in school. That and I love cats. (who doesn’t?) I have to say it was real let down. I was hoping it would be as entertaining and funny as the pride prejudice and zombies but really I had to force myself to get through it.
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Unlike their earlier offerings, Quirk's latest tackles a novella which already included an element of horror - the salesman, Gregor Samsa awakening to find himself an insect - with the intention turning the tables by replacing insect with kitten. While this starts well, it just doesn't carry through as easily as the notion of zombies roaming the 18th century English countryside, and it feels more like an attack on Kafka's work than an imaginative retelling. Cook also breaks from the orginal novella by including at least one other work - "The Trial" - which serves to further berate and belittle Gregor Samsa the kitten.I tried to like this, and actually was looking forward to reading it after having flipped through and seeing the illustrations (which are funny. Or at least fun). Sadly, between the feeling of Kafka bashing, the peculiarities of dropping in "kitten" for "insect", and the general lack of mirth to be found in the orginal text (that's all Kafka's doing. I agree with Cook; he was a joyless man and that comes across in his writings), this was nowhere near as enjoyable as the Austen mashups.Sent to me by the publisher, as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers
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I was excited to win this book, having a deep affection for cats, as well as enjoying the 'resurrection' of classics into modern soft-horror fiction, i.e., Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies. However, with Meowmorphosis, I found myself laboring to continue, and eventually gave up and moved on. I just could not get into the story. Rather than adding an unique element to the story line of a classic, placing established characters into unique situations as a result, Meowmorphosis simply could not sustain an engaging story line.
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The Meowmorphosis is the latest from Quirk's hugely successful line of mash-ups of classics, this one penned by a fantasy writer writing under a pseudonym. This one is a gutsier step than some of the previous mash-ups: no staid Austen here. This time, we're doing the Kafkaesque as Kittenesque, which is a whole new liteary territory (modernism) taken to a whole new level of surreal.What works well is that, for the most part, Cook doesn't just try to swap out "kitten" for "bug." The Metamorphosis plot trajectory is there, but there's not a one-to-one identification, which would have been simplistic and would have left out a lot of good jokes (such as Gregor's sister's overwhelming adoration for her cuddly kitten brother). The book fortunately didn't go for the LOLcat humor, as I feared it might, which would date an otherwise "classic" mashup. It takes advantage of Kafka's gloomy modernist glumness and sense of the absurd and makes us see them through the eyes of a tortured kitten's soul, and the results are hilarious.There's a departure in the middle of the book that lampoons The Trial. For readers who are familiar only with The Metamorphisis, this is going to be confusing and potentially boring. I wouldn't edit it out because it adds absurdist meat to the text and builds up Gregor's character and his torments, but readers who are only casually interested in Kafka may want to be advised.The biographical note on Kafka at the end deserves special note; it's a riot. Satirical and biting, it finds a shocking thread in Kafka's life (cats!) and lampoons modernism at large. Don't skim over it-- it's a nice little treat waiting at the end of this novel.Quirk does it again.
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considering I don't particularly like the original Metemorphosis, I just expected this to be silly parody of that story. Which it was, but it is still nothing spectacular.
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The Meowmorphosis by Frank Kafka & Cooleridge CookWaking up late is a bad way to start the day. Waking up late to find that you have been transformed into a large kitten is a worse way to start your day. George Samsa is a traveling salesman who takes care of his parents and sister, so this is an inconvenience to say the least. Staying very close to The Metamorphosis until Samsa’s adventure outside; I didn’t like it anymore or any less. The cat transformation made it a little less creepy, but that’s just a personal opinion. It’s obvious, in both, that this is a depressing story about what we would call a dysfunctional family today. I think Cook did a great good of making this story a little easier to read and maybe even a little more entertaining. For the full effect of what Kafka was trying to get across I think that reading the original is required. Overall, I recommend The Meowmorphosis
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I really enjoyed the Pride & Prejudice & Zombies trilogy from Quirk Classics, so I was super excited that I won this one. I had never read Kafka before but I had been meaning to, so this was the perfect kick in the butt to finally get to it. I read "The Metamorphosis" right before reading this one, so it was pretty repetitive at the beginning. Essentially, Coleridge Cook replaces the word "insect" with "kitten" and leaves the rest of the story the same (except for some descriptions of how cute and cuddly Gregor has become) until about the middle of the book, when he escapes from the apartment and has an adventure with some other cats in an alley. After reading some other reviews and looking around online, I found out that this middle section is a retelling or twist on Kafka's other short story "The Trial" (which I have not read yet). I really didn't like this part. Josef K (the leader of the businessmen-turned-alley-cats) goes on and on with rambling, pointless, nonsensical speeches that last up to six freaking pages. I almost gave up on the book around that point, but since I had had such high hopes for it I pushed on and finished it. I had several problems with this retelling of "The Metamorphosis." (1) Why does Cook glorify cats so much in this version? Kafka never glamorized insects (in fact he rarely even mentioned the fact that Gregor was a bug, except when it posed problems and Gregor was forced to look at himself and figure out how to move in his new state). The whole cat society thing just seemed like a monumental waste of time and space, a filler to flesh out Kafka's original novella so that Cook could market this as a novel. (2) Cook somehow manages to butcher Kafka's story and make it boring and meaningless. The words are minced and made fluffy to accommodate kittendom and the problems it poses but Cook seems to get lost in the hierarchy of the crazy cat society and the pointlessness of their trial. I think Cook tried to put too much Kafka and kitten history into one story and ended up with a hot mess. Whereas the P&P&Z trilogy added fun, wit, and adventure to the Austen original, this version just falls flat.Gregor Samsa does indeed make for a precious, cuddly kitten, but this novel failed miserably to entertain me or do the original any justice at all. My recommendation is to just read the original and stay away from this one. (2 stars because it includes cute pictures of kittens in human clothes)
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Quirk Classics, you are one awesome publishing house. Not only did you send me the ARC copy of this book, but you also sent me a poster to go with it. And now I don’t know where to put it (see the original review at witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com to see the picture of said ARC/poster!). That said, I loved the original version (even if it did make me feel extremely anxious and paranoid after reading it), and this version makes Kafka’s classic even more palatable with the idea of Gregor Samsa turning into a kitten instead of a cockroach. And a lot less anxious afterward, too.If anything, this made Kafka’s original easier to understand in terms of philosophy. For some reason, using cats instead of cockroaches just makes more sense to me with all of these ideas (especially in the “trial” part of the novel). I can see why Kafka originally used cockroaches (duh), but I just like the idea of a cat salesman better.Quirk Press puts out a ton of awesome mashups each year, but all of the ones I’ve read this year so far pale in comparison to the fuzzy wuzzy politics of cat society versus human society. (Seriously though, guys, enough with the Jane Austen and Zombies series. I’m done with it, no more, please and thank you.) Coleridge was very careful with rewriting the original, and basically left most of it intact aside from changing words and people/cats involved. That’s hard to do when doing a literary mashup, and I applaud him for sticking to the original as he did.What I also appreciated was the short but hilarious writeup about Kafka as an appendix after the book. It educates the reader if they haven’t read the original, but does it tastefully. By doing this, I hope that those who haven’t read the original do. If anything, the literary mashup genre has renewed the interest and love of modern classics within the Western canon of literature (though I’d love to see them do something with “The Three Kingdoms” or “Tale of Genji” — now THAT’s a challenge!) that, over the years with technology booming and print books decreasing/becoming more expensive, has definitely wavered. Here’s hoping that a lot more kids (and adults) read the classics after the mashups.Quirk, you’re doing a great job. Keep it up. Now try doing more Kafka, and you’ll have my love (and money) forever.(crossposted to goodreads, shelfari, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com)
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I have not read Kafka, I could never get myself into the "right" frame of mind so I thought this would be a fun introduction. I have stopped and started on numerous occasions and finally have given up on finishing. The story for me was boring and the character Gregor was difficult to care about even a cute kitten. the best of the Quirks was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, action packed and silly.
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I won this from the early reviewers program.I haven't read the original novel first,but this sounded so good I had to read it. At times the book seemed to read a little slow, but I stuck with it to the end. I was as the publishers name goes [Quirk]y but it was very enjoyable. Who really would turn down a book with adorable kittens in it?
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This is the first literary “mash-up” I’ve ever read…a new format that combines classic texts with a modern twist. Quirk Classics have produced these, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Android Karenina were early successes. I was a little hesitant at first, having found Kafka’s The Metamorphosis so intriguing. In this mash-up, the anonymous writer “Coleridge Cook” twists Kafka’s tale of a man waking up to find himself as a bug into a tamer form: he wakes as an adorable kitten instead. Gregor as a cat experiences the same sort of issues as Gregor the bug, except that he’s more inclined to nap than scuttle around under furniture. Staying fairly true to Kafka’s outline, it really does change the way you react to the scenes. It makes it wickedly funny to see his family react with such outrage and fear to what should be normal: a fat and lazy housecat. In this retelling, aside from his irresistible urge to sleep, Gregor does get out and has a run-in with some other cats. This ties into another Kafka story, The Trial, which I haven’t read but which Cook is clearly familiar with. I think I lost a bit of meaning here because I could sense that the names and actions of the other cats is important to understanding this version. My friend Lisa Hayden discusses the important relevance between The Trial and Kafka himself in her review of the book and read her explanation of the connection between both Kafka books at her blog. She’s smart like that!"...which all led to the conclusion that for the time being he would have to keep calm and --with patience and the greatest consideration for his family--tolerate the troubles that in his present condition he was now forced to cause them.""He had never acted according to his desires alone, but only according to the dicta of his kin, his duty, and that great filial ledger that ruled his life....That difference of spirit he had always felt on the inside was now evident on the outside..."Now if you’ve never read The Metamorphosis, I think you’d enjoy this version for its play on images. Having read it recently, however, made me feel that the overall take from the story is just too different to get the same meaning as Kafka intended. For all of his images of absurdity with the bug, the idea of a man waking to find himself a horrifying insect was not the point of The Metamorphosis. What I took from it was more how absurd his family reacted and raised the question of why Gregor had put up with their dependence long before he turned into a bug. In this, the question is still there—but the cat contrast distracts a bit from the actual horror of his family situation.I think this would be an excellent way to introduce someone to Kafka’s work, and since you can hardly find a book that isn’t described as “Kafkaesque” these days, it might be a good way start, as the majority of it stays very close to Kafka's telling. The illustrations are a fun addition as well...who doesn't love a cat?
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