Franz Kafka (1883-1924) is lauded as the one of the best writers of the 20th century. Sadly, he only really finished one novella, The Metamorphosis, before his death. The rest of his work was published posthumously by his executor, Max Brod. He passed on from this mortal coil before knowing that he would become such a famous guy. Sucks.
His work is considered existentialism, which is a neat way of saying that he focuses on the human condition. You know, the meaning of life, responsibilities, emotions, and all that rubbish that makes my head hurt when I start pondering it and has nothing to do with the rising gas prices.
Now, here is where the kittens come in.
Quirk Books has come out with a mashup of The Metamorphosis. You may have heard me mention mashups before, they take a classic book and throw a crazy wrench into it. The most famous is Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. (and it’s prequel & sequel) They also adapted Anna Karenina into Android Karenina.
In the original, the main character, Gregor Samsa becomes a bug. In this gem, The Meowmorphosis, he becomes a fluffy kitten.
It is still full of existential twaddle, but now there are pretty kitties as opposed to some praying mantis thing. I don’t like cats. They make me sneeze, seem not to give a care whether I live or die and just don’t give the love that my Murphy Grace does.
If you have never read Kafka, the cats do make it easier to digest, but this one just isn’t as much fun to read as the other mashups have been. The others made me want to read the original versions of Tolstoy and Austen, this one made me remember why I never really “got” Kafka and dislike navel gazing in general.
However, the discussion questions in the back of the book were totally worth the price of admission. I seldom read them, but am so glad that I did. Made. Me. Laugh. So. Hard.
3. Is your manager an ass?
9. Franz Kafka had some issues, didn’t he?
The Meowmorphosis by Franz Kafka and Coleridge Cook