Kafka Makes My Head Hurt, Even with Cuddly Kittens.

by Gwen

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

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books (May 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159474503X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594745034
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    9 Comments to “Kafka Makes My Head Hurt, Even with Cuddly Kittens.”

    1. OMG that looks like a riot! Not like Kafka is ever a riot. But still. Glad you featured it!

    2. It did make me want to pound my head against the wall a lot less than Kafka usually does…

    3. Your pro Murphy anti cat stance has been well documented. haha. I actually like the original, and you know I think everything is better with kittens. I might have to check this one out.

    4. Ha! I thought Pride and Prejudice was hilarious. This looks incredibly strange.

    5. The discussion questions are brilliant! I could go on and on about discussion question #3.

    6. Somehow, I think Kafka would have enjoyed the levity at his expense!  That cover and title alone are enough to leave me smiling for the day.

    7.  I bet that many of us could go on about #3. I am just glad that I didn’t have any soda in my mouth when I read it; it would have gotten launched!

    8. Maybe I need to learn more about Kafka, not so sure he would have been into the whole life is funny thing;)

    9.  You know, it’s funny, you throw zombies into something and it is hilarious. You throw kittens into this…..wait a minute….it still makes me ponder my purpose in life. It just makes me giggle at the same time!

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