My long-time readers know that I love Kafka. The Metamorphosis is probably my all-time favorite novella. After loving the brilliant adaptation of The Trial to graphic novel last fall, I knew I had to get my hands on this GN adaptation. Of course, the artist was different and the way he approached the story was very different from the artist of The Trial. I preferred The Trial, but that doesn’t mean this one was bad. Kafka and his surrealism really lends itself well to the graphic form.
For those unfamiliar with The Metamorphosis (is there anyone??), the main character, Gregor Samsa, wakes up one morning to find himself strangely transformed into a giant insect. The book is complex and full of symbolism. It’s one I can read over and over again, and have. Each time I get something new out of it. This GN does a great job pulling all the important parts of the story to visual form, as well as weaving in symbolic imagery. My favorite was from the very last page: a shot of a Gregor-like bug on a light pole as the train carrying Gregor’s family drives by. It’s those little details that make this book strong.
And a little sidenote: this GN is supposed to be drawn in the style of Winsor McCay, one of the first surrealist comic artists.