The Meowmorphosis, Paperback
3 out of 5 (34 ratings)


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.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208 pages, 10 one-colour illustrations
  • Publisher: Quirk Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fantasy
  • ISBN: 9781594745034



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Showing 1 - 5 of 34 reviews.

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Review by
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.
Review by

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.

Review by

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.

Review by

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)

Review by

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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