2 out of 5 stars
Kafka is not an author I'd immediately associate with literary mash-ups,
seeing as he's neither a fun nor, quite honestly, entertaining read.
In fact, he's quite depressing and it's hard to imagine how his works
could be spiced up enough to be made palatable to a more general
audience. Enter Quirk Books with The Meowmorphosis.
Okay, I thought, if anyone could make Kafka likeable, it's Quirk; add a
cute, fluffy kitty into the mix and you've probably got a hit on your
hands. Um, no.
Basically substituting the word "kitten" for
"cockroach", Coleridge's writing still leaves us with the body of
Kafka's story, which, despite the kitten influence, remains depressing
and obfuscating. I'll be quite honest: I haven't the foggiest idea
what the moral behind the tale (tail? Ha ha) is. Something to do with
Socialism vs. Capitalism I'm guessing? Plus, by using the
kitten/cockroach substitution, it actually made the story even more
bewildering. We're talking about a cute, fuzzy kitty, right? So why
are people running away in disgust? Why are they trying to step on it
and kill it just like a cockroach? Then again, it's supposedly a
man-sized kitty, but, if it is, when he wanders the streets, why does no
one respond to his size? If there's a tiger-sized tabby cat wandering
around my neighborhood, I'm certainly going to sit up and take notice.
Yet no one does. And while I agree a tight collar on a cat is
devastating, an affliction borne by Gregor thanks to his schizophrenic
sister (read the book, if you dare, you'll see what I mean), why does it
weaken his back legs? Did the collar cause a stroke? And why is
Gregor occasionally weak, so weak he has to drag himself around, and
then healthy enough to spring up onto the furniture? Quite frankly, by
the time I finished this book, I was shaking my head in despair and
Maybe I'm just not smart enough to
appreciate this story. If that's the case, fine. I'll stick with my
Terry Pratchett and Ann Aguirre, and leave this to the intelligentsia.
So why two stars and not one? Because at the end of the book, Coleridge
has provided us with a short, humorous "biography" of Kafka. Let's
just say it features more kitties. It's not laugh-out-loud funny, but
it's enough to provide a chuckle or two, which I felt deserved a star.
Read April 10-12, 2011
Originally reviewed on Goodreads April 17, 2011