Few years ago, I thought it was weird to call audio book as reading…it’s listening NOT READING. I also found it difficult to understand how a person can concentrate listening to someone else reading a book for you. The first time I heard an Audio book was titled In The Death Room, read by Stephen King. It was more like eagerness to hear the voice of my favorite author. But I fell asleep every time I listened to the first 5 minutes…I felt like someone was reading a bedtime story for me. I tried hard to stay awake…fortunately I finally able to do it.
Few months back, I listened to Shawshank Redemption (read by … ) and to my surprise I no longer felt asleep. I got used to listening to the voice of the man reading the story. Then I listened to another Stephen King’s books and shorts (which I will review later)…I realized that the sleeping syndrome had completely disappeared!
I heard about Benedict Cumberbatch (one of my favorite actors) reading audio book, but I couldn’t find it. My friend, who happened to love Benedict too, found the link and gave it to me…yeaaaa!!! So, for the first time ever, I listened to an audio book from non-Stephen King Book. Although…his sexy voice tends to distract me! If you haven’t heard Benny…you are definitely missing one of the sexiest voice on earth (as much as I love Cillian Murphy, I dare to say that Benny has sexier voice than him 😉 )
First, let’s talk about the reader and then I will talk about the fascinating story of the Metamorphosis.
Out of four audio book readers I have heard, Bennedict is the best…I am not bias by the fact that I love him as an actor. I do believe that his acting experience along with his education in acting made him a better reader. He knows how to change his voice and tone perfectly. Stephen King tried to do the same in In The Death Room, he was quite good but still in no comparison to Benny. Frank Muller, the reader of Shawshank Redemption, did well but still he was lack of that change of voice for different character like what Benny did in The Metamorphosis. Benny did well in changing his voice as a female, as another person and even as the sicken Gregor. I felt so entertained…he made it like a radio play rather than just reading a book. I had more audio book by him and eager to listen to each of them soon. I am now wishing for Cillain to do an audio book 😉
Now…let’s talk about the story!
When Gregor Samsa woke one morning from an uneasy dream, he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous insect. He was lying on his hard shell liked back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his dome shaped brown body bended with reinforcing arches on top of which the blanket maintained its precarious old.
The metamorphosis is an amazing story of how some modern people treat their family…it was terribly sad but sadly it happened all around us. Although it started with a line of how a young man named Gregor Samsa was transformed into a giant insect but the story itself centered more on his family and how he was badly treated by them. Listening to the story almost made me cry for Gregor and pure hate toward his family.
When Gregor changed into his beast form, he could no longer speak but still able to understand human language. He was still him inside his ugly shell. He was the backbone of his family, he worked hard even though he hated his job because he had to pay his family debt as well as feeding his family and fulfilling all their needs. No matter how tired he was, he was happy to see that everything he had done had made his father, mother and sister happy. He was so proud of his sister and planned to send her to a music school to be a better violist. But his dream of sending his little sister shattered when he suddenly changed into an insect.
At first, his sister still gave him food despite the fact that she was utterly scared of her now transformed brother. Gradually, she merely gave him food without even caring to check him. She even made her mother helped her to take away everything inside his room. His mother wasn’t allowed to see him because of her bad condition, when he got a glimpse of Gregor’s insect form, she collapsed. His father acted as if Gregor no longer exist.
Things became worst each day…Gregor was considered more as a burden rather than family member. His father, mother and sister completely forgot how he had sacrificed his own happiness to fulfill their needs. At some point, they were disgusted at his existence. They didn’t even feel sad when he died in loneliness.
At first, I thought it would be a monster story, I was taken by surprise when I realized that it is more into human/family relation rather than a monster story. The changed that had happened to Gregor can be considered as a terribly ill man because he was tired. His sickness had turned him into a burdened person, so sick that he had to be taken care in any way possible. But instead of tending him and caring for him, everyone in his family looked back in disgust and wishing he was away and they could be get rid of him. It sickened me to hear what the family had done to him.
I can’t stop thinking of my mother when I heard about Gregor, in her last months, she no longer had power to do anything (of course she didn’t look monstrous like Gregor) …I even had to change everything she was wearing and bathed her. She relied so much on me and my father. But never once my father and I complained about her or ignored her. She wasn’t a burden for us because we know how she had spent most of her life caring for our need. I hated Gregor’s family because they were so ungrateful and how could they just thought of him as burden which they had to get rid of? It was so sick!!
Sadly, it happened around us. I know a family who did something like that…their father had stroke and instead of caring for him…they let him slept alone in a room (separated from his wife), his wife and daughters completely ignored him. They gave him food and changed his clothes only because of routine. The poor father died alone in a room without anyone caring for him.
Despite the hatred toward Samsa family, my sympathy for Gregor is bigger than my hatred. I really like this short story because it has strong connection to me. I rarely had emotional feeling when reading a book, this book really touches my heart.
I shared this in my R.I.P Challenge, The Peril of Short Story because of Gregor’s monstrous form and because having a family like Gregor’s is the scariest thing on earth for me.
If you want to read/listen to this audio book, you can hear it here: