Review of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

February 29, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Podcast Audio Book - The Metamorphosis by Franz KafkaThe Metamorphosis
By Franz Kafka; Read by Alex Wilson
3 Zipped MP3, OGG or AAC files – 2 Hours 15 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: The Spoken Alexandria Project
Published: 2006
Themes: / Fantasy / Surreal / 1910s / Insects /

At first read, The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is a bizarre, almost nonsensical story. Gregor Samsa, a traveling salesman, wakes up to find himself transformed into a giant bug of some sort. No explanation is given for how or why this metamorphosis occurred. Gregor himself seems more concerned with being late to a work assignment than the circumstances of his change.

As the novella progresses, The Metamorphosis becomes more about the unspoken negotiations inside a family as in who does what chores, who makes money for others, and who just gets in the way. When Gregor can no longer provide for the family’s needs, Gregor’s father changes from an invalid to a dedicated worker. Along the way, Greta converts from a loving sister to a young woman looking for suitors. The bizarre transformation of Gregor is not the most important transformation in the family, as evidenced by the final lines.

Alex Wilson, the founder of Spoken Alexandria, provides a understated, but compelling reading. The sound quality is top-notch, even when listening over headphones. The tone of voice is like someone waked in the middle of dream, lending an appropriate otherworldliness to the story of alienation.

Posted by Listener of the Free Listens blog

Review of Most of My Friends Are Two-Thirds Water by Kelly Link

August 3, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

Science Fiction Audiobook - Most of My Friends Are Two-Thirds Water by Kelly LinkMost of My Friends Are Two-Thirds Water
By Kelly Link; Read by Alex Wilson
FREE MP3 Download – Click here for link to file at www.spokenalex.org
– 27 minutes, 20 seconds [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: http://www.spokenalex.org/
Published: 2005
Themes: / Science Fiction / Alien Invasion / New York / Metafiction / Writing /

Jak calls me with the first line of a story. Most of my friends are two-thirds water, he says, and I say that this doesn’t surprise me. He says, no, that this is the first line. There’s a Philip K. Dick novel, I tell him, that has a first line like that, but not exactly and I can’t remember the name of the novel. I am listening to him while I clean out my father’s refrigerator. The name of the Philip K. Dick novel is Confessions of a Crap Artist, I tell Jak. What novel, he says.

Another FREE tale from author Kelly Link’s short story collection Stranger Things Happen. Link is a Nebula, World Fantasy, and James Tiptree Jr. Award-winning author. Her urbane speculative fiction always compares well to Nalo Hopkinson and Walter Mosley – but Link takes that post-modern mentality, rotates it 90 degrees, and adds more of a sense of play. I’m ambivalent about metafiction, which this most certainly is. Sometimes it works wonderfully, but it’s harder with short stories, as they tend to be fairly crowded with concepts already. Most of My Friends Are Two-Thirds Water comes away decently. Narrator Alexander Wilson reads well, but since the narrative voice is that of a female this is not the
perfect match of voice to story. Still, how can I complain when the reading is letter perfect and the price is 100% FREE! Downloadable here.

Posted by Jesse Willis