The SFFaudio Podcast #223 – AUDIOBOOK: The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #223 – The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, read by David Barnes.

This UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK (2 Hours 33 Minutes) comes to us courtesy of The Metamorphosis was first published in 1915, in German, under the title Die Verwandlung. This translation is by Ian Johnston.

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka - unsigned illustration from Famous Fantastic Mysteries

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka - unsigned illustration from Famous Fantastic Mysteries

Posted by Jesse Willis

CBC: The Vanishing Point: J.G. Ballard’s The Dead Astronaut

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Dead Astronaut by J.G. Ballard

The Dead Astronaut is a part of a larger subset of J.B. Ballard stories adapted for the long running CBC radio series The Vanishing Point. This tale of a haunted Cape Kennedy is typically Ballardian, surreal, full of abandoned buildings, abandoned people, and abandoned dreams.

CBC - The Vanishing PointThe Vanishing Point – The Dead Astronaut
Adapted from the story by J.G. Ballard; Dramatized by Lawrence Russell; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 28 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Broadcast: 1988
First published in Playboy, May 1968.

Gordon Clapp … Philip
Donna Goodhand … Judith
Peter McNeil … Quentin
Tom Duckworth … the voice

Here’s the original art that accompanied the story’s publication in Playboy:

Playboy, May 1968 - illustration by Charles Schorre


Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Metamorphosis (in German, Die Verwandlung, “The Transformation”) is a novella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915, and arguably the most famous of his works along with the longer works The Trial and The Castle. The story begins with a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed into a giant “monstrous vermin”.

This narration by David Barnes is really terrific! One reviewer put it this way: “Slow, dignified, fitting for Kafka.” Another this way:

“A wonderful recording … Many thanks to Mr Barnes for his wonderful reading … [a] nightmarish and chilling tale of horror and abandonment. It is one of the most powerful texts written by Kafka and quite worth listening to.”

Here are the illustrations, and a brief editorial, from the June 1953 publication of Famous Fantastic Mysteries.

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka - illustrated by either Finlay or Lawrence

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka - illustrated by either Finlay or Lawrence

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka - editorial

LibriVoxThe Metamorphosis
By Franz Kafka; Translated by Ian Johnston; Read by David Barnes
3 Zipped MP3 Files or M4B – Approx. 2 Hours 34 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: December 11, 2006
“Already he had taken the alien loathesome shape … In all except the still watching mind – the vestige of a soul that still could suffer…”

Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3| Part 3 |MP3|

Podcast feed:

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC Radio 4: Grey Expectations

SFFaudio Online Audio

Radio Times: The Afternoon Play: Grey Expectations - review by David CrawfordBBC Radio 4The Radio Times is an invaluable resource for radio drama fans. I truly wish it was available at my local newstand here in Canada. I fuzzily recall something similar back in the 1980s for CBC Radio – but I can’t quite find anything online that matches that memory. Luckily a friend of the site, Roy, has a subscription to the U.K.’s Radio Times and he happily points us to these clippings. So here’s a clipping from next week’s BBC Radio 4 schedule…

BBC Radio 4 - Grey Expectations by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran Afternoon Play: Grey Expectations
By Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran; Performed by a full cast
1 Broadcast – Approx. 45 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4 / Afternoon Play
Broadcast: Monday 30th November @ 14:15-15:00
Grey Expectations is the third – but not necessarily the last – in a trilogy of stories written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran.

It follows on from the surreal My Blue Heaven (2006) and My Blue Wedding (2007) which told the story of Graham Slater, a redundant and downtrodden mouse-pusher whose life was transformed when he was offered a job by his childhood friend Laz. However, Laz turned out to be imaginary, blue and furry and lived in a parallel universe.

In this story, Graham learns what happened to all the billions the international bankers lost during the credit crunch – they have turned up in Laz’s blue furry world. Nobody knows what to do with the mountain of waste paper, but can Graham just get rid of it?

Stephen Mangan
Rebecca Front
Phyllida Law
Toby Longworth

[Thanks Roy]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

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