Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My First Kafka: Runaways, Rodents, and Giant Bugs

Retold by: Matthue Roth

First line: "I don't know!" I cried without being heard.

Why you should read this book: I was considering buying this as a present for a variety of small children with hip parents I happen to know, but after reading these tender retellings of favorite stories, I am not convinced that even watered-down Kafka is something I want to give to children I love who still have half a chance of growing up sane. There is a certain softening of the hardest edges; for example in "The Metamorphosis," Gregor's family does not explicitly wish to be rid of him and his death is not explicitly stated, but there's not much comfort in the implications, either. The book is an amusing curio, but most likely not appropriate for bedtime reading.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You are a happy child.

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