You need wait no longer for your next read-aloud, read-along online fix – the latest edition of The Evening Read-In starts right now, with the first instalment of Franz Kafka’s very weird but quite wonderful The Metamorphosis. Join us here every Thursday for the next five weeks at 9pm to listen to the story unfold – and be sure to share your thoughts as you listen by joining in the conversation on Twitter; just attach #eveningreadin to your tweets to let us know what you think.
Without further ado, here is Part 1. We hope you’re ready for half an hour’s worth of reading aloud and superb storytelling…
A short summary of Part 1: (you can read along with the story here)
Gregor Samsa, a travelling salesman, wakes in his bed from ‘troubled dreams’ to find that he has been completely changed from a human man into an insect. Confused about what has happened to him – he realises that it isn’t a dream and he actually has transformed – and finding it physically difficult to get out of bed, he lies looking out of the window thinking about his job and how unsatisfied he is with it. He contemplates making the big change to leave his position in a few years, once he has paid off the debt his parents owe to his boss.
Instead of catching the 5am train to work as he usually would, he is still in bed at 6.30am. He hears his mother calling to him, asking whether he had somewhere to go, followed by similar calls from his father and sister. Cautious not to arouse any suspicion and still coming to terms with what has happened to him, he makes quick explanations and focuses on getting up and ready, which he finds incredibly hard to do as it requires so much effort with his new body.
Just after seven, the chief clerk at Gregor’s work arrives at the family home to enquire why Gregor had not left on the early train. His father pleads for Gregor to open his bedroom door, while his mother assures the chief clerk that Gregor is unwell and that is the reason for his non-appearance. Gregor tells his father that he cannot see the chief clerk, and he hears his sister begin to cry.
The chief clerk insists upon an explanation from Gregor as to why he has locked himself in his room and warns him that his job is by no means secure. Through the door, Gregor explains that he has been taken suddenly unwell, but will set off for work soon, pleading that the chief clerk does not make his family suffer. As he struggles to get up, he hears his family and the chief clerk outside his room talking about him and what could be wrong with him. Worried, his mother calls for the doctor and locksmith to be brought to the house.