The phrase Kafkaesque has taken its place in the English language to describe bewildering situations brought about by some distant illogical authority. We have no control, and our lives are nightmarishly impacted. Does anyone feel like that now? In our April Goldster Book Club we will be discussing Franz Kafka’s masterpiece of a novella, Metamorphosis in which salesman, Gregor Samsa, wakes up one morning to find he has been transformed into a gigantic cockroach-like insect. Kafka, who lived in Prague, wrote Metamorphosis in 1912 and it was published in 1915 in the middle of the First World War. In many ways, Samsa is an everyman character, hating his boss, working hard to provide for his family which is central to all he does and, suddenly, his life is literally turned upside down. He can no longer work. He is isolated from society. His family fear and do not understand him. We know what Samsa is thinking and how he adjusts. But his family do not. There are wonderful themes for conversation about identity, family, struggling to be understood and the beauty and skill of Kafka’s writing. In a fun and rough straw poll, Metamorphosis won the Book of the Month pick over Richard Osman’s The Bullet that Missed. But it was a close call, so we’ll bring Osman in later in the year. And for now, join Humphrey Hawksley in a free-for-all Goldster conversation on Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis at 12.00 UK time on Friday April 28th 2023.