Kafka’s Cockroach

One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself
transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin.

That’s the captivating opening sentence to Franz Kafka’s short story about the salesman who woke up as a giant cockroach. It is simple, yet tells the reader the pivotal moment in Gregor’s life. The Metamorphosis is a wild tale of alienation and family relationships. There are endless commentaries on the symbolism of this famous story — yet with all its serious underpinings, there is humor too. It’s one first sentence that certainly made me curious to read on. What first sentences have grabbed you?

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