Adult Fiction OLSEN
Summary: Anxious Pleasures takes Franz Kafka's profoundly haunting and sad comic novella, The Metamorphosis, and reanimates it through the vantge points of those who surrounded Gregor Samsa during his plight. All the familiar characters are here, including the hysterical mother, the stern father, his faithless sister, and their pragmatic household cook. But we are also introduced to, among others, the would-be author downstairs, who daydreams the narrative he may someday compose, and a young woman in contemporary London reading Kafka's slim book for the first time. Or do they all comprise a few of the disturbing dreams from which Gregor is about to snap awake one morning to find himself transformed into a monstrous vermin? In the tradition of Michael Cunningham's The Hours and John Gardner's Grendel, Olsen's novel not only represents a collaboration with a ghost, but also, a celebration, augmentation, complication, and devoted unwriting of a momentously influential text.
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Hates his job; his family's sole breadwinner; provided his parents and sisters with comfortable lives; dreamt of sending his sister to study violin; awakes one morning to find himself transformed into a bug; torn between his human wants and emotions and his insect needs.
Insecure; reading Kafka's The Metamorphosis; grandparents are missing.