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Insect Dreams: The Half Life of Gregor Samsa

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Insect Dreams: The Half Life of Gregor Samsa Cover

ISBN13: 9781932961096
ISBN10: 1932961097
Condition:
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

It seems the Samsas' chambermaid only claimed to sweep into the dustbin the twentieth century's most remarkable contemplative. Instead, having spirited him from his bedchamber, she apparently sold the metamorphosed Gregor to a Viennese sideshow, where-it being 1915-he could earn his living lecturing carnival crowds on the implications of Rilke and Herr Spengler.

In this delightfully original work of imagination, compassion, and good reason, we follow the trajectory of Kafka's salesman-turned-cockroach across two continents and thirty years as he touches the most significant flash points of his time. In the process, Marc Estrin delivers a human saga of cultural ambition and compassionate insight that may be the most surprising addition to Jewish literature in a generation.

What's more, the book is funny. And Estrin's Gregor is downright endearing.

With its reach and substance, Insect Dreams is nothing short of a liberal education — in cultural history, musical theory, nuclear physics, and the world of ideas. But it's also a remarkable reading experience. With a scope, heart, and intelligence unparalleled in recent memory, Insect Dreams should spark wide-ranging discussions about who we're becoming, now that the swiftest century is complete.

Review:

"Get ready for a highly imaginative ride through the cultural frontier of the early 20th century....A colossal book of characters and events that inspires tears of laughter and sadness in its rich blend of clever metaphor and unsettling facts, this promises to become a pivotal literary landmark. Highly recommended." Library Journal, starred review

Review:

"This is a grand comic opera starring a meditative cockroach scuttling through the corridors of power at the fulcrum of the 20th century. An impressive debut, notable for a generous sense of fun that never detracts from the serious historical and existential implications of all that it so entertainingly depicts." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Halfway through, after learning about everything from X-rays to risk management, I began to wonder, Is there anything Estrin doesn't know? It's only a matter of time before this new cult classic inspires a companion collection of footnotes and commentary....Indeed, if Insect Dreams weren't so perpetually funny, its philosophical ruminations and its encyclopedia of cameo appearances would be downright intimidating. In the most natural ways, Estrin manages to insinuate Gregor into the major developments of the first half of the 20th century. (Roaches can fit into the tiniest places, you know.)" Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor

Review:

"First: It's funny. Second: It's very funny. Third: It's brilliant." Frederick Reuss, author of Horace Afoot and Henry of Atlantic City

Review:

"Against all odds, this slyly outrageous story keeps picking up momentum. It allows us to watch the most explosive events of the early twentieth century from the wings. The whole account is written in the key of — Candide, meet Dr. Strangelove." Roger Shattuck, National Book Award Winner

Review:

"With its crazy-legged imagination, darting insights and twitchy wit, his is a creation that defies any sourpuss Raid to kill it dead." Tom Robbins

Synopsis:

The metamorphosis of Gregor Samsa was surely one of the momentous transformations of modern times. Kafkas burning vision of the future ended with Gregor being swept into a dustbin. But what if Gregor were to survive and live to challenge the wrongs clouding humanitys horizon? In Insect Dreams, Gregor—rescued by profiteers— will sharpen his mind against the minds of Wittgenstein and Rilke, dance to the crazy rhythms of Prohibition, and appear as a surprise witness at the Scopes trial. Eventually, hell meet FDR, join the brain trust, and move into the White House.

But a talking cockroach with an ethical agenda can wear out his welcome, and soon Gregor is reassigned as a risk management consultant for the Manhattan Project. What follows is nothing less than the explosive birth of contemporary existence—and the culmination of a tale that is as intellectually ambitious as it is warmhearted and funny.

Synopsis:

Every volume of "Vagabond"--a fictionalized graphic arts biography of real-life "sword saint" Miyamoto Musashi--has been a top-ten bestseller in Japan. Illustrations throughout.

About the Author

Marc Estrin is a writer, cellist, and activist living in Burlington, Vermont, and the author of The Education of Arnold Hitler.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

crickets2020, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by crickets2020)
A meandering plot, a fun and readable style, some depth and some places where the author tries just a little too hard to be deep. Still, this is a terrific expansion on Kafka's original, and a very engaging trip through a variety of vivid settings, each with its own moral question to pose. Estrin's Gregor grapples with such subjects as capital punishment, feminism, political dissent, racism, xenophobia, class, capitalism, war, and the atom bomb. The prominent figures he encounters are delightfully rendered, and the story is charming. Gregor is a winning character -- smart, shy, compassionate, adventurous -- and his company is very enjoyable.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781932961096
Author:
Estrin, Marc
Publisher:
Unbridled Books
Author:
Wittgenstein
Author:
Kafka
Author:
Rilke
Author:
FDR
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - Fantasy
Subject:
Washington, d. c.
Subject:
New mexico
Subject:
Psychological
Subject:
Fantasy - General
Subject:
New York
Subject:
Vienna
Subject:
Metamorphosis
Subject:
Cockroaches
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20051031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in
Age Level:
13-17

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Military
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » General

Insect Dreams: The Half Life of Gregor Samsa New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.25 Backorder
Product details 288 pages Unbridled Books - English 9781932961096 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Get ready for a highly imaginative ride through the cultural frontier of the early 20th century....A colossal book of characters and events that inspires tears of laughter and sadness in its rich blend of clever metaphor and unsettling facts, this promises to become a pivotal literary landmark. Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "This is a grand comic opera starring a meditative cockroach scuttling through the corridors of power at the fulcrum of the 20th century. An impressive debut, notable for a generous sense of fun that never detracts from the serious historical and existential implications of all that it so entertainingly depicts."
"Review" by , "Halfway through, after learning about everything from X-rays to risk management, I began to wonder, Is there anything Estrin doesn't know? It's only a matter of time before this new cult classic inspires a companion collection of footnotes and commentary....Indeed, if Insect Dreams weren't so perpetually funny, its philosophical ruminations and its encyclopedia of cameo appearances would be downright intimidating. In the most natural ways, Estrin manages to insinuate Gregor into the major developments of the first half of the 20th century. (Roaches can fit into the tiniest places, you know.)"
"Review" by , "First: It's funny. Second: It's very funny. Third: It's brilliant."
"Review" by , "Against all odds, this slyly outrageous story keeps picking up momentum. It allows us to watch the most explosive events of the early twentieth century from the wings. The whole account is written in the key of — Candide, meet Dr. Strangelove."
"Review" by , "With its crazy-legged imagination, darting insights and twitchy wit, his is a creation that defies any sourpuss Raid to kill it dead."
"Synopsis" by ,
The metamorphosis of Gregor Samsa was surely one of the momentous transformations of modern times. Kafkas burning vision of the future ended with Gregor being swept into a dustbin. But what if Gregor were to survive and live to challenge the wrongs clouding humanitys horizon? In Insect Dreams, Gregor—rescued by profiteers— will sharpen his mind against the minds of Wittgenstein and Rilke, dance to the crazy rhythms of Prohibition, and appear as a surprise witness at the Scopes trial. Eventually, hell meet FDR, join the brain trust, and move into the White House.

But a talking cockroach with an ethical agenda can wear out his welcome, and soon Gregor is reassigned as a risk management consultant for the Manhattan Project. What follows is nothing less than the explosive birth of contemporary existence—and the culmination of a tale that is as intellectually ambitious as it is warmhearted and funny.

"Synopsis" by , Every volume of "Vagabond"--a fictionalized graphic arts biography of real-life "sword saint" Miyamoto Musashi--has been a top-ten bestseller in Japan. Illustrations throughout.
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