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A retelling of The Metamorphosis by Kafka, set in Morocco. Moving among the members of this Moroccan Muslim family, we learn all has not been well among them for quite a long time, even before the adult son, working as a teacher though he'd hoped to be a writer, married to a selfish woman, and with a Down Syndrome child, wakes up as a monkey. Not only is all not well among these family members, but bad acts abound in the past. Aside from his younger sister, the only family member who doesn't seem to serve such a fate is the one turned into a monkey. An interesting and strange little novella, with the interpolation of a narrator who is not identified, who speaks directly to the reader, and the behaviors of various family members that surely denigrate their Muslim faith. A quick read that provides a narrow but intriguing look into Moroccan culture.

Thanks to Agora Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC.

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Moroccan writer Mohammed Said Hjiouij has taken Kafka’s Metamorphosis and reinterpreted it for contemporary society. Protagonist Jawad Al-Idrisi is an overworked and disillusioned teacher who harbours ambitions to be a literary critic. One morning he wakes to find himself transformed into some sort of monstrous creature and has to confront his family and his life in very changed circumstances. I found the book a clever, sometimes amusing and ultimately a tragic take on Kafka’s story. Much more than an homage, Hjiouij takes the tale and runs with it to remarkable effect. Engaging, thought-provoking and memorable, Kafka with a modern twist, this is a wonderful read and I very much enjoyed it.

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What a retelling is this!!

Mohammed Said Hjiouij done a great job by reiterating the epic novel Metamorphosis by Frank Kafka. Best part is, he did it by adapting his own pattern rather than just telling it as is. His protagonist is so unworthy yet the most important center of the story. I liked the way he intoduced each character one by one and naming them the way they have to be. I though dislike the Hind's role in this book. She is completely selfish and opportunist. Her role where she have to be played well to help her brother escape the endurement, she easily walked out and even then abusing him all the time for she have to work rather than sitting idle and enjoy her life when her brother was working his life-out, to run his whole family, including her too.
This is the story of a man who has lost every single thing in his life including his very family for which he was doing hardsome work all the time. His failure as a husband was not actually his but the betrayal of his wife on him. His irresponsible father because of whom whole burden came upon his shoulders much before. He was struggling in all phases of his life but still failed at last and lost him to such endurance.
Overall, this is a very good adaption work on Kafka's Magnum Opus and I really enjoyed it.

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This book had a funny and humorous take on Kafka's most popular work, Metamorphosis, adding the author's insights on Moroccan lifestyle and society. For those familiar with Metamorphosis, this would be quite an interesting read. There are meticulous references to numerous other literary works, and the author has kept the pacing catchy. I had a good time reading this, and my thanks to the author and the publishers, Agora Publishing, for gifting me with a copy of this book.

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Kafka in Tangier is a reinterpretation of Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis that is set in Tangier and follows the unfortunate transformation of Jawad Al-Idrisi, a teacher. Jawad’s story is told from a mix of perspectives: his own, his mother's, his sister's, and his father's. It's an interesting mix of perspectives and thoughts on the events that are unfolding in the family's life.

The narrator in Jawad's chapters speaks directly to the reader. And this unnamed narrator is conversational and engaging. I liked this as I felt like I was part of the action. I also like that the author chose to have the narrator drop hints here and there about what was to come in the story.

Now the big question: Is *Kafka in Tangier* an exact copy of *The Metamorphosis*? It’s similar, but not the same.

The main difference being that we know exactly what kind of creature Jawad is transformed into based on a detailed description provided by the author. I wonder if Mohammed Said Hjiouij’s decision to do this - to explicitly describe Jawad after his metamorphosis - was done to satisfy the reader. It removes the constant questioning of what he *actually* looks like when he wakes up and could be removing a potential distraction for the reader.

The other big difference being the attitude of Jawad’s family towards him once he has been transformed (or cursed, as his mother believes). Jawad’s family are a lot more sympathetic towards him than Gregor Samsa’s family. Saying that, there are still secrets, lying and betrayal within the Al-Al-Idrisi family. But overall, I felt Jawad’s family still cared about him by the end of the story. The endings of both stories are similar - I won’t share any spoilers. They’re melancholy and “Kafka-esque”.

Phoebe Bay Carter’s translation of the novella is conversational and easy going, presumably replicating the original. The narrator’s engaging voice and Hind’s (Jawad’s sister) diary-like chapters draw you into the story and make you feel part of what’s going on. The translator's use of footnotes was helpful for me - I liked getting a little more background about different parts of the story, especially cultural and historical details that I wasn't familiar with.

Kafka in Tangier is a nice introduction to Moroccan literature. Mohammed Said Hjiouij has put an interesting twist on a well-known story but made it his own. While I recognised the inspiration behind the story, I wouldn’t say that this story is a copy. It's a unique story with it's own characters and plot. Phoebe Bay Carter has translated Mohammed Said Hjiouij’s writing fabulously - it’s engaging and dynamic and I enjoyed the use of footnotes.

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like kafka's the metamorphosis, kafka in tangier was weird, surreal, etcetera. it was definitely a great homage to the original, and i loved how immersed in the city of tangier i became. at times, it felt a little satirical, but that was probably because the narration style was so humorous. at times, some of the switches between points of views and timelines felt very jarring, though, but other than that, this was a nice, quick read.

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* Very good homage to The Metamorphosis
* Chapter titles referencing other literary works just keep the party going.
* Primary narrative voice is both writerly and amusing.

* Addition of a second narrator is disappointing.
* The summary of The Metamorphosis is unnecessary - trust the reader.
Thank you to Mohammed Said Hjiouij, Phoebe Bay Carter, Agora Publishing, and NetGalley for an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

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I loved Kafka's The Metamorphosis [unexpectedly. What I thought I knew was SO wrong and this book moved me so much; there were so many tears and the story has stayed with me since] and when the bestie sent me a notice about this being on NetGalley, I was very intrigued and I decided to request it and here we are.

Much like Kafka's book, this is a book of great sadness. Jawad is a great character who, much like Kafka's hero, suffers greatly for his family [who he must take care of because his father is a loser and refuses to leave the house to work], works at a job he hates and is married to a woman who is a liar and really, not a nice person over-all. All he wants is a little peace and a different life. Uh, be careful what you wish for. One morning, his life dramatically changes and things unravel pretty rapidly after that.

Told in present time and in flashbacks, this is an intriguing retelling of The Metamorphosis and I would highly recommend reading this after reading Kafka.

**A NOTE**
This is absolutely a 4 star read with an exception - I am not sure if it is the actual story, or if it is the translation, but there are moments of real disjointedness that affects your reading; there were moments of real confusion for me [there was often no delineation between the present and a flashback] and I really struggled with these parts [with having to reread several section to make sure I knew where I was]. Ultimately, I decided that 3 starts did the over-all book and story a huge disservice, so it is 4 stars for me with this exception.

Thank you to NetGalley, Mohammed Said Hijiouij, Phoebe Bay Carter - Translator, and Agora Publishing for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This was a unique take on Kafka's Metamorphosis. A very short novella, but I enjoyed it very much. The author has talent and I can't wait to read more by them.

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