BookBrowse Reviews Kockroach by Tyler Knox

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Kockroach

A Novel

by Tyler Knox

Kockroach by Tyler Knox
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Dec 2006, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2008, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


In an original work of literary noir, Tyler Knox turns Kafka's The Metamorphosis on its head.

In a tale that is more Dashiell Hammett than Franz Kafka, Tyler Knox (a pseudonym of William Lashner) turns Kafka's short story on its head to create the ultimate American immigrant story set against the noir background of 1950s New York. Kockroach is happy with his life, not that he's ever really considered the concept of happiness when one comes down to it, until one day he wakes up and discovers that his normal proud dimensions have been replaced by a new body "ridiculously narrow and soft, its skin beneath a pelt of hair as pale and shriveled as a molting nymph's".

Kafka's Gregor Samsa might have wallowed in despair, but not Kockroach. Cockroaches are the ultimate adapters and after a few days getting to grips with his new body in the privacy of a seedy Times Square hotel, Kockroach, aka Jerry Blatta, is ready to start climbing the dung heap of his new world.

With the assistance of his vertically challenged, low-level hood sidekick, Mite, and his own basic amoral instincts, Kockroach is set to become a powerful player in 1950s New York as he moves up the ladder from gangster to businessman to politician.

It goes without saying that one has to suspend disbelief to read either Kafka's Metamorphosis or Kockroach, but somehow, when one observes human nature, it is easier to believe that cockroaches dressed as men are walking the streets than vice versa!

Look out for: The bottom right corner of each page of Kockroach which has a little image which, when the pages are flipped, shows the transformation of cockroach into besuited Jerry Blatta.

This review was originally published in February 2007, and has been updated for the March 2008 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.



This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Hermit
    by Thomas Rydahl
    If you can be comfortable with Scandinavian noir played out against the sun-drenched backdrop of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Radium Girls
    The Radium Girls
    by Kate Moore
    In 1915, Austrian-born Sabin von Sochocky developed a luminescent paint that used radium to create a...
  • Book Jacket: Long Black Veil
    Long Black Veil
    by Jennifer Finney Boylan
    "This was a long time ago, before my first death, and none of us now are the people we were then. ...

Win this book!
Win News of the World

News of the World

A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

Enter

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Gypsy Moth Summer
    by Julia Fierro

    One of the most anticipated books of 2017.
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T's S I Numbers

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.