BookBrowse Reviews Kockroach by Tyler Knox

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A Novel

by Tyler Knox

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

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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of happiness when one comes down to it, until one day he wakes up and discovers that his normal proud dimensions have been replaced by a new body "ridiculously narrow and soft, its skin beneath a pelt of hair as pale and shriveled as a molting nymph's".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,...

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