Although the creepiness of this short by Franz Kafka is apparent from the opening, disturbing paragraph, its true weirdness isn't made clear until halfway through the story. Gregor Samsa, a travelling salesman, awakes one morning to find that he has been transformed into a hideous "insect" - cleverly, in true Kafka style, we never find out what type of insect he has metamorphosized into, our only insights are Kafka's various detailed descriptions of Gregor's feelings and physical apperance to his family... and himself. The style of this extremely enjoyable novel is reminiscent of his unfinished work, The Trial in which a man is on trial for an unknown reason (and it works well).
Struggling to hold his family together, the weirdness and fierceness of this story is now made apparent. Gregor's father attacks him - causing a turning point within the story as we now see Gregor's family resent his condition.
We never find out why or how Gregor has transformed but again, like in The Trial it simply doesn't matter. Using little direct speech, Kafka has woven Gregor's horror and disgust with his family's despair and fright to make a totally impossible situation seem almost real. The fact the only setting is Samsa family's apartment makes the atmosphere disturbing and creepy(very isolated and tense).
Gregor's family depended on him for money and therefore, as I think Kafka is trying to say, a bearable life. Gregor has to witness his family's downfall silently (literally, as he has lost the ability to talk), his only communication being indirect (I mean, with no speech) with his sister and the cleaner who visits him room ocassionally to clean and bring food. We see the Samsa family fall rapidly and become unable to cope with Gregor any longer.
The ending is no surprise, but I don't want to give it away simple because it significantly affects the ending - however, I feel that Kafka struggles to make his point stand-out - even though his ending paragraphs are brilliantly profound. Obviously, the plot in a child's nutshell is about a man who has turned into an insect and, seemingly without being able to help it, causes his family's downfall because of their dependence on him financially and emotionally - however, I think the novel should have been longer and therefore fleshing-out Kafka's point further.
I enjoyed this book very much, a classic - read it for the amazing language if nothing else. A brilliant story and message, Franz, but... a bit more material and it'd be perfect!
Final impression is that Kafka is a truly fantastic author. His use of language and tone is perfect (I noticed this in both Metamorphosis and The Trial). Buy and see for yourself!