How Long Is The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (& How to Read It Fast!)
How Long Is The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (& How to Read It Fast!)

How Long Is The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (& How to Read It Fast!)

How Long Is The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (& How to Read It Fast!)

Everyone loves a good read, but how can you tell whether your reading pace is average, below average, or above average?

Well, we can test that out.

The Metamorphosis is a novelette that is 23,000 words long and, at a reading speed of 500 words per minute, you can read it in only 44 minutes. 

In this article, we will teach you how to improve your reading speed to manage to read Kafka’s work in record time.

Join the Challenge

As part of the One Book, One Day challenge, we will speed read The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka at 500 words per minute (WPM) using

AccelaReader is a simple, innovative tool that will help improve your reading speed and productivity.

As we stated in one of our speed reading articles:

Less than 100-200 WPM is average at a learning level

200 – 400 WPM is average at a comprehending level

400 – 500 WPM is 2.5x faster than average

Anything more than 500 WPM will deter the quality of your reading and comprehension.

Is 500 WPM Too Fast? Take Our Speed Reading Course!

About The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis is often cited as one of the seminal works of fiction of the 20th century and is widely studied in colleges and universities across the Western world. 

The story begins with a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed into a monstrous vermin. It is never explained in the story why Samsa transforms, nor did Kafka ever explain.

The rest of the novella deals with Gregor trying to work out his new form along with feeling overbearing to his parents and sister. The horrible, verminous creature Gregor has become repulses them.


Gregor Samsa

The protagonist of the story is Gregor Samsa. His occupation as a traveling salesman is the means by which he provides for his family. 

An unfortunate event happens when he wakes up one morning as an insect. After Metamorphosis, Gregor is unable to work and eventually becomes confined to his room for the remainder of the story, prompting his family to begin working again.

Greta Samsa

Greta is Gregor’s younger sister, who becomes his caretaker after his Metamorphosis. Initially, Greta and Gregor have a close relationship, but this quickly fades. 

While Greta initially volunteers to feed him and clean his room, she later gets exhausted by it all, eventually leaving his room in total chaos out of spite. 

Greta plays the violin and dreams of going to the conservatory, a goal Gregor had intended to bring to life and planned on announcing on Christmas Eve. Greta ultimately takes up a job as a salesgirl to help provide for herself and her family.

Mr. Samsa

Mr. Samsa is Gregor’s father. After the Metamorphosis, he returns to work to support his family financially. As time passes, he grows colder and colder towards his son, becoming increasingly repulsed with what he is.

Mrs. Samsa

Mrs. Samsa is Greta and Gregor’s mother. She is initially shocked at Gregor’s transformation; however, she wants to enter his room. Gregor’s new form proves much for her, creating a conflict between her maternal impulse, sympathy, fear, and disgust.

How long is The Metamorphosis?

According to Barnes&Noble, the novelette estimates to be around 23,000 words, including the intro and preface.

How long does it take to read The Metamorphosis?

Reading at the average speed of 300 WPM will take roughly 1 hour and 1 minute to complete the book.

But since we are doing the 500 WPM challenge, it should take you only 44 minutes to read through the entire book.

How to read The Metamorphosis fast?

Here are a few tips that will help you read the Metamorphosis fast.

1. Don’t subvocalize/ inner monologue

Stop speaking the words in your head as you read. To prevent this, you can use your finger as a guide when reading. Doing this should help you read faster.

2. Scan the text first

When you scan through the text first, you are able to identify the most technical texts and be prepared as you read.

3. Don’t re-read

Re-reading a paragraph or sentence wastes your time and limits your comprehension. The trick is to continue reading; understanding will come later as you focus on your reading.

As you follow these 3 tips, you will surely be on your way to reading Metamorphosis at a fast pace. For more tips on increasing your reading speed, check out this article.


Finally, you can test yourself out below, now having a better understanding of the book description, knowledge of characters, and tips on how to read the book at a fast pace of 500WPM. 

Here are the most common words in the book…

Speed Read The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Book Stats:
Pages: 102
How Long To Read: 44 minutes (at 500 WPM)
Published: 1915

Paul Nowak

Paul is the founder of Iris Reading, the largest provider of speed-reading and memory courses. His workshops have been taught to thousands of students and professionals worldwide at institutions that include: NASA, Google, HSBC and many Fortune 500 companies.

Day 5/30: Speed Read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - 134 Pages in 53 Minutes
Day 3/30: Speed Read The Richest Man in Babylon - 128 Pages in 80 Minutes


  • KP

    Book #4 finished. That was BIZARRE!

    • Paul Nowak, Founder

      Nice! Metamorphosis is definitely a bizarre book. I like how the author doesn’t really tell you exactly what he morphs into. It allows your imagination to run wild with how he monstrous he may have looked.

  • Miguel Joaquín Domínguez