The last time I read it, I was maybe forty. I thought it was the saddest story I'd ever read. It actually made me cry.
And yet Kafka was barely able to get through his first public reading of the Metamorphosis, because he couldn't stop laughing. Keeping this in mind might impact your experience next time you read it (such was the case with me), but perhaps it won't at all.
But while things end badly for Gregor, it's his family that undergoes a truly meaningful metamorphosis, which many people forget. Or perhaps they don't buy it. But the last few pages really are quite sunny.
Great thread. I'll be back.