(Credit: New York Public Library)

Franz Kafka's novella about Gregor Samsa's sudden transformation into a large bug is available to read on the New York Public Library's Instagram (iOS, Android).

Like the Insta Novel installments preceding it, The Metamorphosis works like an Instagram Story. The novel's cover art and page animations were created by artist César Pelizer with Hornet Inc, a production company.

Pelizer's interpretation of the main character is a bug-boy hybrid jumping on his bed, never quite reaching the window. As users progress through the Insta Novel, a tiny beetle flutters its wings in the page corner.

SEE: 'Insta Novels' give classic literature new life as Instagram Stories in NYPL experiment

Angela Montefinise, NYPL's Senior Director of Public Relations said the continuation of Insta Novels isn't definite after "The Metamorphosis," but readers can look forward to a special holiday novel release.

"We are focused on finishing up the 2018 iteration of Insta Novels right now," Montefinise told "The holiday release will be the last planned Insta Novel for now, but we're going to evaluate to see what the plans will be moving forward."

Insta Novels launched Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland in August with illustrations by Mother in New York artist Magoz.

The novel, divided into two parts, was a huge success. After it's launch, part one's animated cover became NYPL's most successful Instagram Story at the time, with more than 45,000 impressions. Part two topped it with more than 47,000 impressions.

NYPL released The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in October. For Halloween, NYPL added Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven as a surprise.

(Credit: New York Public Library)

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Updated 12/10/18 10:15 a.m.


  1. The New York Public Library released Franz Kafka's novella The Metamorphosis as an Insta Novel on Instagram.
  2. NYPL's latest installment was preceded by Alice in Wonderland, The Yellow Wallpaper, and The Raven. NYPL said readers can expect a holiday installment next.

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Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.