Benedict Cumberbatch poses with his award during the Hollywood Film Awards in Hollywood on Nov. 14, 2014.
Credit: Danny Moloshok

Thank you, Benedict Cumberbatch. Thank you for everything you've given us — "Sherlock," "The Imitation Game," "Cristiano Ronaldo: The World at His Feet." But thank you for this most of all.

You might remember Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" (Die Verwandlung) as the surreal novella you read in high school and were totally confused by. Maybe you read it again in college and wrote a five-paragraph essay with a title like, "Family Drama: Domesticity and the Grotesque in Franz Kafka's 'The Metamorphosis.'" Maybe you returned to it as an adult and it made you feel sort of terrible for an entire work week. 

No matter what you know or remember about Kafka's 1915 masterpiece, you probably remember its iconic opening:

"When Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous insect."

It's one of the greatest first sentences in all of literature, up there with "Call me Ishmael" and "Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins" and a handful of other lines that stick with you forever. You'd think there'd be no way to improve on a sentence that good. But apparently there is — just let Benedict Cumberbatch read it aloud to you.

So stop whatever you're doing and head over to BBC Radio 4 Extra, where you can listen to Cumberbatch's intoxicating recording of "The Metamorphosis." Now that it exists, it's impossible to imagine a world without it. 

The recording is available until June 10, so make haste!

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