I was sure that before the end, the story would veer back toward the commonplace. Gregor would turn out to be "dreaming." The rules of realism would ultimately prevail.
Oh, I had a lot to learn about Franz Kafka. With a courage unparalleled in my experience, Kafka forced us to follow Gregor Samsa day to day, in the family home, in his loathsome insect body. The conventional pacing made it all the more harrowing. The solid context in which Gregor expires from contempt, petty cruelty, and finally indifference made it unendurable, yet crucial. Here was a story that defied logic completely and with complete conviction and it meant something.
Well, well... I think Rice might have hit a bull'seye with that one.