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3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  755 ratings  ·  60 reviews
In a quaint Austrian ski resort, things are not quite what they seem. Hermann, the manager of a paper mill, has decided that sexual gratification begins at home. Which means Gerti - his wife and property. Gerti is not asked how she feels about the use Hermann puts her to. She is a receptacle into which Hermann pours his juices, nastily, briefly, brutally. The long-sufferin ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 1st 1993 by Serpent's Tail (first published 1989)
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Community Reviews

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this book has two aspects - the brilliant analysis and mirroring of sex with capitalism, and the wearying repetition. by the first thirty pages, much of which i read on the el (hoping no one would glance into the book and see the inevitably sordid & brutal sex scene of the moment), i emerged from the el tunnel with new eyes toward the world, as if the veil had been dropped. it's a rare book that accomplishes such a thing in its readers! so i was sold. but despite how brilliant it was, i'm no ...more
M. Sarki

Sitting down this autumn to the work of transposing all my hand-written work from last summer onto my computer I am somewhat surprised at how relevant this particular work of Elfriede Jelinek is to what I myself had been impelled to write about. Reading for me is far more than a diversion from my life. This novel makes me think. Clearly I am no longer of the patriarchal and consumer-driven society I have been born into, and I have done my utmost to insure
Nobody does it better than Elfriede Jelinek, when it comes to writing about the filthy side of human beings, not just any dark side, real filthy side!

A husband sexually abuses his housewife. Industrialists and politicians abuse the nature. Herman is the manager (director) of a paper mill in Austrian countryside, who exploits the nature and local people. Gerti, his housewife, is sexually exploited by Hermann on daily basis.

Gerti wanders into a nearby skiing resort in her evening gown and slippers
(trigger warning: rape)

I loved a lot of this book. Elfriede Jelinek is a misandrist extraordinaire and refuses to be subtle in her indictments of men. That's great. But after a certain point I needed this book to be done. Desperately so. I had to goad myself with sugar cookies and a strawberry smoothie in order to go through with my final push. There are only so many euphemisms for dick and forced sex that a person can reasonably handle, and it gets repetitive and exhausting after a while. The o
Rob Bliss
A line in this: "My thanks for listening to these insults."

Jeanette Winterson may write with her head in the clouds, but Jelinek writes from the perspective of mud and blood and piss and shit. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Reality in its ugliest form. Every line in this is an insult against something. The sex is rape, man against woman, but everything is a rape of everything here. And it's the narrator's voice throughout, I don't think the female protagonist speaks a line of dialogu
I couldn't finish it. I think Jelinek is the only person who understands it completely and perfectly. I sure don't. There is something deeply disturbing with this book.
Sep 21, 2013 Ivana added it
The language of porn, the story of modern slavery. Harsh and well written.
Κατερίνα Μαλακατέ
Η γραφή της Γέλινεκ είναι απάλευτη. Τόσο απλά, είναι μια γραφή κλινικής και νοσηρής ακρίβειας, όπου σε μονόλογο σχιζοφρενούς η συγγραφέας παραθέτει τις πιο φρικαλέες λεπτομέρειες σα να περιγράφει κοσμικό δείπνο σε περιοδικό μόδας, τόσο αδιάφορα. Η βωμολοχία δεν υπάρχει, γιατί όλες οι λέξεις χάνουν κάποια από τη δύναμή τους στη συσσώρευση, μετά από μερικές σελίδες εξοικειώνεσαι με το γεγονός πως η επόμενη πρόταση μπορεί να περιέχει την πιο σαδιστική σκηνή από καταβολής κόσμου.

Η ιστορία έχει ως εξ
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justin louie
"don't worry. we're all just as we were. just the same. soon the abyss will be full of us. our detached houses will be o'ershadowed by the interest on the loan. and the boss will be off to the byre, to us animals on the chains of our wishes, waiting to be kicked about."
Dec 30, 2011 erica added it
Recommended to erica by: carol
Shelves: gave-up
Mentioned that I wanted to read Women as Lovers and Carol sent this to me par poste (or maybe when we were in Lodi? I don't remember.)

I was going through a weird funk and this book just made that funk that much more pronounced.

I felt like there was almost a strange language gap and maybe Jelinek's descriptions didn't exactly crossover well in English? I couldn't get through most paragraphs without re-reading it then feeling disgusted about what was going on.

I ended up giving myself more enter
This won the Nobel Prize? What a joke. Its prose is all over the place, the story is depressing... And the story itself takes so fricking long to get into, such are the excessive descriptions of things, scenery and metaphors, so much so one forgets what the novel is about. I wasn't too sure that I'd want to read about sexual violence (rape in marriage) anyway.

I didn't finish it. I barely made 15 pages.

So not my thing. It was all mind-numbing, dull and erratic attempts at metaphors, analogies a
I might return to this.

It's well written, but I'm just not in the mood for modernist games. Sometimes it's ok, but the writing needs to blow me away – or at least be funny – in order to keep me turning the page.

There was some beautiful passages and set pieces (some hot sex scenes and a few funny takes on the oh-so-virile-and-powerful paterfamilias/capitalist) but eventually I decided I had better things to do. I'm still willing to give Jelinek, and even this book, another chance – I do like ha
-Incómoda en muchos sentidos.-

Género. Novela.

Lo que nos cuenta. Gerti es presa de su marido, un director de fábrica que vive en el mismo plano lo personal, lo laboral, lo sexual, lo familiar y lo emocional, mientras trata de educar a un niño cada vez más distante. La relación entre la pareja está completamente teñida por la dominación sexual ejercida sobre Gerti, que conoce a Michael, un joven con el que comienza una aventura.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

Pam C
It's easy to be tempted to think that the book is an absurd exaggeration, even misrepresentation of reality. But look around you and you will see that people are living in ridiculousness without a clue about it. This book is an atrocious exposé of the decaying human condition.

Jelinek has created a powerful and interesting narrative voice which I believe only a woman is capable of having. A difficult read certainly, because of the non-linear train of thoughts, yet it's all worth the time to open
Acidic novel detailing the relationship within one well-to-do Austrian family - father, mother and young son.

The relationships are all antagonistic and power-based. The father as head of a local paper processing plant is "the man" of the village. His relationship with his family is similar. The wife and son are deemed property and he makes use of them as he desires when he desires.

I found the book to be an extreme example of family relationships and bitter and almost nihilistic.

Not a pleasant b
[Para empezar a entender esta novela, retomé mentalmente a dos artistas austriacos: Otto Muehl (la sucia vitalidad) y Michael Haneke (la violencia del mundo riguroso). Con esto quiero decir que considero a Jelinek dentro una tradición artística nacional en donde la violencia sobre el cuerpo es un punto fundamental y es trabajado de forma radical.]

1. En la prosa de Jelinek la suciedad está como valor ontológico, justificador: la prosa enquilombada, las miles de metáforas. La dureza en el negarse
Bob Lopez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"Yes and perhaps sex is the nature of humanity. I mean, it is in humanity's nature to chase after sex, until taken whole the one and the other are of equal importance. An analogy may convince: you are what you eat. Till work pulps the human creature into a grubby heap. A melted snowman. Till, marked with the weals of his origins, he no longer even has his hole to retreat into. How long it takes, till humanity has finally been questioned and learns the truth about itself . . . "-

I never knew the
Με θύμωσε πολύ αυτό το βιβλίο. Χαίρομαι που έφυγε από πάνω μου...
Erick Del Río
Es un libro extremadamente complicado, me tarde en leerlo. Las metáforas se desbordan en cada página, desconocía de cuántas maneras una persona se podía referir al sexo salvaje y violento. Es una exitosa fusión entre una novela y un cuasi estudio sociológico de la burguesía, y de la Austria profunda, lejos de Viena. Aunque bien, el "lenguaje feminista" que maneja en algunas partes, nos puede parecer anticuado, debemos tomar en cuenta los años en los que se escribió el libro, mediados de los 80; ...more
This is becoming tiresome, even if Jelinek's insights into "contemporary" (this was written in '89) existence do bear consideration.

Later: Finally finished! I feel as if I should bathe my soul in bleach, though.
Nathaly Cárdenas
Este libro es uno de los primeros que he leido con contenido sexual y dejando de lado el morbo me parece que es genial porque describe con tanta exactitud lo que se vive en cada página
Amelia Hassani
this was the final nail in my already-sturdy feminist coffin/mansion & this book broke my 3rd eye in 80 ways when i was 17. jelinek's musicality transcended what i thought belonged in sentences, its cadence and beauty allowing for the violence it contains to be both swallowed and amplified, like those pills with dinosaur sponges in them. it's harder to recommend to friends than, say, Wonderful, Wonderful Times, but to be 17 & to have stumbled upon this & to learn that prose could be ...more
Aids macht auch nicht vor Österreich halt. Dies ist der Grund, warum der Fabrikdirektor seine Besuche bei einer Prostituierten aufgibt, denn er hat Angst davor, infiziert zu werden. Statt dessen greift er auf seine Frau Gerti zurück.
Sie will ihrem Mann und dem langweiligen Trott entgehen. Als Mutter könne sie sich nicht ausleben. Doch da verliebt sie sich in den Studenten Michael, der sie verführt. Aber auch demütigt.

Ich bin niemand, der eine vorgespielte heile Welt in Büchern suc
i can't imagine how tough it is to translate this so mad props to michael hulse, its like wall to wall deadpun deilvery and i think i'd put a gun to my head if i had to deal with it. i think the Greed had slightly more interesting prose than this one, and also significantly more plot i guess, so while i really liked this one it felt like it was orbiting the same points innumerously... the downside to jelinek's thing is that when it's not really working it kinda reads like cialis spam emails. whe ...more
Moises Sheinberg
La austriaca Elfriede Jelinek ganó el premio Nóbel de literatura en 2004 “por su flujo musical de voces y contra-voces en novelas y dramas que, con un lenguaje extraordinario, revelan el absurdo de los clichés sociales y su poder subyugador”. Estos calificativos que le dio la fundación del Nóbel le vienen perfectamente al libro que nos ocupa en esta ocasión.
En la novela Deseo, Jelinek echa mano de un incisivo cinismo para criticar a la sociedad y sus valores, en especial hace referencia al amor
«Lust de Elfriede Jelinek, é um romance pornográfico que escandalizou e entusiasmou a Alemanha pela ousadia da sua narrativa: um industrial, dono de uma fábrica de papel, temeroso em relação à SIDA, usa e satisfaz-se sexualmente com a mulher, como no passado se servia das prostitutas. Perante o olhar pouco tímido do filho, acontecem cenas de terrível violência e obscenidade. Tudo num palco íntimo e luxuoso de uma villa. Haverá lugar neste espaço para a verdadeira expressão de sentimentos? Matern ...more
Jevgenijs Scolokovs
Есть такая категория книг - "если вам нравятся такие книги, то понравится и эта книга". Эта же книга из категории " если вам нравится такие книги, то вы полный дол..б".
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Elfriede Jelinek (German: [ɛlˈfʀiːdə ˈjɛlinɛk]; born 20 October 1946) is an Austrian playwright and novelist. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2004 for her "musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that, with extraordinary linguistic zeal, reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power."

(from Wikipedia)
More about Elfriede Jelinek...
The Piano Teacher Les amantes Wonderful, Wonderful Times Greed Die Kinder der Toten

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“Jednak kiedy udaje się w uczciwą podróż w głąb siebie, zmuszony jest stwierdzić, że jest tam tak mroczno, iż nie bardzo wiadomo, gdzie człowiek trafił... Można tak dla zabicia czasu, ale ten ucieka na sam nasz widok.” 1 likes
“Ah, lust! How one would like to make it the cornerstone of self! But I wouldn't go ahead and build on it if I were you.” 0 likes
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