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Greed

3.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  258 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Greed is the story of Kurt Janisch, an ambitious but frustrated country policeman, and the lonely women he seduces. It is a thriller set amid the mountains and small towns of southern Austria, where the investigation of a dead girl’s body in a lake leads to the discovery of more than a single crime.

In her signature style, Jelinek chronicles the exploitative nature of relat
...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by Seven Stories Press (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 805)
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Shanmugam
Jan 25, 2016 Shanmugam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I guess the question one needs to ask is not, why Elfriede Jelinek doesn’t handle subjects other than emotional exploitation, male sexual violation and middle age loneliness, rather it should be how many writers are capable of handling these things like she does. A man made useless lake, the lake is cold, no aquatic animals live there, nothing grows apart from weeds, it gets a ripple sometimes like the times when a dead body is thrown, it can’t hold that for long either, it returns that body to ...more
Dapsax
Aug 28, 2014 Dapsax rated it did not like it
This book is like white noise. I don't honestly know how I got through it. It's a good book to read if you want to appear to be doing something but are in fact thinking deeply about what you're going to have for dinner.
Cody
Oct 06, 2010 Cody rated it really liked it
lmao @ all these pussies in reviews below moanin & gripin about the book being too hard, El Friede goes APESHIT on tha page and has u spitting out teeth when you go read it at 8am on way to work. i think the longest paragraph stretches across 8 pages, its nuts. hell yea its all over the place and Bless This Mess, sarcastic and sneery and just hte right amount of mess. peep:


Cell phone on, call out, horrors already prepared, packed, frozen, and discovered by two persons.

The fawn spilled out of
...more
Leo Robertson
When I was reading this, I got the impression that the narrator(s) was stuck in her living room on an overcast day, bitter, lonely and twitching the curtains, so it was interesting to learn that Jelinek is severely agoraphobic. The writing draws you in like that.

She's a clever cynic, and I'm not sure there's enough about. Read this book and you fall straight into her fussy, angry prose, but it never feels off-putting, only honest. Everything is anxious, taut and paranoid.

Um... not sure what more
...more
Paul Curd
Dec 21, 2011 Paul Curd rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Elfriede Jelinek won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2004, but I had never read her work before. One of her previous novels, The Piano Teacher, was apparently made into a film that won several prizes in Cannes in 2001, but I have never seen it. So I had little to prepare me for Greed, her latest work to be translated into English. But I did have some preparation: last year, as a bet, I read James Joyce’s Ulysses. There are many similarities. If you like complex, stream-of-consciousness literat ...more
Derek Baldwin
Jul 28, 2011 Derek Baldwin rated it it was amazing
Astonishing novel, though not at all an easy read. In terms of what the author self-mockingly calls "narrative debris" relatively little (definitely) happens, though quite a few more things besides might have happened - - - only we're not sure because the author doesn't quite make that clear! In fact she goes off at tangents more or less all of the time: the fact that people drive too fast, treat one another with contempt, pollute the environment, undermine mountains with mining activities causi ...more
Dridge
Jul 05, 2016 Dridge rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Da kann die Sprache noch so interessant sein (dazu später ausführlich mehr), „Gier“ interessiert den Leser nicht im geringsten: aufgrund von Jelineks Erzählstil schaffen es die 462 Seiten nicht, mehr als 5 oder 6 Ereignisse im Gesamten zu erzählen. Warum? Jelinek entscheidet sich in diesem Buch für einen sehr ausufernden, fortschwemmenden (um an das Hauptmotiv des Wassers anzuknüpfen, mit der Geschwindigkeit von 20 Knoten, haha!) – das Bezugsthema schwimmt fort, und das Bezugsobjekt auch – Erzäh ...more
James Edwards
Feb 08, 2011 James Edwards rated it it was amazing
this book fuckin hurt me.
Jonathan
I tried to read Elfriede Jelinek's The Piano Teacher a few years ago but found it to be written in a cold, unforgiving style that I wasn't in the mood for at the time. I had considered trying it again for GLM IV but saw a copy of Greed in my local library and thought I'd give that a go instead.

Greed centres around a country policeman, Kurt Janisch and the various women with whom he's having affairs with. The story as such is simple and the main details are disclosed early in the novel. Kurt Jani
...more
Andrew
An odd little novel, nowhere near as funny or as dark as Jelinek's The Piano Teacher. Instead, this is an almost pure stream of consciousness, set in the backwoods of Austria. The writing is indeed stunning, and it is decidedly sinister and effective-- I'll think twice about woodland sex in the future-- but it's difficult to say how much I truly "enjoyed" reading it. Worthwhile, but at times arduous, this is something that will appeal to the handful of others who like modernist literature-- and ...more
Kent Winward
Dec 29, 2015 Kent Winward rated it liked it
I'm always troubled when reviewing books that were written in another language, partly because you know something is lost in the translation, but you can also tell that something is lost in the cultural translation. This book had layers upon layers of nuance and depth, but like the lake holding the body of the dead girl, I had a hard time getting the meaning out.

Jelinek takes the familiar story that could have been cribbed from any B movie where the cop is a killer and uses it to discourse on A
...more
Eva
Sep 21, 2010 Eva rated it did not like it
Did not withstand my 50-page test to catch my interest. Perhaps many things were lost in the translation, but I'm confused why the author was awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature. Was the criteria to cram every known word in the dictionary into 330 pages? I gave up around the time she started to dissect why women write to inmates. Not impressed.
Michael Steger
Oct 24, 2012 Michael Steger rated it it was amazing
Powerful, grim, beautiful, chilling novel-length prose poem. Jelinek has a lot to say, on a lot of subjects, and she goes about saying it in a striking and original style. Sui generis.
Nadeya
Jun 22, 2015 Nadeya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
L'argomento del sesso violento ed abusato, espressione di possesso e sottomissione, è troppo ripetitivo, quasi ossessivo. Nel romanzo i protagonisti non hanno un nome proprio, sono la donna e l'uomo, a sottolineare il modello assoluto di un rapporto in cui la donna è usata e oppressa. Il linguaggio è esclusivamente metaforico, ed evoca una successioni di immagini spesso scontate. Se si trattasse di un racconto sarebbe veramente geniale ed efficace: in poche pagine la Jelinek riesce alla perfezio ...more
Manuela Munch
May 20, 2008 Manuela Munch rated it it was amazing
outstanding novel, story and language are fascinating and it has a great ending.
Aleksandra
Aug 28, 2013 Aleksandra rated it did not like it
I am definitely not avantgarde enough for this writer.
Ira
Nov 24, 2010 Ira rated it did not like it
Disappointing and self indulgent.
Cristina Ana
Oct 12, 2013 Cristina Ana rated it really liked it
I decided rereading Greed, after being scandalized in a recent conversation by the comparison someone dared make between Jelinek and Herta Mueller. I read Jelinek years ago, and only in German, and I would be ready to give in this much: the English translation doesn’t do her justice (I remember as my one personal literary ambition starting to translate Die Liebhaberinnen into Romanian in 2005, only to be detoured from my project and immensely disappointed by the translation published only months ...more
M M
Apr 27, 2013 M M rated it it was ok
Elfriede Jelinek's Greed is supposedly her most accessible work. At least, it says so on the blurb. If this is accessible, I don't know what her other novels are like. It completely defeated me. Jelinek's prose is dense, long (paragraphs extending for pages), frequently unpunctuated; it roars in places, quivers with ferocious disdain for its characters (many of whom are unnamed). Nominally, this is about a country policeman who wants to amass property and so seduces every middle-aged landowning ...more
Leandra Cate
Aug 09, 2009 Leandra Cate rated it liked it
Well, I wish I could say I enjoyed reading this book, but I can't. I did find it bold, in a way, and certainly irreverent. If an author can be credited with courage for saying to hell with editing, then Jelinek is certainly courageous. All 300 pages runs as a kind of unstructured, repetitive, running mental commentary - the kind of thing, in short, that I wrote when I was an overconfident preteen who thought that editing was for people who couldn't write. That aspect made it not pleasurable to r ...more
Salvatore
Jun 08, 2016 Salvatore rated it liked it
One of the most trying books I've ever read. Fascinating that despite the fact that most of the book tries to deconstruct what the reader wants from a narrative and thus also refuses to give it, it's such a relief when - at the end - the narrator allows for these wants. Such a tease! Jelinek proves I'm a pleb.
Wiebke
Aug 06, 2015 Wiebke rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Mehrmals versucht und gescheitert- ich finde es unlesbar.
David Flett
I couldn't finish this. I couldn't understand it.
Alex Strout
Apr 07, 2015 Alex Strout rated it it was ok
I love Jelinek but this did nothing for me.
Luiza
Jun 25, 2012 Luiza rated it really liked it
The mind of a human is at least as large as the Universe!Interesting writing style, not very easy to follow!
Stefanie
May 29, 2007 Stefanie marked it as to-read
maybe I'll read this. I've found her other books unreadable, but I remain intrigued.
Fontaine
Mar 26, 2015 Fontaine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, nobel-prize
Lecture pénible. Je mets une étoile pour la misanthropie.
Susn
Jan 28, 2009 Susn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abgebrochen
3x begonnen, jedes mal abgebrochen - unlesbar
Erin
May 08, 2009 Erin rated it did not like it
there's not a bookshelf labeled "did not finish"
Alexandra
Sep 19, 2007 Alexandra added it
Recommends it for: nobody
Shelves: exchange
pffffffffff
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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)
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“I only enjoy what I can see, because I don't feel anything. For example, your new wallpaper. I like it and it can stay, it's quiet and it keeps quiet at least. Luckily I don't have to feel it, just see it.” 2 likes
“Everyone wants to look for something of their own, a house of their own, a child of their own, a partner of their own, entirely for themselves alone. No one is satisfied with a room of their own any more.” 2 likes
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