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3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  625 ratings  ·  52 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
Mass Market Paperback, 281 pages
Published February 7th 1996 by Seuil (first published 1989)
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Nobel Prize my ass. Not since "Tropic of Cancer," has sex been so boring. And there's sex on every single page, violent sex even, and yet somehow it's so dull. The larger political point was already clear in the first chapter, so the rest of this book was just needless suffering. Poorly written, no story, absolutely mind-dumbing overall.
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
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...more
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...more
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спасибо господину белобратову, что хотя бы этот роман, наверное, самый бескомпромиссный и жесткий, одновременно и самый личный из елинековских шедевров вышел в его авторизированном переводе, а не в каком-то другом варианте. «симпозиум», к сожалению, неспособен более на экстатические прозрения с обложкой, как то было при первом издании «любовниц» – незабвенные две креветки с небогатым внутренним миром (согласно аннотации на рисунок) великолепно проиллюстрировали внутренний мир бригитты и паулы. и...more
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...more
-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.

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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...more
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...more
[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...more
Bob Lopez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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.
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...more
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...more
«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
Dec 30, 2011 erica added it  ·  review of another edition
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...more
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...more
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...more
Mar 28, 2007 Tim rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who really like Jelinek
I was disappointed with this book. I loved The Piano Teacher and Wonderful Wonderful Times. This was a bit of a dud. For starters, it was repetitive. Mostly, the woman's husband just hit her and had humiliating sex with her. Rape might be a better word. I get that she has issues with male/female relations, but this was just sorta absurd. Despite all the graphic sex, it was even kinda boring. I was drawn in to her other novels and thought about them for weeks after I read them. I couldn't stop...more
This is kind of a default rating because I don't know how I feel about this book. This book is sex-filled, but not very sexy. Jelinek uses sex in the narrative to draw comparison to capitalism as a theme, this was apparent quickly. Sex is on every page, no exaggeration, rough sex, often violent sex. Even with the monotony of the narrative, I couldn't stop reading because it was shocking, and the use of language was amazing, Jelinek definitely qualifies as a wordsmith. I feel a tip of the hat sho...more
Iñaki Tofiño
La señora tendrá el premio Nobel de literatura, pero es un tormento. No quiero ni pensar lo mal que lo tuvo que pasar el pobre Carlos Fortea traduciendo este peñazo: inconexo, absurdo, deshilvanado, insulso.
Sí, claro, la dominación capitalista de los cuerpos, la sumisión de la mujer en el seno del matrimonio pequeñoburgués, el sexo como metáfora de la vorágine industrial; eso lo entendemos todos, pero, por favor, hay que tener una férrea fuerza de voluntad para acabar el libro.
En fin, se acabó e...more
To be sure, this is a difficult book. But it is also one of the most sustained, intense, acid feats of prose I have ever seen. Though skiers are a group for whom Jelinek lavishes special bile, her own writing reminds me of a terrifyingly reckless and exciting downhill skier. Jelinek puts forth a radically feminist, radically anti-capitalist vision all the more powerfully for the symbolic and surrealist chances that she takes. This is all out war, folks, and for once the good side is winning.
Der Roman ist eine endlose Reihe aus Allegorien, Metaphern, Anspielungen, Assoziationen - angestrengt anstrengend. Außerdem erscheint die Erzählung doch zu einseitig. Entspräche diese Erzählung der Sichtweise der Autorin, wäre diese zu bemitleiden. Männer sind böse, sie sind nicht mehr als Tiere, die ihren niederträchtigen Trieben nachgehen. Es gibt keine positiv konnotierten männlichen Personen in diesem Roman. Die Protagonistin ist auf ganzer Linie zu bemitleiden. Schade.
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Elfriede Jelinek is an Austrian playwright and novelist. She was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Literature "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.", though her election remains controversial as one of the Swedish Academy members left and said that giving he...more
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
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