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3.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  869 Ratings  ·  68 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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(showing 1-30 of 1,848)
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Jul 04, 2007 tai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 12, 2014 M. Sarki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
(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
Nov 21, 2015 Ioanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Παλαιότερα δεν τους παρεμπόδιζαν τόσο συχνά τους χαρούμενους κατακτητές. Σήμερα φυσάει πιο τσουχτερός αέρας".
Nov 24, 2015 Jana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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 about this book.
Nov 27, 2013 Shanmugam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 02, 2016 grimaud rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Lectura áspera, fría y desagradable, de esfuerzo sin recompensa. Lo que es la historia se podría meter en un cuento de veinte páginas. El resto del libro lo llena el estilo rocoso de Jelinek. No hay diálogos, los personajes nunca se expresan. Hay multitud de metáforas y eufemismos que no siempre se entienden (me imagino al traductor sudando la gota gorda) y la narración se interrumpe constantemente con las reflexiones y opiniones de la autora. De vez en cuando salta una frase brillante pero en g ...more
Rob Bliss
Nov 27, 2013 Rob Bliss rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 03, 2012 Bronwyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 27, 2008 Katrinka rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
The language of porn, the story of modern slavery. Harsh and well written.
[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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
justin louie
Aug 09, 2015 justin louie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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  ·  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
Amelia Hassani
Jan 18, 2015 Amelia Hassani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favesies
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
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:

Maria Quinn
Oct 25, 2015 Maria Quinn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not my cup of tea, I can really see why a lot of people had strong opinions about the Novel Prize
Pam C
Jul 25, 2012 Pam C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 26, 2015 Karmen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pbs-sent
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
Nov 18, 2014 Lara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: university
Bob Lopez
Sep 16, 2011 Bob Lopez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 12, 2015 Lionzo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
Mar 16, 2014 justme rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Με θύμωσε πολύ αυτό το βιβλίο. Χαίρομαι που έφυγε από πάνω μου...
Erick Del Río
May 24, 2014 Erick Del Río rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 07, 2016 Thomas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Lust is a uniquely difficult and unpleasant book to read. It tells the creepy tale of a rich family in an alpine town through their sexual relationship. Little happens - there is a slightly curved plot arc with Gerti's infidelity and then a rather surprising (considering no previous concessions are given to the conventions of plot) twist of an ending that (while not one of the various twists I expected) hammered the final nail in the coffin - Jelenek does everything she can to make you loath the ...more
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
Dec 31, 2015 Tinka rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not my cup of tea. It was a pain to read it.
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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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“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.” 1 likes
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