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The Piano Teacher
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1001 book reviews > The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek

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Tatjana JP | 293 comments The Piano Teacher - rating 2 stars.
I must say I did not like this book at all. Written by a women about a women Erika Kohut, who is in mid 30s, teaches piano and is living with her possessive mother. She is a bad teacher, has strange habits to go to peep shows and observe other people having sex (in Vienna, in park!!!), sleeps in one double bed with her mother and generally has bad opinion on many things, including emigrants, children, marriage... Story turns into a weird love relationship with her student, and develops into a brutal and violent affair. I hated this self-denial, annihilation point of the story, or whatever it is... Definitely not my favorite author. Still, I gave it 2 stars because it is not badly written.


message 2: by Jen (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jen | 1608 comments Mod
I hated reading it but I agree that it is well written.


message 3: by Kristel (last edited Aug 02, 2018 06:11PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kristel (kristelh) | 4108 comments Mod
Jen wrote: "I hated reading it but I agree that it is well written."

It was a hard book to read but I also agree that it is well written. I reviewed it in 2016, gave it 3 stars for literary merit.

Whee! I did it. I finished. This book, The Piano Teacher by the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Austrian author Elfriede Jelinek, is a tough read. I think Ms Jelinek is a powerful writer but I did not enjoy this story of Erika Kohut, a piano teacher at the Vienna Conservatory. Erika lives with her mother who controls Erika's every move. Walter Klemmer is one of Erika's piano students. Walter wants Erika but only for the chase. This is a story of control. It is not an easy read and I could not recommend it to anyone as an enjoyable read but if you want to read a book that is repulsive in every way, filled with sadomasochism, and possibly could be considered erotica. This is the book for you. It is a 1001 Book so if your working on that list, here's one that you may want to consider. I gave it 3 stars because I did appreciate the author's literary talent or as described by The Nobel Prize Academy, "extraordinary linguistic zeal". Erika the protagonist has learned to be in control. She needs to control by pain because that is what she knows. Her mother has taught her well. She has not learned of love that is free of pain. She doesn't even know how to be a lover but has a great desire for sexual release (the urinating, I think, is a picture of orgasm) but I could be wrong. This story is so very awful on so many levels, these characters have no redeeming qualities. You are left feeling like you are covered in the grime of mud, feces, urine, saliva, and blood.


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