The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek (Laura's Review)

The Piano Teacher
Elfriede Jelinek
280 pages

This review will be very, very short, because I really disliked this book and was unable to finish it. Erika Korhut is a young woman who, having failed in pursuit of a career as a concert pianist, now teaches piano in Vienna. She lives with her domineering mother who controls every aspect of Erika's life. Erika has no friends, and no romantic relationships, and her mother ensures it stays that way. At the time I abandoned this book, Erika was already engaged in self-destructive behavior, which was about to continue through a relationship with one of her students. But I found the characters lacked depth and were completely dispicable. I didn't care what happened to Erika and was really disappointed by this work from a Nobel prize-winning author.

My original review can be found here.

1 comment

Bibliomaniac said...

I did manage to finish the novel. I admit it was disturbing. The funny thing is that I found it similar in some ways to the movie Black Swan. The protagonists in both are having trouble with exploring their sexuality. Erika's loneliness is painful and is now a self-defeating cycle. Her mother has effectively destroyed any ability she might have had to save herself. Her subconscious wish to be free from the suffocating cocoon of her life manifests itself in her masochistic behaviour. It prompts the question: How can society save these people from themselves?

© Read the NobelsMaira Gall