Nicholas Spice writes:

Jelinek’s work over the past forty years has been intensely preoccupied with male sexual violence against women. Her most recent novel, Gier (published in English as Greed), concerns a man not dissimilar in class and background to Josef Fritzl. Kurt Janisch is a country policeman who kills a 15-year-old girl by pressing on her carotid artery while she is giving him a blowjob in the back of his patrol car, and then dumps her body in the local lake. The considerable imaginative achievement of Gier lies in capturing and holding for a moment the darkness at the core of Janisch’s psyche, the same darkness that billows up from the cellar in Amstetten.

(LRB 5 June 2008)

Other Titles of Interest