Book Fight!

Tough love for literature


Episode 94: Elfriede Jelinek, Greed

This week’s book was a donor pick, and boy was it a weird one. Elfriede Jelinek is an Austrian author sometimes compared to Thomas Bernhard, though Greed strikes us as more difficult (and more stand-offish) than Bernhard’s novels. Jelinek wrote this novel, her tenth, just before winning the Nobel Prize for literature, though the win wasn’t without its controversy; one member of the Nobel committee resigned in protest.


We try to decide whether the book is intentionally off-putting, or if perhaps there’s something strange about the translation. We also talk about whether the book is difficult in an interesting way, a frustrating way, or both.

Then we move on and delve into some fan fiction, because that’s kind of our thing. This week’s sampling includes a pairing that pretty much no one in the known universe, outside of the author, could have seen coming.

As always, we’re happy to hear what you think about the stuff we talked about this week. You can email us directly, hit us up on Twitter, or just leave a comment here on the site. Also: we’re on Facebook, and gradually getting better about posting studio pics and links and such. So come visit us over there, like our page, etc. etc.

To check out today’s sponsor, Story Supply Co., head over to their website, or straight to the Kickstarter for the Pocket Staple Notebook

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Download Episode 94 (right-click, save-as)