Kurt Janisch is an ambitious, but frustrated country policeman. Things are not going right in his life - at least not fast enough. But a country policeman gets talking to a lot of people in the line of duty - particularly women. Lonely, middle-aged women, women with a bit of property perhaps...
Matters go from bad to worse: for Kurt Janisch, for the women who fall for him. Someone sees too much, knows too much. Soon there's a body in a lake and a murderer to be caught.
A thriller set amid the mountains and small towns of southern Austria, Greed is Elfriede Jelinek's most accessible novel since The Piano Teacher.
But as always Jelinek gives the reader a lot more to think about: the ecological costs of affluence, the inescapable burden and inadequacy of our everyday words, the exploitative nature of relations between men and women, and the impossibility of life without relationships.
A meditative reflection on ageing, Greed is another chapter in Jelinek's chronicling of her love/hate relationship with Austria.
Elfriede Jelinek was born in Austria in 1946 and grew up in Vienna where she attended the famous Music Conservatory. The leading Austrian writer of her generation, she has been awarded the Heinrich Boll Prize for her contribution to German literature. The film by Michael Haneke of The Piano Teacher won the three main prizes at Cannes in 2001. In 2004, Elfriede Jelinek was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.