Melody




Translated by Joachim Neugroschel
ISBN-13: 9781852427504
Publisher: Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
Pub. Date: September 2002
288pp


Erika Kohut is a woman in her thirties. Her life consists of nothing but her piano teaching at a prestigious Vienna Conservatory and her domineering mother. However, she is tired of being living in her mother's shadow forever and she did a rebellious thing one day and bought a dress. Furious at her vanity and thinking that no man deserves her, her mother has a row with her. Though tired of the charade, yet Erika succumbs to her mother's woes in the end. It is not her intention and a sign of weakness but because she is so used to the life with her mother. It is as if there is no escape for her no matter where she goes.

And there comes a student named Walter Klemmer, a handsome young man who walks into her life. Walter is arrogant and ambitious, thinking that he could change her life and everything. Initially Erika is curious about this student who appears to show his affections for her, and slowly she finds herself attracted by him and there they began their affair. However, this affair is fueled with a dangerous passion where there is a confusion between violence and love and Erika will later finds herself consumed by the ectasy of self-destruction.

The Piano Teacher was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize for Literature and was written by an Austrian writer. Frankly speaking, I was intrigued by the plot initially but as I flipped through the pages, I began to find it a drag. One thing about reading a translated book is, I often wonder if I have missed anything from its original version. Although I really admire the talent and skills of the translators and understand that translating is no easy task, it goes without saying that the original stand out amongst the rest. The Piano Teacher is a good read if you are into literature, however in my case I find myself enjoying the characters more as I find the author had done a great job in describing them, especially their emotions.
7 Responses
  1. Ladytink_534 Says:

    Hasn't this been made into a movie or something? It sounds familiar.


  2. This sounds like an interesting one, Melody. I'll have to check into it. Thanks for the review!


  3. Alice Teh Says:

    Human emotions, what can I say? Powerful to the point of destruction, if one is careless. But then again, a person can never be too careful.

    Great review as always, Melody!


  4. Jaimie Says:

    Too bad. I would like to read a good domineering mother book. You could be right about translation problems.


  5. Melody Says:

    Jen, I think you are right. I have no idea that this book was made into a movie.

    Thanks, Wendy! I'm hoping to hear your thoughts if you have the chance to read it. :)

    Alice, I absolutely agree with you on that! ;)

    Jaimie, I hope you will give the book a try. Who knows? You might like it more than me. ;)


  6. Nymeth Says:

    I have never read this one, but I have seen the movie, and although I am not easy to shock I have to admit it was a bit too much for me. A lot of the scenes were really graphic, and not as well handled as they could have been.

    But I am sure the book is better, not only because things are left to the reader's imagination, but also because, like you said, conveying the character's emotions well is much easier.

    When I'm reading a translation I also always worry that I'm missing something.


  7. Melody Says:

    Now your comments about the movie have piqued my curiosity, Nymeth. LOL. Not sure if I'm able to find the DVD though, but even if I do I'm pretty sure some scenes would be censored.

    I didn't really enjoy the book, but hopefully if I were to pick up to re-read it one day, I'd change my opinion. :P