If you're trying to persuade your partner to take an irreversible vow of chastity, this book would make a great gift. If you're trying to persuade your teenage kids to take piano lessons, it might be equally effective; I don't know your kids. In addition to its cutting irony, parody of pornological discourse, absurdist play with cultural cliches and rage against gender inequality, Jelinek's experimental use of voices and her musical ear (rendered well in this translation) justify the Nobel Prize she received amid controversy in 2004.
The most popular work from provocative Austrian Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek, The Piano Teacher is a searing portrait of a woman bound between a repressive society and her darkest desires. Erika Kohut is a piano teacher at the prestigious and formal Vienna Conservatory, who still lives with her domineering and possessive mother. Her life appears boring, but Erika, a quiet thirty-eight-year-old, secretly visits Turkish peep shows at night and watched sadomasochistic films. Meanwhile, a handsome, self-absorbed, seventeen-year-old student has become enamored with Erika and sets out to seduce her. She resists him at first--but then the dark passions roiling under the piano teacher's subdued exterior explode in a release of perversity, violence, and degradation.