Summer House with Swimming Pool

Summer House with Swimming Pool

by Herman Koch

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

The blistering, compulsively readable new novel from Herman Koch, author of the instant New York Times bestseller The Dinner.

When a medical procedure goes horribly wrong and famous actor Ralph Meier winds up dead, Dr. Marc Schlosser needs to come up with some answers. After all, reputation is everything in this business. Personally, he’s not exactly upset that Ralph is gone, but as a high profile doctor to the stars, Marc can't hide from the truth forever.

It all started the previous summer. Marc, his wife, and their two beautiful teenage daughters agreed to spend a week at the Meier’s extravagant summer home on the Mediterranean. Joined by Ralph and his striking wife Judith, her mother, and film director Stanley Forbes and his much younger girlfriend, the large group settles in for days of sunshine, wine tasting, and trips to the beach. But when a violent incident disrupts the idyll, darker motivations are revealed, and suddenly no one can be trusted. As the ultimate holiday soon turns into a nightmare, the circumstances surrounding Ralph’s later death begin to reveal the disturbing reality behind that summer’s tragedy.

Featuring the razor-sharp humor and acute psychological insight that made The Dinner an international phenomenon, Summer House with Swimming Pool is a controversial, thought-provoking novel that showcases Herman Koch at his finest.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804138833
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 04/28/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 602,378
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

HERMAN KOCH is the author of eight novels and three collections of short stories. The Dinner, his sixth novel, has been published in twenty-five countries, and was an international bestseller. He currently lives in Amsterdam.

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Summerhouse with Swimming Pool 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
Summer House With Swimming Pool is the seventh novel by Dutch actor, television and radio producer, newspaper columnist and author, Herman Koch, and the second book to be translated into English. Dr Marc Schlosser, a General Physician whose patients appreciate the time he takes with them, is summoned to appear before the Board of Medical Examiners. One of his patients, celebrity actor Ralph Meier, has died, and a question hangs over his medical management. Some eighteen months earlier, Marc, his wife and two daughters spent a week at a Mediterranean summer house with Meier’s family, an ageing Hollywood director and his very young girlfriend. Most of Marc’s narration is spent recounting, in hindsight, the events of that vacation that led to a shocking climax, and its aftermath. Koch so cleverly crafts his story that the reader is left wondering exactly what crimes or misdeeds were committed during that summer interlude, and by whom. While Marc’s narration is entirely reliable, it is, of course, wholly biased, and it is equally apparent that others who contribute to the account of events have their own agendas. Many of the characters are easy to find loathsome or obnoxious and none is quite what they first seem to be. Marc demonstrates an ability to shift priorities and abandon responsibility with breath-taking ease, as well as a cold, calculating nature, which makes his actions seem thoroughly plausible. Koch’s novel touches on the Dutch medical system, paedophiles, what is appropriate treatment of sexual deviants, justice, revenge and taking the law into one’s own hands. It is a given that we cannot know mere acquaintances to any significant degree, but Koch’s novel will have the reader questioning just how well we can truly know those really close to us: our children, our parents and our spouses. Koch gives the reader some marvellously descriptive prose (his depiction of abscesses and tumours is particularly imaginative) and he inserts some moments of sharp (and occasionally quite dark) humour to relieve the building tension. Female readers will be grateful that not all men are this shallow and most readers will hope their doctor is not this cynical. This thought-provoking, powerful, and compelling read is flawlessly translated by Sam Garrett. A brilliant novel that stays with the reader long after the last page is turned.
FromtheZoo More than 1 year ago
I had read The Dinner and was consequently prepared for the characters in this book to be just as unlikable. However, I wasn't prepared to feel so offended while reading. Like The Dinner, the plot is interesting and explores how individuals react to difficult situations and the often unethical choices they make. The author is a very good writer and presents these scenarios very well. What troubled me were the consistent negative depictions of and attitudes toward women. Women were reduced to sex objects and shown no respect. Even the youngest women were treated sexually. I'm hoping that the views in the book do not represent the author's own attitudes and are merely used for literary effect. If so, then the author was successful. I've heard good art is supposed to make you feel strong emotions. By that measure, this was a good book. The emotion I felt though was disgusted.
Greenfritos More than 1 year ago
Started well, but kind of fizzles at the end for me.  I wanted a good summer read, this sufficed for that.  It was a quick read, held your attention to the end as you want to know what really happened.  Still, I felt the strong start didn't continue to the end.  I really felt the end was just that, not a conclusion.  It's like the book was moving forward, and all of a sudden it was wrapped up and done.  The development of the plot just stopped.  It's like they ran out of paper.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book to consider it for my book club. We are elderly but not shocked. This book was too preoccupied with sex without it being really important to the plot. The story was hard to follow among the various characters. Sorry but I would not recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definitely the same guy that wrote The Dinner, but better story overall. Ending was subtle, but fantastic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the Dinner way more than this book. I stuck with it, but there were a few times I almost put it down for good.I didn't like the ending and some parts were just a little too gross for me. I didn't think that added to the story. I loved the Dinner though so I am hoping maybe his next book will be better.
SuseNJ More than 1 year ago
Superb!! For the intelligent reader only, one who appreciates subtlety and undercurrents. A marvelous story.
Injoy-Life More than 1 year ago
Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch was a difficult book to read. It was sheer drudgery to finish it. I started & stopped reading over a period of several weeks & it was torturous. I gave it one star. The characters, while articulately drawn, were disgusting, repulsive & throughly unlikable. I couldn’t decide which man repelled me more, Marc the doctor, or Ralph the actor. They both were reprehensible beings. The women were insipid, whining, immature manipulators. The subject matter was unpleasant to say the least. I do not recommend this book. I received a complimentary copy from Crown Publishing & NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Started out a bit slowly, but turned out to be a very good read. I really enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A thoroughly enjoyable story that is engrossing & even informative since it concerns a doctor & his diagnoses in some cases but also an interesting story. This book was, in my opinion, better than his last book, The Dinner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a very intriguing read! Much like "The Dinner" , Herman Koch has a captivating story line. I would highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maybe my misjudgment, but the book is alright
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't even finish this book. Prepared for characters to be unlikable but not this bad. Sex is fine but the amount in here is totally unrelated to anything. Very sloooooow going.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not as good as I expected. The story had no where to go and none of the characters held my interest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not an easy or enjoyable read.
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kalevala More than 1 year ago
Told by a doctor. Another family with secrets. Adolescent angst. I loved The Dinner because it was a different type of plot. If you liked the Dinner you might enjoy this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was engrossing and compelling. Sometimes it made me laugh-out-loud. The story is so rich and the characters are so vivid. I did not want it to end, and thought about it for days after I finished reading it. A great "book club" discussion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago