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Zomerhuis met zwembad by Herman Koch

Zomerhuis met zwembad (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Herman Koch

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7238212,995 (3.45)32
Title:Zomerhuis met zwembad
Authors:Herman Koch
Info:Amsterdam Anthos cop. 2011
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned

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Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch (2011)


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English (62)  Dutch (17)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (84)
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
Koch, Herman
Summer House with Swimming Pool

Those of you who found The Dinner disturbing should give wide berth to Koch's latest, Summer House with Swimming Pool. But for those of you who, like me, enjoy creepy characters who do terrible things to each other, take the plunge. Koch tells stories and creates characters that marry the best parts of Joyce Carol Oates and Patricia Highsmith. At times he even surpasses them both with his relentless determination to avoid happy endings.
Recommended October 2014
  dawsong | Jun 15, 2015 |
Dr. Marc is a disgruntled physician who doesn’t think much of his patients, or the human race in general, and he finds many of them disgusting. He lets them ramble on and barely pays attention, mentally blaming them for their ailments and repulsed by their bodies. They go to him because they think he empathizes with them and also because he will write them any prescription they want. His ethics are questionable at best.

Right from the very first chapter Dr. Marc is a dislikeable character. I don’t have to like a character to enjoy a book, but I need to at least find them interesting or engaging, and Marc’s crudeness put me off from the start. It wasn’t until the end that I could even find anything to empathize with and even then, he was still disgusting. And I suppose that was the point.

The book was too slow-moving for me. It wasn’t until the halfway point that the plot even begins to get interesting. And after investing that much time in the book, I needed to know how it ended. Readers that don’t mind a totally unreliable narrator and completely disgusting characters (Marc wasn’t the only repulsive one) might enjoy this more than I did. ( )
  UnderMyAppleTree | Jun 7, 2015 |
I read this book a week ago. I felt a little disappointed when I finished. But with each day thinking about it, I feel more and more disappointed. I keep realizing that important thoughts were started and abandoned. Plot details were introduced for unknown reasons and in the end, all is just ambiguous, unfinished and unsatisfying. This is unfortunate as the first half, or more, of the book is compelling - although in a perverse way. See many of the other reviews for what I mean by perverse. The author is highly observant of human behavior and brutally honest in his portrayal — to the point of being uncomfortable. But that is the good aspect of the book.

I started off thinking it was a 3 out of 5 stars being an average of 5 for the keen observations and 1 for the letdowns. But I'm giving it 2 stars before I change my mind and drop it more. ( )
  lawrence | May 21, 2015 |
I am giving this 3 stars, but I am not really sure on how I feel about it. Like the "Dinner" I didn't like any of the characters, well the daughters & Caroline, but I definitely felt a distaste for the men characters - totally replused by Ralph and nauseated by Dr Marc who was a total pompous ass. Stanley's total character is in question. ----- Basic jist of the story - Dr Marc and his family are invited to vacation with the actor Ralph Meir and his family who have a rental house with a swimming pool. Marc has a fascination with Ralph's wife, his daughters playmates are the son's of Judith & Ralph. Julia, the 15 year old goes missing and is soon found unconscious on the beach by Marc; the vacation ends abruptly, but they all want to forget what happen to Julia except Marc seeks to revenge his daughters attacker. ( )
  booklovers2 | May 1, 2015 |
I'm really not sure if I liked this novel or not. Lots of the narrative was very engaging but then lots was very irritating. He seemed to wrap things up almost too casually. His reaction to the main event was most unlikely. Himself and his wife never told the police which was a very unusual decision. Later he almost blames Stanley for the incident and then continues the conversation (as does Stanley)as if he never mentioned the accusation.
His views on life and women are a bit shocking at times for a contemporary novel. Obviously not suited to the career he has taken up as a doctor, he doesn't really like his patients. Some of those descriptions of the examinations are quite funny and dark.
All in all I think I'm a bit disappointed. A bit sloppy. It was a good plot that could have been better written and a better, tighter conclusion. ( )
  martymojito | Apr 25, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
Failing the plausibility test is a black eye in commercial fiction. So is letting the pace become so slack that we don’t care who will eventually be revealed as the rapist. A good psychological thriller ought to end with a crisp, clean twist. This ending is mashed potatoes. Herman Koch does have a knack for generating narrative thrust, which “Summer House With Swimming Pool” manifests for its first two-thirds. Nevertheless, given how well his previous novel performed, this follow-up is inexplicably careless.
added by ozzer | editNew York Times, Lionel Shriver (Jul 11, 2014)

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Herman Kochprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kuby, ChristianeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.… (more)

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