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Zomerhuis met zwembad by Herman Koch

Zomerhuis met zwembad (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Herman Koch

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8419210,711 (3.44)47
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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» See also 47 mentions

English (72)  Dutch (18)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (95)
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
If you've read The Dinner by Herman Koch, you'll find Summer House With Swimming Pool to be similar--an unreliable narrator and basically unlikeable characters. This novel is narrated by Dr. Marc Schlosser, who takes a very jaundiced view of his patients, many of whom are rich and famous. One of his patients, Ralph Meier, has recently died, and questions arise as to whether Marc committed medical malpractice in connection with the death. Further, if there has been medical malpractice, is it possible that Ralph Meir was murdered? Koch has stated that the inspiration for this novel was the idea of a "passive murder." In addition, like The Dinner, the novel raises questions of how far a parent can, or should, go to protect their teenage children.

I enjoyed this book, though not quite as much as The Dinner.

3 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | May 2, 2016 |
A family meets up with another family and another couple for summer vacation which causes tension between the husband and wife. The tween children get along great with the other couples children. At the end of the vacation, their is a crisis that changes the course of their lives. ( )
  micahmom2002 | Jan 25, 2016 |
A family meets up with another family and another couple for summer vacation which causes tension between the husband and wife. The tween children get along great with the other couples children. At the end of the vacation, their is a crisis that changes the course of their lives. ( )
  micahmom2002 | Jan 25, 2016 |
Summer House With Swimming Pool by Herman Koch

My sincere thanks to Hogarth Publishing & Netgalley for providing the e-galley of this book.

My book club had recommended Koch's earlier work, The Dinner, but as with most intentions, time passes and your life moves on to something else. When I was given an advance copy of Summer House I decided to see what Herman Koch was all about.

I started the book and immediately knew that this was going to be dark. The Hippocratic Oath, obviously was the Hypocritic Oath for our narrator, Dr. Marc Schlosser. About halfway through the book, about the time the family ended up at the dung infested campground, I felt required to kick back a few antacid chews.

The further I got into the book the more I detested the characters. I began to wonder who has an imagination that creates such vile, misogynistic and narcissistic people? The sad part is that I have met a few of these self-centered and slimy people so I know they exist.

I don't know what else to say! If you enjoy heartburn and reading about the basest qualities of humanity pick up this book.

In conclusion, and perhaps to inspire the reader to pick up a copy to see what got my dander up, let me tell you an anecdote that was inspired by the book. I startled by husband with the question, "When you get your prostate checked, do you still have your shoes and socks on with your boxers draped around your knees?" His reply will remain private but his expression was WHAT? I know I will never go to the doctor's office without wondering…..
( )
  Itzey | Jan 23, 2016 |
Having greatly admired Dutch writer Herman Koch’s European best-seller The Dinner, I was delighted to find this more recent novel. The two have much in common: a first-person narration by men who turn out to be not entirely reliable, an unfolding tragic event whose full scope is only gradually revealed; and the grounding of the story in the hyper-intense relationships of a nuclear family, where every secret evokes the possibility of catastrophe.
The narrator of The Dinner was quite likeable, at least at first, his chameleon colors revealed only bit by bit. In this novel, Koch’s narrator, Dutch general physician Marc Schlosser, shows his disgruntlement cards early on. Married with two preteen/early teen daughters, his feelings about women are entirely retrograde: “I looked at her (a just-met woman) the way every man looks at a woman who enters his field of vision for the first time. Could you do it with her? I asked myself, looking her deep in the eyes. Yes, was the response.” Or, “Any father would rather have a son than a daughter.” Or, “I laughed . . . the sooner you laugh during a conversation with a woman, the better. They’re not used to it, women, to making people laugh. They think they’re not funny. They’re right, usually.”
Ouch, ouch, and ouch.
Yet, Marc is not more charitable toward the men he encounters, truth be told, or toward any of his patients, whom he even fantasizes about killing. Why Marc is so dissatisfied is never quite clear. Is he just a curmudgeon in the wrong profession? Did he take too seriously the lectures of his amoral medical school professor?
A luckless new patient is the famous actor Ralph Meier, a past-middle-age womanizer attracted to Marc’s wife Caroline. Marc, in turn, is attracted to Ralph’s younger wife Judith, and his attention seems to be reciprocated. Entangling the families further are Marc’s daughters’ growing relationships with Ralph’s slightly older sons.
At a minor early summer social event the four members of each family come together in a powerful way, which leads to an invitation to visit the Meier family at their summer house in some unspecified seaside destination. Marc, his eye on Judith, shamelessly manipulates his family’s vacation itinerary, while denying his intent, to ensure the encounter happens. The conflicting personalities, the muddled motives of Marc, and the ingestion of too much alcohol create a decidedly unhappy holiday from which hardly anyone will emerge unscathed.
The novel contains a couple of critically weak plot points (which I won’t divulge) that mar its believability. I’m not the only reader to find that Summer House suffers by comparison with the diabolical genius of The Dinner, with New York Times reviewer Lionel Shriver calling this follow-up “inexplicably careless.” Read The Dinner instead. ( )
  Vicki_Weisfeld | Nov 5, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
Koch uses language like a stethoscope, so that we can hear the beating hearts of his characters and their visceral feelings of envy, love, fear and hatred. It is the sense of panic that Koch excels at evoking
added by Nickelini | editThe Guardian, Anita Sethi (Jul 27, 2014)
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)
Herman Koch's second book to be translated from his native Dutch has all the distinctive features of his first, the international bestseller, The Dinner. There is a narrator who whispers warped thoughts into your ear. There is the black humour and dangerous fantasy that might erupt into the real world at any moment. And there is the hissing satire that mocks bourgeois values and threatens a sudden, alarming loss of etiquette.
Warning: Do not read this book within three weeks of any medical appointment.

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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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