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Zomerhuis met zwembad by Herman Koch

Zomerhuis met zwembad (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Herman Koch

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5886316,752 (3.44)27
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)

  1. 00
    The Dinner by Herman Koch (Anonymous user)

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English (42)  Dutch (17)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (64)
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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was totally engrossing (special emphasis on the GROSS). If I could write a tagline to this book, it would be: Gross people doing gross things. Which is, I've kind of come realize, one of Herman Koch's specialties. Of course, I'm joining the party just a bit late; everybody and their brother has read his provocative smash success, The Dinner. Upon reading this novel (whioh I was kindly given by LibraryThing's Early Reviewers - THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU), I grabbed up a copy of his earlier novel. I finished it today. It was (surprise, surprise) more gross upper-middle class people doing more gross, morally reprehensible things. But, hey, Koch knows how to stir the pot, right? (By the way, I found The Dinner to be just a bit tighter, crisper, skillful than this follow up. At almost 400 pages, this book seemed to be product of a looser editorial hand - and it suffered because of it - but not enough for me to dismiss Summer House with Swimming Pool as a worthwhile read). It is American Psycho meets Lolita meets The Vacationers.

Marc, our detestable, unreliable narrator, is filled with a long-simmering hatred for the human race. In particular, he has a special contempt for what he would surely refer to as the "weaker" sex. He is a a physician to the stars, husband and father; he is also one of the biggest assholes you'll ever met. Double standards are this man's bread and butter. He resents others for objectifying and victimizing his daughters and wife, yet he is a adulterer who nurtures violent fantasies about all those he meets. He simultaneously hates the wealthy clients who frequent his practice while longing to have access to the privileges their fame affords. Marc despises Ralph, a handsomely aging actor/buffoon, yet Marc wants to be around Ralph - Marc wants to be Ralph. But, when a summer vacation turns sour, Marc really just wants to kill Ralph. And, as his personal physician, Marc eventually gets the chance. This is the story of how things went terribly wrong between the two men - and how both of their families were made to suffer.

A bit long-winded but a much-recommended read. ( )
  myownwoman | Sep 7, 2014 |
An unpleasant but engrossing book about a doctor whose daughter is raped while his family stays in the summer house of one of his patients, a famous actor. He causes the death of the actor as he thinks he's probably the rapist but by the end of the book, he no longer cares and he and his daughter move on. ( )
  Figboucher | Sep 2, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Summer House with Swimming Pool: A Novel
By Herman Koch; Translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett
Penguin Random House: Hogarth
Release Date: June 03, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8041-3881-9

Marc Schlosser is a middle-aged general practitioner in a Dutch-speaking country [presumably the Netherlands as that is where the author lives] in the 21st century who, for a medical doctor, shows a surprisingly sordid and prurient interest in the human body. Koch has created an unlikable character who nonetheless represents a member of the professional bourgeoisie, shorn of naïveté, confident of his own intelligence and decisions. However, as the narrative of Summer House with Swimming Pool begins to unfold, it is clear that Dr. Schlosser's hubris may not be enough to shield him from the inquiries of a medical board which is looking into the circumstances surrounding the death of one of Marc's patients. To complicate the professional crises, it is clear that there was a personal relationship between the doctor and patient as well, and that the death of the actor is somehow tied to events that occurred at a vacation rental the previous summer. The whole of Summer House with Swimming Pool is an exposition of biological imperative that also serves as the driving force behind this taut psychological thriller told from Dr. Schlosser's point-of-view. Some readers may be tempted to cheat and peek at the end pages, while others will rabidly devour pages in anticipation of what happens next; but care should be taken to not blow past a seemingly innocuous or irrelevant phase or sentence that proves to be otherwise. Though without Ian McEwan's sense of humor, those who liked Solar and/or Saturday will also probably enjoy Summer House with Swimming Pool as well.

OTHER: I received an Advanced Reader's Edition of Summer House with Swimming Pool: A Novel (by Herman Koch) through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program on August 3, 2014. I receive no monies, goods or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post. ( )
  Tanya-dogearedcopy | Aug 30, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I almost never abandon a book but I frankly could not spend another moment in the company of Dr.Marc Schlosser, Ralph Meier, their inscrutable wives and uninteresting children. I did read half of the book, and found the narrator, Dr. Schlosser at best unreliable and creepy, at worst, repugnant. While I did enjoy discussing The Dinner with my book group, Koch's similar themes and characters will lead me away from ever reading any of his books again. Which is a shame, because he is clearly a talented writer. ( )
  rglossne | Aug 28, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
1.5 out of 5. In the end, this was the theme of the book: it was just unnecessary. It's an unnecessary addition to the canon of unreliable narrators, an unworthy follow-up to The Dinner, and does absolutely nothing new and/or interesting. The characters are not only unlikable, they are uninteresting. They are repugnant or annoying or both. The plot hinges on several moments of utter ridiculousness - and it nearly made me pass out on the train and not in a way that felt earned. Honestly, I think less of The Dinner having now read this book.

More at RB: http://wp.me/pGVzJ-ZH ( )
  drewsof | Aug 26, 2014 |
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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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