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Zomerhuis met zwembad by Herman Koch

Zomerhuis met zwembad (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Herman Koch

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5064420,102 (3.46)17
Title:Zomerhuis met zwembad
Authors:Herman Koch
Info:Amsterdam Anthos cop. 2011
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned

Work details

Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch (2011)

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

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English (21)  Dutch (17)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
The esteemed doctor in this book doesn't take much time before he reveals his true self, his total disregard for his patients, and his self-centered disregard for those he is supposed to protect.

“A general practitioner's task is simple. He doesn't have to heal people, he only has to make sure they don't sidestep him and make it to the specialists and the hospitals.”

There is no doubt that Herman Koch is a talented writer. He strings this story together quite nicely. It's the story that he chooses to tell that causes a problem for me.

I can't imagine a father outside of perhaps a nudist colony who would not be upset by a slimy old man going naked around his early teen and preteen daughters. This book is filled with self-centered, perverted dirtbags, and no one seems to notice.

Then there is this:

“A half rape – women always like that. All women.”


I've heard that the author's book The Dinner is controversial but I've not read it. The author is undoubtedly talented, and I did finish this book, but the subject matter, for me, was too awful to enjoy the writing skill. ( )
2 vote TooBusyReading | Jul 12, 2014 |
As soon as I saw that there was a new book out by the author of The Dinner I went out and got it and holy cow did it deliver! If I had thought that The Dinner was a great way to let us inside another person's head and know all they thought, Summer House puts that book to shame. Oh my God. I am not sure I wanna know everything a person thinks! Good and/or bad! This book gives you a raw and brute insight into the main character's mind and all I could think the whole time was that the dude was a douche, lol. When a book gets me feeling so strong about a character I will always love it, that's for sure.
Summer House is wonderfully written and it is like watching a car crash: it ain't gonna be pretty but you know you just won't be able to look away.
Now on to a quick summary: Marc is a general physician who has all sorts of patients. One of them happens to be Ralph Meier, a celebrity actor who ends up inviting Marc, his wife and two daughters to spend their vacation with him and his wife in a rented house by the Mediterranean.
Marc and his family spend several days in that house with a swimming pool until a horrific event takes place. This terrible situation will change all of their lives forever.
I am still trying to come to terms with everything that Marc does and I will keep feeling repulsed by that man for a long time. If I say more I am afraid I will give up valuable story line, so what are you waiting for? Go ahead and read it. It will make you think twice about everything. ( )
  AleAleta | Jul 12, 2014 |
Having read and enjoyed Koch’s The Dinner, I looked forward to reading his next work of fiction. Like The Dinner, it is an unsettling read but one which I found captivating.

The narrator is Dr. Marc Schlosser, a general practitioner. At the beginning, he is called before a Board of Medical Examiners because of a “medical error” which led to the death of Ralph Meier, a famous actor. Via flashbacks, Marc tells about his meeting Ralph who eventually invites Marc and his family to spend their summer vacation with them at a rented Mediterranean summer house. Marc is infatuated with Judith, Ralph’s wife, and manipulates Caroline, his wife, to accept the invitation. Marc and Caroline and their daughters, 13-year-old Julia and 11-year-old Lisa, stay with the Meiers and their other house guests, Stanley and Emmanuelle, until tragedy strikes.

Marc certainly ranks amongst the most vile of literary characters. He is a narcissist: “I’m more charming than most men (76). He is a misogynist who theorizes that only a “dirty, unwashed dick” with “filthy worthless sperm that smells like a half-finished bottle of fermented dairy drink stuck at the back of the fridge” (56) will have sex with an ugly woman and that “A half rape – women always like that. All women” (243). Though a physician, he does not “worry too much about medical standards. About what is, strictly speaking, medically responsible” (49). He gives his patients “the illusion of attention” (1). He has an aversion to the human body, asserting that “Human bodies are horrible enough as it is, even with their clothes on” (3), so he avoids examining patients except as “you might look at a dead animal in the road” (45). He is a hypocrite who hates men thinking of his daughters in a sexual way, but who joins his male companions in more than admiring three young women, “in fact more girls than young women” (221) and agrees to have his daughter audition to be a teen model in the U.S. His friends are Ralph, a boor with rapacious appetites for food and women, and Stanley, a lecherous soft- core film director whose companion is forty years younger.

The novel addresses a number of issues: the objectification and sexualization of girls, the extent to which a person might go to protect him/herself or to exact revenge. Some of the content will certainly induce discomfort. And there are few answers; even the crime that is committed is left unsolved, so readers who dislike indeterminate endings should stay away.

Though the book is disquieting, I found it difficult to put down. The portrayal of Marc’s psyche is a masterpiece, though at the end the reader may want to take a cleansing dive in a swimming pool. ( )
  Schatje | Jul 6, 2014 |
Vile and degenerate men i loved to hate. Cynical and witty, great rants. ( )
  loosha | Jul 5, 2014 |
A very interesting and thought provoking book revolving around a doctor and his relationships with his daughters, his wife and one of his patient's wives. This patient is a famous actor that he feels is lusting after his wife so he becomes jealous and protective. He is also very protective of his young daughters. However, this attitude does not stop him from trying to put "the make" and the actor's wife. It is a very interesting look into the sexual and psychological attitudes of men and women. The plot takes off after his fourteen year old daughter is raped and the doctor goes in pursuit of the culprit I loved this book. ( )
  muddyboy | Jul 2, 2014 |
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Ik ben huisarts.
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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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