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Zomerhuis met zwembad by Herman Koch

Zomerhuis met zwembad (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Herman Koch

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7108013,292 (3.44)31
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 (60)  Dutch (17)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (82)
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
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 |
Have you ever peeled an onion, taking off each of the leaves or whatever they are called, one at a time? That is sort of what this book is like. Everything is slow and deliberate, but there is another layer to peel, and another one after that. Nothing seems to happen, until everything is there and done. I'm not sure how I feel about the book, except I don't care much for the people. What happened to them, and what they did before and after, was rather horrifically bland.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review." ( )
  susanbeamon | Mar 5, 2015 |
This is one of those books that, when you finish the last page, you say, "Wow." The emotional pull of the protagonist's journey really is that strong.
I read this as a review copy provided by the publisher (ebook only). I liked it from the first page. Yes, the protagonist is not the most likeable guy in the beginning...but that is a critical element to the plot as it unfolds. And there is enough sarcasm (which I truly enjoy) in what he says and thinks to make the reading enjoyable no matter how much you dislike the guy.
It turns out that his dislike of others creates problems for him as a doctor. It's kind of like that black humor police officers and emergency workers develop because they have to. With a darker twist, yes, and one that is worth reading deeply to understand his view.
The story provides plenty of character development before the tragic event his daughter suffers, all with enough hints at the events to come to keep you moving forward in the narrative. When it finally happens, there is a chaotic reaction on his part and by the people around him. The other characters have also been ramping up the chaos before the event even happens, so when it strikes, the impact is all the more severe.
The true payoff for readers comes when the protagonist responds...in various ways...to the event. He and his wife take one track to help the daughter while the father works on his own in different ways to find justice. In the end, he doesn't truly find justice but he does create his own. The justice he creates makes peace for himself, his family, and others.
This is a well-drawn portrait of a father-daughter relationship. It's a story for today in so many ways. For the reader who understands that not all characters are likeable, Summer House provides a rich payoff. ( )
  Laine-Cunningham | Feb 22, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (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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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
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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