Published by Crown Publishing Group on 2014
Genres: Family Life, Medical, Psychological, Thrillers
The blistering, compulsively readable new novel from Herman Koch, author of the instant New York Times bestseller The Dinner. When a medical procedure goes horribly wrong and famous actor Ralph Meier winds up dead, Dr. Marc Schlosser needs to come up with some answers. After all, reputation is everything in this business. Personally, he's not exactly upset that Ralph is gone, but as a high profile doctor to the stars, Marc can't hide from the truth forever. 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. Featuring the razor-sharp humor and acute psychological insight that made The Dinner an international phenomenon, Summer House with Swimming Pool is a controversial, thought-provoking novel that showcases Herman Koch at his finest.
It’s really hard for me to read a book with characters that I dislike. I don’t want to know more, I don’t care what they do, or if they go jump off of a bridge. I just want it over with.
I had this type of reaction with this book which is hard for me because the writing was quite good. But oyyy… the characters. There is just no redeeming qualities at all. Maybe I’ve been reading too much YA where you can actually see some type of character growth or where even if the series if 5 books long you know change is going to happen. I didn’t get that at all with this one. It kept me pushed away, as did the characters.
So I’m going to keep this short. I believe the plot was interesting although I hated the characters. I think it also wasn’t a thriller. I was waiting for the anticipation to build and it does but more because I just hated the characters.
I love me a good villain any day. Give me some real raw bad guy or gal and I’ll be in love with the book but I could not make myself even like these characters for the evilness that they wrought. Ugh…
So.. in short… I’ll just say I did not enjoy this one. I am sure many, many people will love it but it was not my cup of tea.
Apparently I am a glutton for punishment because now I’m oddly very curious about his other works! Well done Herman Koch. You wrote a book I dislike and yet I’m still compelled to find out more about you. Well done indeed.
Koch was born in Arnhem, and later moved to Amsterdam. He studied Russian for some months, and lived in Finland for a while. Nowadays he is married to the Spanish Amalia, and has a son, Pablo (1994).