Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch


Published: June 2014
Publisher: Hogarth
Format: eBook

Summer House with Swimming Pool was provided by the publisher in return for an honest review.

I had read the Dinner by Herman Koch a couple of years ago so I was really looking forward to starting this one. The Dinner got an awful lot of media attention due to the subject matter. The parents of two boys meeting for dinner to discuss a horrendous act that they were both involved in. 

Koch has a knack for writing unlikable characters so I wasn't expecting a bonding session with the characters but I felt that this one wasn't just as hard hitting as The Dinner. This book was released without much fuss and it doesn't seem like its going to get as much attention as the Dinner.

So what's it about? Marc Schlosser is a G.P in a wealthy area of town. He gives twenty full minutes to each patient, whether they need it or not. He lets them air they're grievances and then fills a prescription or pokes a hole or examines a wound. The problem is that he hates them. He hates the lifestyle that comes with them. The premieres and book signings he is invited to fill him with dread and he's growing tired of constantly having to praise they're mediocre "art".

One day Ralph Meier comes to see him. Marc is an actor who owns a Summer House (with a swimming pool, in case you couldn't guess!) and after a meeting with Ralph and his wife (whom he has eyes for) they end up agreeing to spend time together on vacation.

For the most part the book is fairly monotonous.  Pages are filled with endless dinners, BBQ's, beach visits and evenings by the pool. A lot of it seems to be just filler. As the days go by tensions grow between Marc and Ralph. An sexual assault involving Marcs daughter end with the two families parting ways with much remaining unsaid and many questions left unanswered.

Months later Ralph shows up to Marcs clinic. He is worried about a lump and wants Marc to take a look. He doesn't know it but this visit will eventually lead to his death. (this is not a spoiler we find out early on in the book before being brought back to events leading up to this visit).

In a similar way to the Dinner, Summer House with Swimming pool will question the reader. If you suspected someone had hurt your child in the most horrendous way possible what would you do (Suspected being important)? You say you'd want to kill them but in reality, would you? 

In the end I felt fairly unsatisfied by this Novel. The dinner was a lot to love up to and I feel like this just didn't quite make it. People who haven't read The Dinner may enjoy is but It may fall short for currents Fans. If you havent read either book and want to give Herman Koch a try I would suggest you Go straight for the Dinner. 

Click HERE to read my review of The Dinner 


★  ★ ☆ ☆ 

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