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    Station Eleven

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Summer House with Swimming Pool

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Summer House with Swimming Pool Cover

ISBN13: 9780804138819
ISBN10: 0804138818
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Staff Pick

Deliciously nasty, gritty, and strangely redemptive, this will be the best thing you read at your summer house. It's murder mystery entwined with medical maleficence, warring ethics, and a storyline that will barely allow you to blink as you read obsessively long into the night.
Recommended by Heidi Mager, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The blistering, compulsively readable new novel from Herman Koch, author of the instant New York Time's 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.

Review:

"In Koch's equally devious follow-up to The Dinner, civilization is once again only a thin cover-up for man's baser instincts. This time out, we meet Dr. Marc Schlosser, whose practice includes a new patient, veteran TV and stage actor Ralph Meier. At a party, Marc doesn't like the way Ralph looks at his wife, Caroline. So when Marc and his family are invited to spend part of their vacation at Ralph's summer house (with swimming pool), Marc reluctantly accepts. There, his family mingles with Ralph's family, as well as houseguests Stanley Forbes, a film director, and his much younger girlfriend. The air is rife with sexual tension as Ralph showers too much attention on Marc's underage daughter, Julia, and Marc toys with having an affair with Ralph's wife, Judith. Then tragedy strikes. One year later, through a confluence of events, Ralph is dead and Marc is implicated. Over the course of the novel, the truth about what really happened that summer is revealed. Although Koch, by his own admission, is not a mystery writer, he once again succeeds on that count without ever stinting on literary quality. And though it's a bit too long, make no mistake: very few real-world events will distract readers from finishing this addictive book in one or two sittings. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

“[In The Dinner,] Koch’s wry wit and sardonic approach to marriage and children transformed a grisly act of violence into fodder for parental and ethical contemplation. Here, he once again probes the limits of parental protection…[and] continues to illuminate ways in which our Freudian unconscious takes dreadful revenge on the ego.” Library Journal (starred review)

Review:

"Just as he did in his bestseller, The Dinner (2013), Dutch novelist Koch tells a sinister tale through the eyes of a questionable narrator....Koch's deft and nuanced exploration of gender, guilt, and vengeance make his second novel to be translated into English an absorbing read." Booklist

Review:

“In this disquieting novel from Koch (The Dinner, 2013, etc.), sex, celebrity and medical ethics become inextricably tangled as a summer idyll goes nightmarishly wrong....A sly psychological thriller lurks within this pitch-dark comedy of manners.” Kirkus

Review:

"Herman Koch (The Dinner) dishes up another rich stew of language, character and cynicism...[with] a summer vacation mystery." Shelf Awareness

About the Author

HERMAN KOCH is the author of eight novels and three collections of short stories. The Dinner, his sixth novel, has been published in twenty-five countries, and was an international bestseller. He currently lives in Amsterdam.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

dreena, September 15, 2014 (view all comments by dreena)
Like The Dinner, Koch creates a bizarre narrator and a plot that will keep you reading late into the night. Trust me. You will never look at your family doctor the same way. The novel is a prescription for your next book club selection.
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beth brooks, June 22, 2014 (view all comments by beth brooks)
What a book!! First you notice the cover: a physician's prescription pad with the notation "Summer House with Swimming Pool." Intriguing --- but not a fraction of the intrigue you will experience when you begin to read!! Captivating, engrossing, inventive, polished, enthralling --- all of these apply. I can't imagine anyone who isn't spellbound as you first meet the general practitioner, then one-by-one his family and patients. The reader is drawn into a drama that leaves you breathless with its twists and turns, all seen through the eyes of the doctor who is a husband, father, and someone who has a bizarre philosophy of his professional role. Guaranteed to be consumed with the same anticipation you would have to receive an invitation to a summer house with swimming pool.
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kalireads, June 11, 2014 (view all comments by kalireads)
After last year’s English translation of Herman Koch’s internationally acclaimed The Dinner, an agonizing story of the anger and violence dragging under the surface at the dinner table, we know to except something searing and intimate from this master of the slow burn. I expected a car crash of a tale from Summer House with Swimming Pool, vehicles flipped and burned, while I’m left staring and braking as I pass by, unable to speed up and get going and leave the wreckage in my rear view.

I wasn’t disappointed. Koch seems to choose the most mundane names for these books, which drastically juxtapose with their messy and dark guts: a dinner, a summer house, a swimming pool. Simple things. The books, however, take on the most private and tragic of subjects--those around you turning violent and pedophiliac, nights where too much drink goes from fun to bad to irreparable too quickly, choosing to seek revenge on those who have wronged you or your family, allowing revenge to be taken while you sit back and watch the clock.

Summer House with Swimming Pool starts with Dr. Marc Schlosser, general practitioner, revealing to the reader his odd view of his craft and his patients. He seems almost maniacal as he rants of the artists who drink too much and then hide their vices from him, their doctor. He practices medicine with a careless abandon, spending twenty minutes with each patient to ensure they feel attended to while really dismissing most concerns outright. This part of the book, the lead up to the actual meat of the thing, seems to be the weakest, as the Schlosser’s character seems bordering on insanity, unbelievability.

But then, we get past Schlosser’s introduction to his private practice as he recounts what can only be called a tragedy, one of those awkward and beautifully rendered modern family portraits executed so startlingly well by Jonathan Franzen and A.M. Homes in the past. Schlosser and his wife and two kids go camping, and meet up with a patient of Schlosser’s. An actor, with a house. A summer house, with a swimming pool. The booze is flowing and from the beginning things are not quite right--motives are unclear, and Schlosser’s wife wants to leave this new gang of friends. As with so many things, enough small warning signs are ignored, enough unusual events made usual, enough heads turned in the wrong direction, that everything is okay until it all has suddenly, horribly spun out of control. Someone is hurt, and revenge is taken.

I just can’t say too much about this book without giving something or other away, as this is one of those books that illustrates so well our inability to ever truly know those around us, especially those closest to us. Clear your schedule if you pick this book up--I read it in a day or two, unable to stop until I knew what was truly going on, until I’d followed every paranoid twist and desperate turn to the final conclusion.

Summer House with Swimming Pool, just as The Dinner before it, reminds us that every individual has a uniquely intimate private life, swirling with their own motives and fears, their own lies and truths. Koch’s writing deals with, as some of the best writing does, these monstrosities we keep within ourselves or place onto others: the unknowable within us, the rage we hold inside or are unable to hold inside any longer, desires filled or unfulfilled, beliefs rightly or wrongly held. One of the gifts of literature is that we are able to read what other people are thinking, but books like this remind us that we are luckily unable to know what those around us are thinking in everyday life.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780804138819
Author:
Koch, Herman
Publisher:
Hogarth
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20140603
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
8.52 x 6.04 x 1.29 in 1.28 lb

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Summer House with Swimming Pool Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.50 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Hogarth - English 9780804138819 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Deliciously nasty, gritty, and strangely redemptive, this will be the best thing you read at your summer house. It's murder mystery entwined with medical maleficence, warring ethics, and a storyline that will barely allow you to blink as you read obsessively long into the night.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In Koch's equally devious follow-up to The Dinner, civilization is once again only a thin cover-up for man's baser instincts. This time out, we meet Dr. Marc Schlosser, whose practice includes a new patient, veteran TV and stage actor Ralph Meier. At a party, Marc doesn't like the way Ralph looks at his wife, Caroline. So when Marc and his family are invited to spend part of their vacation at Ralph's summer house (with swimming pool), Marc reluctantly accepts. There, his family mingles with Ralph's family, as well as houseguests Stanley Forbes, a film director, and his much younger girlfriend. The air is rife with sexual tension as Ralph showers too much attention on Marc's underage daughter, Julia, and Marc toys with having an affair with Ralph's wife, Judith. Then tragedy strikes. One year later, through a confluence of events, Ralph is dead and Marc is implicated. Over the course of the novel, the truth about what really happened that summer is revealed. Although Koch, by his own admission, is not a mystery writer, he once again succeeds on that count without ever stinting on literary quality. And though it's a bit too long, make no mistake: very few real-world events will distract readers from finishing this addictive book in one or two sittings. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , “[In The Dinner,] Koch’s wry wit and sardonic approach to marriage and children transformed a grisly act of violence into fodder for parental and ethical contemplation. Here, he once again probes the limits of parental protection…[and] continues to illuminate ways in which our Freudian unconscious takes dreadful revenge on the ego.”
"Review" by , "Just as he did in his bestseller, The Dinner (2013), Dutch novelist Koch tells a sinister tale through the eyes of a questionable narrator....Koch's deft and nuanced exploration of gender, guilt, and vengeance make his second novel to be translated into English an absorbing read."
"Review" by , “In this disquieting novel from Koch (The Dinner, 2013, etc.), sex, celebrity and medical ethics become inextricably tangled as a summer idyll goes nightmarishly wrong....A sly psychological thriller lurks within this pitch-dark comedy of manners.”
"Review" by , "Herman Koch (The Dinner) dishes up another rich stew of language, character and cynicism...[with] a summer vacation mystery."
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