Creepy and disturbing, Koch's Summer House with Swimming Pool is the story of one family and their unraveling one summer. Staying with an insufferable actor at his summer home, Dr. Marc Schlosser's vacation choice for his family is a dire one. As things begin to degrade and then worsen to disaster, Dr. Schlosser begins to think of revenge. Told in Koch's typical straightforward, deadpan style, Summer House with Swimming Pool is a nerve-wracking, tense read, full of twists and turns. It is completely riveting. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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.
“[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)
"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
“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
"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.