Book Review: Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch

Summer House with Swimming PoolSummer House with Swimming Pool By Herman Koch

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Contemporary, Thriller
Pages: 387 pages
Published: April 28th 2015
Publisher: Hogarth
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Plot: 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 Meiers’ 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.

My Review: So this was my second Herman Koch book that I’ve read. I first read The Dinner which overall I ended up enjoying. When I saw this on BookOutlet it sounded super interesting and knew I had to read it. Well did I actually end up enjoying it? Let’s find out.

I have to say it did take me a little while to get into this. It starts off with one of Marc’s patients dying and you find out Marc is being blamed for it. Then it ends up taking you back to the past. It gives you backstory on the characters. How they know each other and a bit more information on them. There just also ended up being kind of random information that I felt was a bit unnecessary to the story. So I ended up putting this down and told myself I would end up coming back to it later on.

I have to say when it finally gets up to the point where Marc and his family get to the Ralph Meir’s summer house, he is Marc’s patient that ended up dying, I finally got into the story. That is about 100 or so pages in. I found myself hooked and really wanted to know what actually went down during this vacation. I have to say once you find out everything I was pretty shocked.

I didn’t end up really liking the main character Marc. The only thing I enjoyed was when he would talk about patients and you would get insight on what it was like to be a doctor and the people he dealt with. I found that very interesting and highly entertaining. He was very honest about everything. The other characters were very interesting as well but I didn’t like them. Now when I say I didn’t like them in this case I mean as people. In this story they work because obviously some messed up things happened. After all the main character is accused of murder and you’re waiting to find out if he actually did it or not. So I enjoyed them for them in the story but just didn’t care for their personalities.

I noticed that The Dinner and Summer House with Swimming Pool deal with similar situations. They both deal with families doing whatever they can for the ones they love.  In a way it’s over the top but for a book I have to say it makes one crazy story. I know it took me a little while to get into but I’m honesty happy I ended up sticking with this book.

Overall I really enjoyed the book. I gave it a 3.5 because I felt the beginning dragged on a bit and I was anxiously waiting to get to the details of what actually went on during the summer vacation. When everything was finally explained I was in complete shock. I was happy that I decided to come back to this book. It was crazy to see how everything ended up playing out. I recommend you guys checking this one out and if you feel the same way I did please try to stick it out. I feel the pay off is worth it.

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