Summer House W/ Swimming Pool - Psychological Thriller About NastyPeople On An Opulent Vacation

by - August 10, 2015

Aside from all the cookbook reviews I've done (which I love), I've never done a "regular" book review. Mainly because I don't have a lot of confidence in my ability to properly convey the messages and story lines from a good book into a review. I got Summer House With Swimming Pool by Herman Koch delivered to my house a few weeks ago and between doing my best to read it and trying to move at the same time, it took me a lot longer to read it than it normally would.

Also, since my blog has been very content "light" recently given that I've been so busy moving, I thought this would be a good a time as any to try and write my first review of this type. To give you an idea of what this book is about, I will start off by giving you the description that is printed on the back of the book. It reads as follows....
When famous actor Ralph Meier dies following a medical procedure gone horribly awry, his doctor, Marc Schlosser, needs to have convincing answers ready. After all, reputation is everything in this business. 

It all started the previous summer when Marc and his family agreed to spend a week with the Meiers and a few of their friends at their extravagant summer home on the Mediterranean. Just as the group settles in for days of sunshine and relaxation, a violent incident disrupts the the idyll, and darker motivations are exposed. As shocking realities unravel and it seems no one can be trusted, circumstances that surround Ralph's death months later become disturbingly tied to the summer house, and the vacation that had once been a dream soon develops into a living nightmare. 

This is the description that really sold me on this book. The only type of books that really interest me are ones of mystery and suspense and that's exactly what this book is.

When you first hear how Marc treats his patients, you kind of think he's an a#$hole. Like for instance, he makes a comment about making his patients think he's giving them more attention, but really he's only giving them more time. Basically he says that he spends 20 minutes with each patient but it's not because he's giving them extra care and attention, he's only making them think that because he can figure out all that he's need to know within about the 60 seconds of first meeting them. I don't know about you, but when I see a doctor I want honesty and for the doctor to be straightforward with me, so a doctor that puts on a facade is kind of a a#$hole to me.

Despite my view on him, his patients view him as a concerned and thoughtful listener. Wow, are they being snowed. This next bit may or may not be a spoiler depending on what your idea of a spoiler is, but one thing that does endure me to Marc's character is the fact that he is willing to help Ralph peacefully leave this world on his own terms. Before I go any further, I guess I should tell you that Ralph is suffering from terminal cancer, so it's inevitable that he will pass away, but he chooses to end his life before he has to suffer any further and that's where Marc comes in.

Ralph however is a very hard character to like. Ralph is a famous actor and big man with huge appetites many of which are food, woman, and other eccentricities. These eccentricities border on repulsive because he looks at woman creepy as he does with Marc's daughters, and even down to the way he takes off his clothes.  I for one had a really hard time liking him.

This book takes you on different twists and turns as we find out what actually happened that fateful summer at the summer house. Even reading the first chapter you will become enthralled with how Herman Koch is able to quickly and successfully capture your attention. I highly suggest you read this if you're into mystery and thriller books.

I decided to not go into detail about all the characters because I wanted to let you decide which ones you like and find out more about them on your own, but I wanted to give you a real quick breakdown of the two main characters so that you'll know what your in for. I hope you enjoyed this review and tell me what you think if you get this book!

What are you reading right now? Tell me below!

*** I received this book from blogging for books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.***

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  1. I thought that book sounded really interesting too! (Not the one I got though, hehehe. ;P ) I do agree that that's kinda a dick thing for Marc to say (I know he's only a character, but still). There are often cases where you really can figure out what you need to from the patient in a really short time, but to just stay there for extra time not because he gives a crap, but because he just wants to make it seem like he cares is rather messed up. I value honesty as well!

  2. Adding to my list for the fall. I'm hoping things will settle down and i'll get to read more. hah! Thanks for sharing.