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Summer House with Swimming Pool

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  23,193 ratings  ·  2,706 reviews
The blistering, compulsively readable new novel from Herman Koch, author of the instant New York Times 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 gon
Hardcover, 389 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Hogarth (first published January 26th 2011)
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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 ·  23,193 ratings  ·  2,706 reviews

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Tayari Jones
May 16, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was really hard to read. I really respect the writing, and also the character work. The people seemed so real, that they could bleed on you. And this is both the strength and the challenge of this novel. The people came to life and they were incredibly difficult to be around.

Someone said that she felt the book was really sexist. I couldn't tell if the book itself hated women, or if it was a book about how much women are hated by the world. I am leaning toward the latter interpretation.
Elyse  Walters
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow....great Kindle deal today!!! $1.99 special!!! If you haven't read this very fun book ... the price is good today!

Reading Herman Koch, is a little like jumping on a pogo stick. (only its your thoughts which are jumping up and down).

"The Dinner" by Herman Koch involves parents and kids --
"Summer House with Swimming Pool" involves parents and kids --
In both books, the reader is challenged.

Here are two questions to sit with from "Summer House with Swimming Pool":

1) How far would you go to pro
Petra on semi-hiatus in sombrero-land
This book is an awful lot like a really complicated 5,000 piece jigsaw where you saw the picture on the box just briefly. You know the ending right at the beginning. Now you have to get there.

The story is a doctor is going to be charged with malpractice that is almost certainly murder, and the victim's wife is very upset obviously, she doesn't feel her late husband got proper treatment. Doesn't sound complicated? It is.

As the pieces are fitted together the picture changes somewhat from what you
Jul 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
The first few chapters of Summer House with Swimming Pool are dedicated to descriptions of what it's like to be a doctor. If the book was just about life from a medical professional's point of view and the day to day grind of getting up close and personal with aches, pains, bumps, and bruises... that would have been good enough for me.

Koch is just a daggum great writer. He can take the most mundane stuff and breathe life into it to make it fascinating. The beginning of the book and other sectio
Patrice Hoffman
For those of you living under a rock, Herman Koch is the Dutch author who introduced us to a slew of vile characters in the hugely successful The Dinner novel. True to form, Summer House with Swimming Pool is another plethora of characters readers love to hate. After spending a few days reading Dr Marc Schlosser's narrative of the events that eventually summons a medical review board due to a "medical error", I'm actually happy to rid my life of his contempt and bitter disposition.

Dr Marc Schlos
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thanks to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for an advance reader copy of this book. This review, however, is based on the hardcover version.

Not sure what it says about me that I liked this book so much - the narrator is almost a sociopath and several of the other characters are equally repugnant. But - I couldn't put it down! It fizzled a little at the end, but what a ride.

The story is told by Dr. Marc Schlosser, a Dutch family doctor with a wife and two young teen daughters. The doctor treats a f
Jul 03, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm not sure my rating is even what I want to give it, but it's not a 5 and not quite as bad as a 1... So a 3 it is.

When I checked this book out the librarian told me it was really weird. I took it with a grain of salt at the time. She was correct this book was stranger than fiction. I kept waiting for something big... A climax that never came.

First off, Marc is an insane Doctor. He is selfish, so selfish that he puts his patients lives at risk. Hell he even put his own kid at risk. He shouldn'
This is one twisted dude! Marc Schlosser, the unreliable narrator, is a general practitioner. Do NOT make an appointment with him—he’ll fake interest but in fact he despises you. In fact, he despises everyone. He also despises the human body, so don’t you dare put on one of those gowns and let him see your body or, god forbid, touch you. He has nasty things to say about every one of your nooks and crannies. Get off the table and run for your life!

Marc takes joy in making his patients suffer. He
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Doctors are usually good guys, right? They take an oath. They know things. They're good to have around in an emergency.

Unless, of course, they're not good. See: Dr. Lecter, Dr. Frankenstein, Dr. Moreau, Dr. No, to name a few. And now, friends, we can add another to this list of frightening physicians - Dr. Marc Schlosser. He's not obviously bad. For example, he's not eating anyone, or sewing dead body parts together, or out for world domination.

No, Schlosser's darkness runs much subt
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Herman Koch really knows how to conjure up the most despicable characters......GEESH!

First of all, there's Dr. Marc Schlosser who is the epitome of a GP from hell with an extreme distaste for his patients and their repulsive bodies that he describes in disgusting detail along with his questionable diagnoses and inappropriate treatments.

Next, we have Ralph Meier, a fun loving but grossly obese actor with an (evil) eye for the too young ladies who becomes violently scary at times and feels no sha

Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
Find all of my reviews at:

This is the story of Dr. Marc Schlosser and one very memorable vacation he and his family spent at the summer house (with swimming pool, natch) of one of his patients (a middle-aged, loudmouthed, boor of an actor who was so repugnant that I was routing for Marc to either murder him or to have sex with his wife as soon as he was introduced).

I requested an ARC (and was promptly denied) of Summer House With Swimming Pool since I enjoyed T
Glenn Sumi
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: not-usa-can-uk
I haven’t had a checkup with my family doctor since reading this disturbing book, but I know I’m going to be pretty paranoid when I do.

Herman Koch’s antihero, Dr. Marc Schlosser, is a nasty piece of work. A doctor to members of the “creative class” – movie/TV stars, writers, producers, some professionals, very few “9 to 5 types” – he is ruthless in his assessment of their vanities and their sagging, aging bodies. These celebrities have come to him because he’s less judgmental in their drinking a
Diane S ☔
I am not going to rate this because I cannot finish it. Koch's books c3rtainly contain characters that are detestable. He can write sure, but this book is so graphic at times that it is nauseating, this book was like a train wreck and I guess I would not make a good gawker. I can't read a book that makes me feel terrible for no good reason, yes Holocaust books make on sad but that really happened, it is history. I will say I will have a hard time looking my doctor in the eye again. ...more
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: public-library
"Is there a doctor in the house?"

A summer house filled with house guests. Dissatisfied, dissolute, condescending, self-absorbed individuals. But by the gods, there is a swimming pool!

One of the guests is Dr. Marc Schlosser, a nightmare of a general practitioner. His outright distaste for the human body is frightful. One has to wonder how on earth he ever made it through the Anatomy courses in med school. The things that go through his mind as his patients file through with their litanies of bod
May 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars.

Dutch writer Herman Koch is one of those authors who write exquisite prose even if you feel you want to wash your hands after reading it. His characters are far from perfect and border between very imperfect and downright sleazy. Yet they wander amongst the privileged crowd; artist, doctors, producers who exude a shallow tide of civilization along with the well-hidden skeletons. Whatever your opinion of the uncomfortable topic which is slowly revealed in the novel, Koch's p
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
My sincere thanks to Hogarth Publishing & Netgalley for providing the e-galley of this book to be published June 2014.

In Koch's hands Summer House with Swimming Pool is like a sculpture. Koch, the sculptor, forms a piece of art, his words used like a hunk of clay that he carves in intricate layers before our eyes. He is a master at presenting characters that are not only unlikeable but are disturbing.

We are sucked in slowly, introduced to general practitioner, Dr. Marc Schlosser. Before long, w
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, netgalley
About five and a half years ago I read a Michel Houellebecq novel. At the time I gave it four stars. I don't know why I did. My memory of the book was that Elementary Particles was a misanthropic bore. There must have been something more to the novel I remember, but whatever was charming about the book to me long since forgotten (if there was something charming about EP it was forgotten fairly quickly because I can remember that a couple of years after that already telling people I disliked Houe ...more
Debbie "DJ"
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
While this book can be a tough read, my curiosity of being inside one man's mind got the better of me. All I can say about this book is it's like not being able to turn your head away from a gruesome accident. I always had to see more, to peer closer at the carnage. Towards the end, reading at breakneck speed, ah, the answers to this horrific disaster. I really liked it, but, it ain't pretty! ...more
Edward Lorn
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who enjoys reading about horrible people

ETA (July 2015): It's been brought to my attention that Koch is Dutch and not Norwegian. Sorry about that.

I'm conflicted. Mainly because I don't know to whom I should give half of the credit. Herman Koch is a Norwegian author who seems incapable of telling a poorly-told tale. But I have no idea how good of a writer he is. You see, Koch doesn't write in English. His novels are translated by a guy named Sam Garrett. I know things get lost or changed in translat
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said, good or bad about this book. There are twisted characters, vile, repulsive...etc. But hey, I love to read about characters unlike myself as a checklist to remind me that I'm still somewhat normal. I think it's very impressive that a book can be translated from Dutch to English and still have so many layers to it that unfold slowly as the book goes along. From the beginning it is foretold what the ending is about so I enjoy reading bit by bi ...more
Caro the Helmet Lady
Very good book with disgusting people in it. Hated them all while highly enjoying it (the book, not the hating..). There's a lot of unanswered questions left and I'm pretty much free to think whatever I want about the answers. A lot of visible situations happens and a lot of situations happens out of the vision and the narrator doesn't seem to be the reliable one. He tells us only what he wants us to know, so basically you can think twice. Or read twice. There so much happening on the"left untol ...more
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You may view this and more of my reviews and bits of interest at

I’ve finally gotten a chance to sit down and look over my notes to write a review on this wonderful book. Herman Koch is one of my favorite authors. I will read more by him. Was it better than The Dinner? In some ways, yes and in others no. Both are terrific.

Marc Schlosser, is a Dutch doctor, a General Practitioner who has some high-profile patients. He is a mediocre doctor who simply gives lip service
Oct 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-reads
*Review for audio version*

Peter Berkrot’s narration for this one was freaking perfect. I can’t imagine a better voice for the main character of Dr. Marc Schlosser. The dry sarcasm and dark humor flowed easily and effortlessly throughout.

Dr. Marc Schlosser is a general practitioner and a genuine grade-A S.O.B. If you’re looking for a feel good, redemptive tale, you have come to the wrong spot. There are no redeeming qualities about the main character in this one. Our protagonist is exactly who h
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone that doesn't mind a little swearing & explicit sex
Wow, Koch is unbelievable. I've never read a book of this kind where the author digs into the mind and comes up with such dark and disturbing thoughts that no one would ever speak of. Koch is a master. The characters aren't likeable, but they are quite interesting. So interesting that you can't wait to turn to the next page. Like your doctor? Well check this one out. He hates all his patients. The description of his thoughts are scary. God help anyone that would get this guy for a primary care p ...more
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
This was an entirely random read and I'm glad I chose to.

Not only do you have characters that you love to hate/hate to love, you have a main character in Dr. Marc Schlosser that doesn't hold back on anything. As he speaks about his patients in detail, he suppresses no thoughts or feelings whatsoever.

Most of us tend to hate going to the doctor. We hate to hear things that we already believe is wrong with us and hate that we have to sit in a waiting room much longer than it takes the doctor to ten
Nobody does unlikeable characters like Herman Koch. No other writer makes me feel as uncomfortable as Koch's writing does. I can make this generalisation now that I read, well, listened to, three of his books.

How I felt about this novel could be summarised by the following "eloquent" expressions: "Ewww", "Oh, No, you didn't just think/say that!?", "WOW", "Holly $%&t", plus a few more unsavoury thoughts about men, that I will spare you (You're welcome ;-) ).

Our unreliable narrator and protagonist
Bren fall in love with the sea.
“Free-ranging single men are like a house that has been empty too long. There must be something fishy about the house, the woman thinks. Up for sale for six months and it's still vacant.”
― Herman Koch, Summer House with Swimming Pool

Reading..well written book but having tough time with to follow.

So..this book. I had a tough time with it. I almost DNFED but somehow struggled through it.

I do not like to give out 2 as a rating. rating has less to do with how the book was written
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Pity the poor patient who ends up in the office of Dr. Marc Schlosser. On the surface, he provides attentive care, but underneath, he’s simmering with a nearly pathological hatred of the human body. (Or, in his own words: “Despite my distaste of the human body, I had always done my work well. For twenty minutes, I would wear my most understanding expression.”)

He,is, in ways, almost the polar opposite of Ralph Meier, a famous actor who is his patient with a rapacious and sometimes uncontrollable
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: xx2017-completed
This book's characters are pretty much all flawed – kind of like real life, but with a harsher light shone on for emphasis. The protagonist is a doctor who has both good and bad thoughts and actions related to his work. He is also a husband who is both considerate and inconsiderate of his wife and a father who takes both good and bad actions concerning his daughters. All of the characters have contradictory personalities – again, much like real life – but with a great deal more intensity and lar ...more
Ron Charles
Jun 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Different vacationers want different amenities from their novels. Some order up the equivalent of a hot stone massage; others might enjoy an acid facial peel. Which brings us to Herman Koch’s caustic new novel, “Summer House With Swimming Pool.” Last year, this bestselling Dutch novelist published “The Dinner,” about two warring couples at an Amsterdam restaurant. This year, he delivers a more expansive but even more poisonous novel about rivals vacationing in the Mediterranean.

No matter how che
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Herman Koch (1953) is known as a television producer and a writer. The book 'Het diner', published in 2009, was his breakthrough in the Netherlands. It was published in 17 countries. It was partly based on a true story involving a homeless woman named, María del Rosario Endrinal Petit, in Barcelona (Spain), in December 2005.

Koch was born in Arnhem, and later moved to Amsterdam. He studied Russian

Articles featuring this book

A doctor conceals the truth when his celebrity patient dies in Summer House with Swimming Pool, a dark novel now available in English from the...
24 likes · 37 comments
“There are times when you run back through your life, to see whether you can locate the point at which it could still have taken a different turn.” 12 likes
“Free-ranging single men are like a house that has been empty too long. There must be something fishy about the house, the woman thinks. Up for sale for six months and it's still vacant.” 5 likes
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