Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch...

How I Heard About It:  This title kept popping up on various sources as a "must-read" novel for summer 2014.  After I see a title mentioned in several different publications, I know it is something I should look into.  Right before my summer cruise with my family, I downloaded this book onto my Kindle and read it while cruising the high seas.

What It Is About:  Dr. Mark Schlosser is a Dutch doctor.  He isn't your typical doctor.  Dr. Mark doesn't really like to see patients and just puts in this time going through each twenty minute appointment one after another.  His clientele is pretty high end with celebrities and "high-end" people.  Ralph Meier is an actor that goes to Mark because he isn't feeling well.  As usual, he doesn't spend much time with Ralph and tells him he will be just fine.  The two men form a friendship and bring their families together.  They end up spending time together at the actor's summer home.  After one of the members of one of the families faces a personal tragedy, things become quite tense between the two families.  Mark takes his family home and hopes he is "done" with Ralph's family.

What I Thought Of It:  This was quite a dark and dysfunctional plot.  It was like a bad accident that you can't look away from.  Many of the characters are horrible, make bad decisions, and just aren't likable.  But you can't stop reading about them.  Many of the events in the book are unbelievable, horrible, and shocking, but you can't stop reading about them.  This is one of those books that I couldn't put down, but I'm not sure how much I enjoyed it because of the story line.  Sometimes though it is so fun to escape your own life and get completely engaged in a book that is so far from your own life.  This will certainly be a book I won't soon forget about.  

Who Should Read It:  This is obviously an adult novel.  If you don't like dysfunction or bad characters, then this isn't a book for you.  If you like a great story, lots of drama, and a page turner, then this is the book for you.  I know the author wrote The Dinner, so if you read that and liked it, then you definitely need to read this.  Happy Reading!

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars 


  1. Good review. I read The Dinner, but that wasn't the book I thought about while I was reading Summer House. Tirza by Arnon Grunberg kept coming to mind mainly because of the father-daughter relationship. Tirza has a very different outcome but the tone is similar. If you haven't read you might give it a try. note: the publisher, Open Letter, sent me a free copy of Tirza as a bonus buying a bunch of books.

  2. Thanks for the tip. I will check it out...