We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Summer House with Swimming Pool: A Novel | [Herman Koch]

Summer House with Swimming Pool: A Novel

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.
Regular Price:$20.72
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

The blistering 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 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 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.

©2011 Herman Koch (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Translation © 2014 by Sam Garrett

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.2 (130 )
5 star
 (25)
4 star
 (34)
3 star
 (33)
2 star
 (18)
1 star
 (20)
Overall
3.1 (113 )
5 star
 (21)
4 star
 (26)
3 star
 (30)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (21)
Story
3.6 (113 )
5 star
 (35)
4 star
 (39)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (17)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Melinda UT 09-23-14
    Melinda UT 09-23-14 Member Since 2009

    So hooked by audio that I have to read books aloud. *If my reviews help, please let me know.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8078
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    581
    235
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4360
    11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Big Boys Behaving Badly"

    Months ago I finished this novel, attempted to review, but my fingers hovered over the keyboard and my head felt scrambled -- the condition is called being *dumbstruck.* As a reviewer wrote, Summer House is "uncommon" and if you read Koch's previous novel, The Dinner, you know the author has a blunt-force style that is anything but common. He is out of the box, out of bounds, and you need to brace yourself for a style that might leave you a little dumbstruck. It's not that he is offensive -- he is completely unique and captures his characters in sticky icky situations, at the edge of civility, then pushes it to places we hope we are incapable of falling to ourselves.

    Subject matter is borderline, of course, it's Koch, and if just hearing *lecherous older men and barely-into-their-teens young girls* already has you grimacing -- not your book because that is just the beginning. (I had to keep in mind that nude sunbathing and swimming is de rigueur in some cultures.) Throw in lots of alcohol, a doctor that is repulsed by the human body, adultery, rape, and nude frolicking on the beach... it's gritty and uncomfortable (like getting sand in places usually covered by your bathing suit). And as if it isn't already prickly enough, there are plenty of moments where you shouldn't be laughing, but you are...that watching someone stumble and ride down the stairs laugh. Koch connects with a part of us that some of us don't want to know is there, and that is what is the most discomforting.

    Koch is a good writer and does what he sets out to do well. He keeps you engaged even when it's uncomfortable -- but so does an electric fence. I occasionally like a book where I am expected to boo and hiss the bad guys -- it's all good fun. But, I think Summer House crossed MY line by featuring too many taboos. In the end (and what about that end??-huh?) I recognize the author's uniqueness and talent, but Summer House "enriched me not" and left me feeling almost guilty, "poor indeed." If you think you have the mental fortitude, you don't have bouts of depression triggered by icky situations, you love to hate the characters and dark deeds, don't mind sand in cracks...this may be your book.

    48 of 52 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simone 06-10-14
    Simone 06-10-14 Member Since 2006

    Join me on GoodReads too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    485
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    458
    324
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    68
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I am all over the place with this one!"

    I ADORED “The Dinner” I am in love with the writing style so when I saw that there was another English language book by the same author I bought it right away without reading the synopsis.

    This book really made an impression, but perhaps not for the right reasons! The plot was interesting, I liked the story, but his I think his descriptive writing style is a little too good – it’s so shocking and jarring!

    There is so much distain and revulsion and negative energy in the main character that it’s sometimes hard to read! He makes you feel dirty and off-center; he’s so unlikable and his thoughts are so disturbing. His thinking is so sick and detestable it makes you wonder why you’re still reading, yet you do because you’ve never read anything like it before and you’re genuinely curious to know where it will lead. A little like watching a train wreck.

    Perhaps because this was an audio-book I was extra disquieted because I was actually hearing someone vocalize the thoughts – actually saying the words; I think that had a bigger impact.

    Personally, I was let down by the ending but the ride was so “different” that I didn’t mind. I’d love to read another book by the same author, but honestly I hope it won’t be as alarming!

    34 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie W. Capell Milwaukee, WI USA 08-11-14
    Julie W. Capell Milwaukee, WI USA 08-11-14 Member Since 2007

    notthe1

    HELPFUL VOTES
    334
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    135
    106
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    14
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Had to quit after chapter 13 -- huge "ick" factor"

    It pains me greatly to be giving this book only 2 stars, because I think Herman Koch is a brilliant writer. In the first several chapters alone, I found dozens of passages that were flat-out genius, such as the section where he lampoons the myriad abuses to which Shakespeare’s plays are subjected by small theater companies. But I have decided to give up reading this novel after Chapter 13 for a highly personal reason: too many nitty gritty, nasty details about the human body and medical conditions. As in his previous novel, “The Dinner,” the author treats the reader to a stream-of-consciousness from within the head of the protagonist. In “Summer House,” the main character is a doctor, and when his mind goes off-topic, he nearly always reflects on the gross things a doctor has to see and do during the course of a day seeing patients. Because Koch is such a good writer, the descriptions are quite realistic and cringe-inducing, which I surmise is exactly the reaction Koch is looking for, but it is too creepy for me. If you can get beyond this “ick” factor, you may enjoy the book, but if you, like me, can barely watch an episode of “CSI” without getting grossed out, you may want to skip this book.

    38 of 42 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison New Jersey 06-28-14
    Alison New Jersey 06-28-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wasn't sure where it was going..."

    This is my first novel by Herman Koch. I had no idea where it was going. But I'm glad I hung in there. The first half was slow... painfully. It was kind of like American Psycho goes doctor without the blood and chainsaws. But in the end it's a story of a sad broken family, lead by a narcissistic, scary physician.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 06-21-14
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 06-21-14 Member Since 2003

    glam

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4545
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    484
    311
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3825
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An uncommon mystery"

    OK, the familiar basics are there: attractive teenage girl, overprotective father, lustful family friend, moneyed, powerful, and successful.

    But this is where the archetypes end. The protagonist is a physician, a cynical general practitioner with a dissonant loathing for the human body; his remarks about office visits by the "typical" patient are filled with negative energy and his self-deprecation for not being "good enough" to sign on for four + more years of med school in order to specialize are recounted in detail.

    Mix this up with a family vacation with his actor friend and his family, two beautiful (aren't they always?) daughters and there follows a series of potential disasters. Lots of near-nudity by the pool and at the beach, bikini bottoms that nearly fall off, body contact during casual ping-pong games and just general older man-teenage girl lust.

    This novel would have seemed clichéed and overdone if it were not for the primary character's voice and dark vision of life, coupled with a vaguely-described precipitous event befalling one of the daughters. She has nothing to say about what actually happened and she continues her life "sadder but wiser" as the saying goes. We never find out just exactly what happened but we can all guess. The doctor's quest to find the perp after this summer seaside idyll dominates the rest of the story.

    My only issue with this novel is the lack of geographical grounding. We know the doc is living and practicing somewhere in Holland but that's as far as it gets. The sense of place, with shops and restaurants, museums, scenery, architecture, weather, people-watching, etc. is missing, and there is no concept of a particular locale that could act as a backdrop for the action, if not be present as an additional character.

    Narration is perfect, the voice very neutral but age-appropriate

    This book does not follow any typical story line nor any customary resolution, and that's why it gets five stars.




    31 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Yacolt, WA, United States 08-09-14
    Linda Yacolt, WA, United States 08-09-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    121
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    94
    45
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Over the top for me. Makes me shudder."

    This narrator did an excellent job portraying a truly loathsome individual. If the author's purpose was to make you despise the main character, he has succeeded admirably. I've made it through three and a half hours and I'm not sure I'll go further. Perhaps having grown up with relatives who were similarly nasty, mean, negative and hateful has colored my outlook. I don't need to reminded of the damage and destruction which this type person can inflict. On the positive side, listening to this book does remind me of the many kind and wonderful people there are.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ferngarden Newton, NJ 07-09-14
    ferngarden Newton, NJ 07-09-14 Member Since 2011

    ferngarden

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wishing for more substance"

    It's tough when you can't find any redeeming values in the main character. His distaste for his patients got irritating.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Damore Moorpark, CA 06-21-14
    J. Damore Moorpark, CA 06-21-14 Member Since 2013

    scifi lover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hated it!"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I listened to nearly an hour and it was just way too dark and ugly.


    What could Herman Koch have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    It was hard to listen to. It jumped around and bored me.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Peter Berkrot?

    Most books even with so-so narrators keep me interested but the material was not enjoyable to me.


    What character would you cut from Summer House with Swimming Pool?

    I don't know, didn't get far enough.


    9 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A PENNSYLVANIA 12-04-14
    A PENNSYLVANIA 12-04-14 Member Since 2011

    Mom of 2

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "If I could give it less stars I would"

    Awful and the narration seemed to intensify the terrible book that this is. I wish I had not wasted my money. Disappointed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.