Available For Rent: “Summer House With Swimming Pool”

th-1Last year, I chewed on the sinister plot lurking below the veneer of social graces present in Herman Koch’s The Dinner, so I was eager to read his new novel, Summer House With Swimming Pool.  What I loved about The Dinner, was that Koch used the courses of a meal as a foundation for the story.  But, the explanations of Ralph Meier’s medical practice didn’t have quite the same impact in Summer House.  Instead, I found them distracting to the overall story, which was already hard to decipher.  The death of Ralph’s patient provided a mysterious element to his normally calm life, which was enhanced by the adulterous affair he had with the dead patient’s wife.  I waited for the  surprise I now anticipate from Koch’s novels, but the meandering story frustrated me.  Nothing was connecting, the interactions seemed too removed from the death, and there wasn’t any hint of a plot to keep me wondering what would happen next.  Disappointed, I gave up on page 200.


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