Thursday, July 17, 2014

Book Review: Summer House with Swimming Pool

I loved Herman Koch's novel The Dinner so I couldn't wait to read this book. His characters are so despicable. There wasn't a single one in The Dinner that was redeemable. This was true again in Summer House With Swimming Pool. I'm starting to wonder what goes through the mind of this author!

If you read this book, it would be easy to jump to the conclusion that Koch has little respect for women. His characters view them as nothing more than sex objects, including the two young girls in the novel who are 11 and 13-years-old. Koch pushes it to a limit that sent alarm bells ringing through my mind. The girls pose for a couple of boys as they stand on a diving board and are squirted with hoses as part of a "Miss Wet T-shirt" contest. The girls' father finds it amusing. I found it disturbing.

What kind of father is okay with boys making his daughters into sex objects at that (or any) age? One of the boys gets angry at the younger girl and calls her a "slimy bitch." Again - what kind of father allows a boy to call his 11-year-old daughter that in front of him?

All of the male characters in the novel are atrociously misogynistic. I couldn't stand any of them. I knew the book would take twists and turns that rattle the rational mind, but didn't expect some of the things that came up. Again, it made me wonder what in the world goes through Herman Koch's mind? That being said, I can't wait for his next book to be translated into English. So what does that say about my own psyche?

HERMAN KOCH is the author of eight novels and three collections of short stories. The Dinner, his sixth novel, has been published in twenty-five countries, and was an international bestseller. He currently lives in Amsterdam.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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