Monday, October 13, 2014
I loved Herman Koch's dark and shocking The Dinner so I eagerly snatched up his latest, Summer House with Swimming Pool. Narrated by an un-apologetically acerbic doctor, this book is as cringe-worthy as The Dinner. And I adored it. What can I say? I have a thing for unlikeable characters and Koch does them so well--so well, in fact, that I wonder how he gets away with it. His books are not for the weak of stomach, or anyone hoping for someone to root for. His characters say and do and think things that we, only in our worst moments, might brush up against. But that's the thing, I think--Koch dares to go to the places we, in polite society, will not. In this novel, he unblinkingly shows us what happens when a questionably morale doctor uses the tools of his trade to right a wrong committed against his family. This is not a feel-good tale. But it is darkly funny and deeply honest. And unnerving.