Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch is intentionally and successfully unsettling. Right off the bat you learn that general physician Marc Schlosser has made a decision that throws his license into jeopardy. The novel then backtracks to the events that lead to his questionable actions.
The characters are unlikable, made even more so by their lack of redeeming qualities. This leads to an interesting cast, though if the character flaws were intended to make the people seem more realistic they fell short of their goal. While it's true that everyone has their faults, it seems that these characters give you no reasons to root for them. This took some getting used to, but I eventually enjoyed that when a character solves a problem it creates trouble for someone else.
This book is slow, but the writing is compelling enough to support the areas that are largely character driven. The beach vacation home as a setting (not to mention the cover design) makes this book seem like a fun summer read. The subject matter does not, so be prepared.
3 out of 5 stars
I received this book from Blogging for Booksfor this review.