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Do you believe that anyone in this novel is worthy of trust? How would you describe this book's view of human nature, and does it match your own?

Created: 07/22/15

Replies: 12

Posted Jul. 22, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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Do you believe that anyone in this novel is worthy of trust? How would you describe this book's view of human nature, and does it match your own?

Summer House with Swimming Pool poses vital questions about what it means to be a parent and friend, doctor and patient, villain or victim. Do you believe that anyone in this novel is worthy of trust? How would you describe this book's view of human nature, and does it match your own? 


Posted Jul. 26, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
julianna

Join Date: 10/10/13

Posts: 29

RE: Do you believe that anyone in this novel is worthy of trust? How would you describe this book's view of human nature, and does it match your own?

I don't believe any of the characters other than perhaps the children are worthy of trust. The books view of human nature is jaded, untrusting, unfortunate and unpleasant. It does not match my view of human nature but I found it interesting nonetheless.


Posted Jul. 26, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
robinn

Join Date: 12/06/14

Posts: 28

RE: Do you believe that anyone in this novel is worthy of trust? How would you describe this book's view of human nature, and does it match your own?

I think the only people trustworthy are the two girls. Koch's message is clear: no one can be trusted and this IS human nature.


Posted Jul. 27, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

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RE: Do you believe that anyone in this novel is worthy of trust? How would you describe this book's view of human nature, and does it match your own?

The author leads you along the path not to trust anyone. I know a portion of society is like this, but I am not. I find life much more interesting/rewarding when giving and caring for others. You might get burned occasionally, but you live and learn.


Posted Jul. 27, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanp

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 91

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RE: Do you believe that anyone in this novel is worthy of trust? How would you describe this book's view of human nature, and does it match your own?

These characters seem self-centered and reckless. Having money and celebrity may protect them from the consequences of this behavior. I don't know many people like this.


Posted Jul. 28, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

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RE: Do you believe that anyone in this novel is worthy of trust? How would you describe this book's view of human nature, and does it match your own?

I found all of the characters, with the exception of the children, to be totally untrustworthy and totally self absorbed, status seeking, and amoral. Caroline was a little better but seemed to drop out of the scene a lot and be totally inattentive to what her children were up to and unable to make Marc do anything she wanted.


Posted Aug. 03, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jeant

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 17

RE: Do you believe that anyone in this novel is worthy of trust? How would you describe this book's view of human nature, and does it match your own?

I didn't find any of the characters to be trustworthy. I've not read the author's book The Dinner but from comments made by others, and having read this book it would seem that the author has a particular gift for laying out the darker side of human nature under a spotlight. We all have shadow sides to our personality and psyche. Across humanity there will be a range of manifestation of the darker side of our nature. I think you could interpret the author's approach as being a cynical view of human nature. But I suspect it is more likely that he focuses his efforts toward examining the darkest aspects as sometimes concepts are easier to perceive at the furthest point in the spectrum rather than closer to the center where things are much grayer.


Posted Aug. 04, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
judithj

Join Date: 04/15/15

Posts: 45

RE: Do you believe that anyone in this novel is worthy of trust? How would you describe this book's view of human nature, and does it match your own?

The only character I liked at all was Marc's wife, Caroline. Her main concern was for her children and family. I find that sometimes I am too trusting of people. I'm very glad Marc is not MY doctor!!


Posted Aug. 04, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alissac

Join Date: 05/14/15

Posts: 34

RE: Do you believe that anyone in this novel is worthy of trust? How would you describe this book's view of human nature, and does it match your own?

It scares me to admit it, but the actor and his wife seemed the most trust worthy. They initially didn't come off that way, but three proved themselves to be exactly who they said they were- you could take them at face value, end of story, that was them. I hate saying that of the actor (who's name I irritatingly forget and the book is upstairs) bc he also, despite being honest, seems like a douche...maybe he is, an honest to God, douche among men...still, he's honest about it, and Julia seems ok with him. They are an honest, we know each other, couple, even if that knowledge proves unpleasant at times.


Posted Aug. 06, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

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RE: Do you believe that anyone in this novel is worthy of trust? How would you describe this book's view of human nature, and does it match your own?

I am not sure I would trust anyone. Maybe Marc's youngest daughter? (At least at her current age.)This book's view of human nature does not match my own. I know that creepy, untrustworthy, con-artists exist and that many partners are cheaters, liars, but the characters in this book simply ooze with negativity and lack of compassion for humanity. That does not match my image of human nature.


Posted Aug. 08, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jodig

Join Date: 06/07/15

Posts: 25

RE: Do you believe that anyone in this novel is worthy of trust? How would you describe this book's view of human nature, and does it match your own?

I agree with the last poster - I think I would only trust Lisa. Everyone else was horrible or self-centered or arrogant. This is not a group that represents my values or my sense about human nature. Interesting to read because it is so opposite of what my life is like.


Posted Aug. 17, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
N*Starr

Join Date: 03/13/14

Posts: 35

RE: Do you believe that anyone in this novel is worthy of trust? How would you describe this book's view of human nature, and does it match your own?

I am not sure I would use the word true to describe how I feel
about the characters. In some ways they are quite predictable and to that extent you can trust that will act in predictable ways. The thing is that the predictable ways are based in a predator/prey dynamic and thus you really can never trust either one since the roles only allow you to be killed or kill.


Posted Aug. 31, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
roberts

Join Date: 08/20/13

Posts: 31

RE: Do you believe that anyone in this novel is worthy of trust? How would you describe this book's view of human nature, and does it match your own?

Concurring with many of the other respondents I also find only Caroline to be a trustworthy adult. While we can and should question Caroline's parenting skills, Koch gives us no reason to question her trustfulness. Unlike the other adult characters (with the possible exceptions of Vera and Emanuelle) Caroline does not have a hidden agenda or alterior motives for her actions. She is well meaning and clearly ill at ease with the environment to which she has been subjected. That said, she is a weak character and dangerously acquiescent to her husband. That is most unfortunate given who Marc really is beneath the veneer.

As for the author's view of human nature Freud would feel most vindicated by the raging libidos on display at the summer house with swimming pool. Hedonism defined the outsized personalities of Ralph and Stanley, and Marc's secret emotions, passions and prejudices drove his illicit and diabolical behavior. Self control, honesty and respect were no where to be found in these flawed characters. In his subset of humanity Koch does not present any of the so-called better angels among us, and we do wonder whether the author finds any decency in this world.

My view of human nature is not as jaded or cynical as the author's. While there is (and always has been) more than enough evil to go around the human race would not have achieved what it has without compassion, decency, honesty, cooperation and loyalty.


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