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Big Swiss

por Jen Beagin

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5011649,200 (3.65)9
"Greta lives with her friend Sabine in an ancient Dutch farmhouse in Hudson, New York. The house, built in 1737, is unrenovated, uninsulated, and full of bees. Greta spends her days transcribing therapy sessions for a sex coach who calls himself Om. She becomes infatuated with his newest client, a repressed married woman she affectionately refers to as Big Swiss, since she's tall, stoic, and originally from Switzerland. Greta is fascinated by Big Swiss's refreshing attitude toward trauma. They both have dark histories, but Big Swiss chooses to remain unattached to her suffering while Greta continues to be tortured by her past. One day, Greta recognizes Big Swiss's voice at the dog park. In a panic, she introduces herself with a fake name and they quickly become enmeshed. Although Big Swiss is unaware of Greta's true identity, Greta has never been more herself with anyone. Her attraction to Big Swiss overrides her guilt, and she'll do anything to sustain the relationship..."--Provided by publisher.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 15 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Fun premise but it peters out. ( )
  ghefferon | May 11, 2024 |
A perfect book for Wes Anderson fans with a delectable deadpan delivery of all lines. This book—definitely not for everyone—is a bit boorish and ridiculous at times, but it’s also pretty funny. I laughed a lot: Om, the sex therapist, or more likely, faux therapist; Greta and her witty monologues and over-the-top situations; all the crazy transcripts from Om’s patients. While it was something I laughed out loud through, it’s also a story where I didn’t really care about the characters, which made the second half feel a bit like trudging uphill. ( )
  lizallenknapp | Apr 20, 2024 |
This book was like a car crash. The main character and actually all the characters were extremely unlikable, but I couldn't look away. It was super weird and kind of enthralling, that being said I'm not sure if it was... good? I didn't get anything from it and it was just kind of a dumpster fire even if it was entertaining at times. I'm not really sure it had anything "to say." There were a lot of interesting details and it felt very contemporary but I don't think I would say that I really liked it so overall I guess it was fine and I think I WOULD read more books like this but something about this book just.. didn't quite get there for me as much as I love chaos. It was just kind of trashy and kind of gross, but just to be clear, I ALSO wouldn't say it was bad. I did want to keep reading the whole time. I was invested. The ending was kind of meh for me though. For how drawn out the rest was, the last few chapters felt very abrupt. ( )
  ZetaRiemann | Apr 4, 2024 |
One unique novel. About things like suicide and an affair and traumatic assaults, but also very funny in its own way. Set in upstate New York with memorable characters. ***** ( )
  KatyBee | Feb 26, 2024 |
I wonder how many reviewers have used the word quirky or a synonym to describe this book. It is witty, it is a romance but mixed up in all of that is trauma, lots of trauma, an enormous hive of bees, dogs and some minature donkeys. I have seen the front cover all over the place and often wondered why it had a dog with his tongue sticking out towards another's mouth - well it's probably to reflect all the oral sex that is described in the book and a whole lot politer than putting labia shaped 'like a lotus flower' on it.

Greta (or Rebekah) has moved to Hudson 'where the horny go to die' and is living in a ramshackle but wonderful, old house that is cold and has a large bee hive on the ceiling in the kitchen. She has taken a job transcribing sessions that a local therapist holds who is known as Om. It means she knows everyone's secrets and can also, when she is out and about, identify people through recognising their voices. She regularly transcribes the sessions of someone she calls Big Swiss and eventually becomes obsessed with her. They meet because of their dogs and eventually have an affair but it is shadowed by their trauma. Big Swiss from being attacked by a man and only just surviving and Greta from her mother's suicide. There is also Sabine who owns the old house who has to go into rehab for her drug habit. So here we have three women who have been traumatised in one way or another but who deal with it in different ways; one is open about it and tells other people, one is so ashamed that she has treatment without telling anyone else and the other doesn't really realise that she is traumatised.

Whilst there is very dark side to this book, it is also about healing. About the unconditional love of animals and what they can do to help, about friendships and about facing up to your problems and dealing with them.

The best characters in the book are females with the men often being 2 dimensional. There is Sabine's father who is ancient but makes a pass at Greta.

Yes, people age horribly. They suffer strokes. Their bodies and brains fall apart. But the male ego? Firmly intact until the bitter end.
p42

There is the violent man, Luke the husband who is a nonentity and Gideon the beekeeper in his simple clothing and with his kind nature. And there is Om wearing 'a white fishnet tank top, a chunky cardigan, and white harem pants'. The women, however are complex, witty, fighters who keep on going and who are not always predictable. They are described clearly, both physically and emotionally with rich inner lives and none of the women see themselves as victims.

The book is also a commentary or side swipe at therapy culture and whether that heals or not. I'm not sure it does anything for Big Swiss, it might help Greta but Beagin does seem to suggest that you can go on and have a life and love after trauma. But what is is about all the insects? ( )
  allthegoodbooks | Jan 25, 2024 |
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Greta called her Big Swiss because she was tall and from Switzerland, and often dressed from top to toe in white, the color of surrender.
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Yes, people age horribly. They suffer strokes. Their bodies and brains fall apart. But the male ego? Firmly intact until the bitter end.
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"Greta lives with her friend Sabine in an ancient Dutch farmhouse in Hudson, New York. The house, built in 1737, is unrenovated, uninsulated, and full of bees. Greta spends her days transcribing therapy sessions for a sex coach who calls himself Om. She becomes infatuated with his newest client, a repressed married woman she affectionately refers to as Big Swiss, since she's tall, stoic, and originally from Switzerland. Greta is fascinated by Big Swiss's refreshing attitude toward trauma. They both have dark histories, but Big Swiss chooses to remain unattached to her suffering while Greta continues to be tortured by her past. One day, Greta recognizes Big Swiss's voice at the dog park. In a panic, she introduces herself with a fake name and they quickly become enmeshed. Although Big Swiss is unaware of Greta's true identity, Greta has never been more herself with anyone. Her attraction to Big Swiss overrides her guilt, and she'll do anything to sustain the relationship..."--Provided by publisher.

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