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Big Swiss
Big Swiss: A Novel | Jen Beagin
A brilliantly original and funny novel about a sex therapists transcriptionist who falls in love with a client while listening to her sessions. When they accidentally meet in real life, an explosive affair ensues. 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 shes tall, stoic, and originally from Switzerland. Greta is fascinated by Big Swisss 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 Swisss 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 Gretas true identity, Greta has never been more herself with anyone. Her attraction to Big Swiss overrides her guilt, and shell do anything to sustain the relationship Bold, outlandish, and filled with irresistible characters, Big Swiss is both a love story and also a deft examination of infidelity, mental health, sexual stereotypes, and morefrom an amazingly talented, one-of-a-kind voice in contemporary fiction.
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Cinfhen
Big Swiss: A Novel | Jen Beagin
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It‘s a bail at the 60% mark. This book started out entertaining but it quickly became gimmicky and a bit too much for me. A woman who transcribes a therapist‘s sessions becomes obsessed with one of his patients. When they meet by chance, Greta the transcriber,initiates an affair with the woman she‘s named “Big Swiss”

peaknit I finished last night…weird as hell. Lol 20h
Cinfhen @peaknit did I miss anything by bailing??? It just became SOOOOO ridiculous 20h
BrittanyReads I have no interest in reading this...but what is with the cover?? I hate it so much hahah 18h
See All 6 Comments
Cinfhen I kind of dig the cover @BrittanyReads but the whole book was really 🍌👖 17h
peaknit I would say you really didn‘t miss anything. It was an unusual story so I gave it three stars for creativity but I don‘t think I would heartily recommend it to anyone. 13h
Cinfhen Oh good @peaknit I agree, it was definitely unique but I‘m glad I bailed when I did 😉 12h
57 likes1 stack add6 comments
review
nitalibrarian
Big Swiss: A Novel | Jen Beagin
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Pickpick

What a weird book. But in a really really good way. It's kind a refreshing reading a character my age (40s) who is a mess. And even though I didn't really like her, which has never stopped me from enjoying a book, I couldn't wait to read what she would do or say next. #aardvark

review
Megabooks
Big Swiss: A Novel | Jen Beagin
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Pickpick

This was truly hilarious and a joy to read! Sometimes funny fiction falls flat for me, but Greta was a character you can root for and laugh at.

Greta transcribes the audio recordings from a local sex therapist. She becomes intrigued by a patient she calls Big Swiss. When they meet at the dog park, an attraction and affair develops. But Greta doesn‘t stop listening to Swiss‘ appointments…🫣

Great pick @AardvarkBookClub 🤩🧀

Soubhiville I‘m so glad you liked it! I‘m hoping to read it in the next month or two… 5d
Suet624 Okay, I‘ve see a bunch of great reviews but the cover always stopped me. Your review has sealed the deal. Stacked! 4d
Megabooks @Soubhiville awesome! I hope you enjoy it. 4d
See All 15 Comments
Megabooks @Suet624 enjoy!! Sometimes a cover can be a turn off. I like this one, but I can see why others don‘t. 4d
Suet624 I can‘t believe you have daffodils still. I have snowbanks. (edited) 4d
BarbaraBB Sounds a bit like a book by Marcy Dermanski! 4d
peaknit I‘m reading it now, and Greta is a hoot! 4d
Cinfhen I‘ve been curious about this one but now I‘m hooked!! 4d
Megabooks @Suet624 they‘re pretty wilted from the hard freeze last night. Those were the last spot to bloom. Some of our others had already lost their blooms because they had already finished their natural cycle. I‘m hoping two nights of hard freeze didn‘t damage the irises, lilies, and daisies who have already broken though the ground. It was too much to cover. Weather has been wild this year!! 4d
Megabooks @BarbaraBB good comparison!! 👍🏻 are you planning to read it? 4d
Megabooks @peaknit truth! 🙌🏻🙌🏻 4d
Megabooks @Cinfhen I think you‘d enjoy it!! 4d
BarbaraBB Yes I am! 3d
Suet624 The weather sure has been hard to deal with. I hate seeing my flowers get hit with frost. And we have frost until the end of may quite often. 3d
swishandflick Woohoo! So excited to read this one 2d
94 likes8 stack adds15 comments
blurb
nitalibrarian
Big Swiss: A Novel | Jen Beagin
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Started this one today. #aardvark

quote
Viji
Big Swiss: A Novel | Jen Beagin
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She‘d been a listener all her life and tended to surround herself with people in love with their own voices.

47 likes2 stack adds
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shawnmooney
Big Swiss: A Novel | Jen Beagin
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Opening paragraph

Bklover I love “ her pale blue eyes were of the penetrating cult-leader variety” 6d
Suet624 That‘s fantastic 6d
batsy @Bklover Yes, lol. What a paragraph. 6d
35 likes3 comments
blurb
JenReadsAlot
Big Swiss: A Novel | Jen Beagin
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Hey Litsy - blaming you for joining #aardvark 😊😂

Megabooks 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 1w
JuniperWilde What is aardvark? 🤔 4d
JenReadsAlot @JuniperWilde another book club like #botm 4d
swishandflick Whoop!! 2d
41 likes4 comments
blurb
nitalibrarian
Big Swiss: A Novel | Jen Beagin
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My #aardvark books are here! I love both covers.

JamieArc They are gorgeous covers 😍. I‘m super curious about Big Swiss. 1w
21 likes1 comment
review
BeeMagical
Big Swiss: A Novel | Jen Beagin
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Pickpick

Book 49📚 3.8⭐️

Hilarious and insightful💛

Greta is a sex therapists transcriber and things take a turn when she becomes inthralled by one of the patients, known to her as Big Swiss!

Oh the secrets!!

review
ICantImReading
Big Swiss: A Novel | Jen Beagin
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Big Swiss is a distinctive, indelible reading experience that might not be for everyone, but I loved it! Beagin‘s writing is witty and visceral; her characters are weird and captivating. Come for the voyeuristic thrill of glimpsing transcripts from Om‘s sex therapy sessions, stay for the darkly funny and absurd exploration of trauma, sex, and the human psyche.

BeeMagical I‘m starting this one today! It sounds like a riot! 3w
ICantImReading @BeeMagical you‘re in for a treat! 😆 I hope you like it! 💛 3w
53 likes3 stack adds2 comments
blurb
Breanne1
Big Swiss: A Novel | Jen Beagin
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I took the plunge and made my March #aardvark pick. Seen a bunch of instagram reviews on this book so I hope I‘m in for a good time. I am really looking forward to a skip option at Aardvark. I don‘t want to cancel but I‘m not always 100% sold on the selections. I‘m going to let it play out a few more months bc I can‘t bring myself to quit.

Megabooks Same!! 💯💯 3w
swishandflick I saw a response from them to an Instagram comment that said the skip function was currently being tested on iOS, so hopefully soon! 3w
tpixie I just heard about this on What should I read next? Owner of Novel Neighbor Bookshop in St Louis recommended it! 3w
13 likes3 comments
blurb
Megabooks
Big Swiss: A Novel | Jen Beagin
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Tbh, if I could‘ve skipped this #aardvark month, I would have. (Please bring in skip function!!) I‘m really interested in this book, but my wait time at the library is down to six weeks. The new Joyce Carol Oates sounded good, but I tend to buy mysteries then not read them. 🤷🏻‍♀️ The memoir sounded neat too, but I was worried about some of the CWs, but I appreciate their inclusion!!

dabbe This front cover is DA BOMB! 🤣❣️😊 3w
Megabooks @dabbe it‘s definitely a perfect cover for a novel about a sex therapist! 3w
BarbaraBB I am very interested in Big Swiss! 3w
See All 11 Comments
Megabooks @BarbaraBB I‘ll tag you in my review! I hope to get to it this month. 3w
Megabooks Also, @AardvarkBookClub I appreciate your inclusion of lots of LGBTQIA+ lit!! 🏳️‍🌈🙌🏻🙌🏻 3w
Soubhiville It‘s silly that the cover is holding me back from this one, I really don‘t like it. It sounds good though so I may pick it anyway. I‘m also interested in the memoir. 3w
ShelleyBooksie What's a CW? 3w
Megabooks @ShelleyBooksie content warning. Some people use it in place of TW (trigger warning). 3w
Megabooks @Soubhiville I‘m indifferent to this particular cover. I think it fits the book well, but it‘s not my favorite visually. I agree that it‘s hard to spend money on a book when you think the cover is ugly!! 3w
Hooked_on_books I wasn‘t super excited about these choices. I was glad to see them offer a NF book, but I‘m not a fan of childhood memoir, so it‘s not for me. 3w
Megabooks @Hooked_on_books yeah, I‘m not feeling childhood trauma memoirs atm, but I hope they keep going with NF picks. I remember when BOTM used to pick authors like Roxann Gay and Erik Larson…not anymore! 😒 I was pleased to see Hello Beautiful, too, and picked it as well! 3w
65 likes11 comments
review
nathandrake1997
Big Swiss: A Novel | Jen Beagin
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Pickpick

Trigger warning: Suicide
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Greta, a forty five year old transcriptionist for a therapist with more spiritual than psychological leanings, meets Flavia, one of the clients of said therapist and whose sessions Greta has transcribed quite a bit and in fact is quite infatuated by her, at a dog park.....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....Now, Flavia has no clue that Greta works for the therapist she is consulting and Greta bound by patient-doctor confidentiality can't reveal that she already knows Flavia and she not only knows Flavia, she has rechristened Flavia as Big Swiss since she is from Switzerland..... 3w
nathandrake1997 .....Now the aforementioned synopsis sounds ripe for a conventional romantic-comedy. But, the twist in the tale is, what Jen Beagin gives us in her magnificent novel BIG SWISS is a surprisingly layered and empathetically poignant character study where the characters are, in more ways than one, the themes Beagin discusses rather than merely the people populating her novel. The themes being mental health and the inherent fragility of its discourse.. 3w
nathandrake1997 .....The prose lies somewhere between the unflinching psychological hues of an Otessa Moshfegh text and the understated poignance of a Kazuo Ishiguro text. Its a layered mix of both and the result is a book that is heavier than meets the eye..... 3w
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nathandrake1997 .....As mentioned above, mental health is one of the key themes here, suicide in particular. Greta while working for a therapist, is suicidal herself. She also has a family history of suicide..... 3w
nathandrake1997 .....She lives in a house with a bee hive and the bees often end up banging head first on the various beams of the house and falling to their death. Greta wonders whether is this genuinely accidental or is this the bees committing suicide. Flavia/Big Swiss is from Switzerland. A country, while with a lot of external beauty and a booming tourism industry, is also known for its high suicide rate..... 3w
nathandrake1997 .....One wonders whether a part of Greta's infatuation for Flavia/Big Swiss is partly due to the fact that she is from a country with a high suicide rate..... 3w
nathandrake1997 .....Suicide becomes as much of a flesh and blood person as Greta and Flavia/Big Swiss. Another allusion to this is the instance when Flavia/Big Swiss asks Greta her last name and impulsive Greta replies "Graves". During this exchange, they are at a graveyard.... 3w
nathandrake1997 ....What especially moved me about the text is how empathetic Beagin is towards suicide. She doesn't demonize suicide. Instead, she looks at it with a lens of empathy and tries to have a dialogue with the themes she is covering about why people who end up taking their lives do what they do. This is that rare novel about mental health that in a way knows what it is talking about..... 3w
nathandrake1997 .....In multiple instances, I was reminded of one of my favourite books of last year, SORROW AND BLISS by Meg Mason, especially its achingly nuanced depiction of chronic depression. While Mason's novel was also a relationship drama, Beagin on the other hand places her focus rigidly on mental health..... 3w
nathandrake1997 .....The form echoes the clinical nature of its function. Every word feels like it has been weighed multiple times in its heft in comparison to the central themes of the novel before being committed to paper. Every sentence coalesces into a paragraph that invites the reader to read between the lines to have a dialogue with its themes rather than merely being a prop to function its plot..... 3w
nathandrake1997 .....This is a "character first" novel through and through, the only difference here is that the themes are the characters and the characters are a byproduct of the themes. 3w
BarbaraBB Your review sold it. Very good. Stacked. 3w
nathandrake1997 @BarbaraBB Thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 3w
Megabooks I‘m probably getting this from #aardvark in March. Great review! 3w
24 likes2 stack adds14 comments
blurb
swishandflick
Big Swiss: A Novel | Jen Beagin
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The first March #Aardvark clue is up and even though this one came out in Feb, I feel like this is a solid guess for the clues!

? = She transcribes sex therapy sessions
? = The blurb says something about bees in the house?
? = A little on the nose, but SWISS
❤️‍? = An "explosive" affair ensues after she falls in love with a client while listening to her sessions.

What do you think? The cover gives me the creeps but it sounds so good!

MicheleinPhilly This is 100% this book. 1mo
swishandflick @MicheleinPhilly You liked it, right? Unique but good? Not sure how I'll feel with that cover, but it seems like a book I would enjoy so I'll probably end up getting it anyway 😆 4w
MicheleinPhilly I did like it! It‘s a bit weird, but so am I. 😂 4w
68 likes4 comments
review
MicheleinPhilly
Big Swiss: A Novel | Jen Beagin
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Pickpick

Utterly bizarre but eminently readable.

AlaMich That cover…not sure what to make of it. 1mo
Suet624 That cover scares me. 1mo
MicheleinPhilly @AlaMich @Suet624 It‘s not a favorite. 1mo
See All 15 Comments
squirrelbrain This is apparently a ‘potential‘ for the Women‘s Prize longlist, so is on my radar. But, that cover. 😬 1mo
MicheleinPhilly @squirrelbrain Maybe the British cover is better? 🤔 1mo
squirrelbrain It‘s a cute cartoon-y couple of dogs - completely different! 1mo
MicheleinPhilly @squirrelbrain It definitely tracks with the story, but I still find that odd. 1mo
TrishB The blurb says full of bees?! Do bees feature? I‘m very scared of bees. 1mo
MicheleinPhilly @TrishB They do. There is a massive hive. No one gets chased or stung though. 1mo
TrishB I can‘t read or see pictures of them without feeling sick so I‘ll pass (also applies to wasps). 1mo
Megabooks I‘m excited to get this from the library…in three months. 😔 1mo
swishandflick @Megabooks I think this is a match for the first Aardvark clue! 1mo
Megabooks @swishandflick yes! I can see that! 1mo
MicheleinPhilly @swishandflick @Megabooks Oh, that‘s definitely what it is. 1mo
sarahbarnes This one is on my list. 3w
54 likes2 stack adds15 comments
review
GerardtheBookworm
Big Swiss: A Novel | Jen Beagin
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Pickpick

In the same vein as Ottessa Moshfegh, a mundane transcriber for a sex therapist becomes obsessed with a patient known as 'Big Swiss' and strikes up a friendship and an affair with the mysterious woman. As both deal with their traumas and past baggage, it becomes evident that each has bigger issues than they realize in this quirky satire of relationships and self-help.