Cover Image: Big Swiss

Big Swiss

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Member Reviews

I saw a reviewer say her favorite genre is messed up women doing crazy sh*t and I think she nailed it, and nailed why I enjoyed this wacky yet addictive work of fiction.

Greta lives in a small town working to transcribe the sessions of a sex coach. Greta soon falls for one of her bosses female patients and they begin an intense affair. Along the way we learn about both women’s traumatic pasts, each dealing with them in different ways. The book is also filled with animals (there’s a bee hive in the house Greta lives in for example) strange memories, humor and some graphic sex talk.

This book took me a minute to hook into but once I was in I was laughing and cringing (gleefully) along the way. There are some serious laugh out loud moments here and the writing is very quirky and unique. I felt a weird connection to Greta even through her damaged lense. Certainly not a book for everyone but for those that like offbeat and unhinged this is for you.

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Unique well written drew me right in devoured in a day.I laughed out loud more then once.Jen Beagins writing is a treasure I’m already looking forward to her next novel.#netgalley #scribner.

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This book was well written, but at time very wordy. The content was not my normal, but I wanted to finish it as I heard Jodie Comer was slated to star as Big Swiss in an HBO adaption of this book.

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I really enjoyed this one. I've seen other reviews compare it to Moshfegh's novels, and I agree that there are definitely some similarities, but there are enough differences to make it feel fresh. I loved how Greta's job added so much to the story--that we got to read some of the transcripts, and for other characters, she recognized them by their voice. It's the perfect book for nosy people (myself included).

I maybe wanted a little more resolution between Greta and Big Swiss, but I also understand why the story ended where it did. Overall, would definitely recommend this one.

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say hello to the brilliant newcomer to the unhinged woman genre.

greta is newly single and new to the hudson valley, she lands a job working as a transcriber for a sexual therapist which results. in her she spending her days listening to her neighbors sexual problems. one particular woman with an accent calls her attention. big swiss is what greta calls her, she’s from switzerland and has a refreshing attitude towards trauma. after running into big swiss in the dog park the two become a pair which quickly turns messy with lies and secrecy.

this book makes us ask ourselves what is trauma and how do you deal with it?

jen beagin created something completely unhinged, hilarious, messy, intense and a story that is simply a damn good time. if you love ottessa moshfegh and melissa broder i think this is the book for you!

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The writing is stilted, there is no character development and the storyline is lacking. I struggled to finish it. Hard pass.

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Our main character, Greta transcribes Sex Therapy sessions in her small town. The peek into peoples innermost issues was intriguing. I had a hard time forming a solid mental picture of a few characters, as development was somewhat scattered. I felt that the most developed character in this book was the old house. Thank you Net Galley for a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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BIG SWISS was hilarious omg. I did not expect to laugh so much. I loved the voice, the strange array of characters that inhabit the Hudson setting, which was so ridiculously rendered it became one of my favorite aspects of the novel. The premise itself was wonderfully original. This was such a delight.

Thanks to the publisher for the e-galley!

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The cover of this one made me want to read it and then I read the description and I was excited! This book was a weird chaos of things that wouldn't happen in real life. Someone has a bee hive in their kitchen? And all these people in a small town see the same sex therapist? And it's a sex therapist that wears mesh crop tops in the sessions? I like weird, but I think this was just too weird for me. No one in the story was really all that particularly likeable, so I wasn't all that attached and didn't really care what happened to them. This one may not have really been my vibe.

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3.5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley and Scribner for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Living with a friend in an ancient farmhouse that’s falling apart and inhabited by bees, squirrels, and other guests, Greta spends her days transcribing therapy sessions for a local sex therapist. After becoming intrigued by one of his clients, she recognizes her voice at a dog park. Their strange histories and trauma connect them. The problem? Big Swiss is married, and Greta gave her a fake name and didn’t tell her that she’s heard all her deep secrets in her therapy sessions.

This book reminds me of some obscure indie movies of the early 2000s. They were sometimes weird, sometimes brilliant, and if you found a good one you could pretentiously refer to it as your favorite movie. There’s a lot going on in this book. It was sometimes weird, or gross, or eccentric, or heartbreaking. But there were also moments of laughter and pure love that endeared you to the story even more. Some of my favorite parts were the off-handed comments that really had nothing to do with the plot, but instead described the hipsters of the town, the animals, or were even used in a self-deprecating way. Although I never really loved the premise around Greta listening in to the therapy sessions (even though it was her job), the individual characters (and animals) are what held me in.

I also saw that this has already been picked up by HBO, so I’m intrigued to see how that develops!

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I just loved this book. It's different, funny, complex - it just knows which buttons to press and when to press them. Highly recommend!

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what a messy, incredibly weird, at times uncomfortable, yet absolutely captivating, witty, and delightful book.
throughout these 336 pages we are presented with a realistic and honest take on love and loss; and one with the personal trauma of our main characters at the very forefront.
i am in absolute awe of how jen beagin’s mind works because this book has that very specific wow factor about it. she truly has mastered the art of pacing, interesting characters, and a captivating plot.

the publisher kindly provided this arc through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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This is one of those literary fiction books that is so well written and so tongue-in-cheek, it's hard to believe that it's real.

A transcriptionist who falls in love with a client. It's a weird concept, but it's one that's so funny and so odd that it just makes sense. Jen Beagin writes with sly grin and wink.

Not everyone is going to love this, there's a very specific audience for this kind of book. I'm in that audience, 100%.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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I found the story to be different and very original. It felt like it was breaking some sort of a rule for novel writing that I couldn't quite put my finger on but enjoyed. Overall, there were parts that felt like fillers, that I couldn't helped but skim through. But overall, I liked that it broke the pattern of books with a very similar plot that have been flooding the market. For that reason, I would recommend it to someone looking for "something different."

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Reality has its place in literature, but I always admire the writers who are able to take the fantastical and use it to reveal universal truths. And no one is better at that than Jen Beagin. There are no accountants or generic duplexes in Jen Beagin novel. It’s all sex therapists and rotting, historical farmhouses filled with bees.

Big Swiss follows Greta, a transcriber for a local sex therapist who falls in love with a patient’s voice and, when she runs into her at a dog park, embarks on an exhilarating affair. Not a great foundation for a relationship, plus Greta is still stuck in old patterns stemming from childhood trauma. And let me tell you, it’ll be one of the funniest books you’ll read all year. I don’t know how Beagin does it, but I’m so glad she does.

Read if you like: eccentric characters, eavesdropping, Otessa Moshfegh

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What a book to start the year off with! A strange, absorbing tale of obsession and a funny evisceration of Hudson /"hipster" culture and questionable modern modes of psychology/therapy. Some of the stranger bits didn't fully work for me until the end (Sabine and Keith's plots, specifically), but definitely one of the stronger queer literary fiction releases I've read recently. Looking forward to the HBO series.

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Wow. Such a weird and utter delight! I absolutely loved "Big Swiss" by Jen Beagin. I've heard of her previous novels, but I've never read her work before. Beagin's writing is so hilarious, touching, bizarre, and sometimes downright gross - but addicting as well. It's got the right amount of quirkiness. Even though I hated Flavia because of the hurtful and outrageous things she says to her sex therapist, and her love interest Greta - I was still fascinated by her because she felt so real and raw. Greta was such a great and complex protagonist. I loved reading her backstory, her traumatic childhood, and her spiral into suicidal ideation. The relationship between Greta and Flavia was so dysfunctional. I couldn't decide if they were meant to be or a disaster waiting to happen. I've been in such a reading slump the last few months that this book shocked me how amazing it was. I laughed so much reading this. I thought the ending was realistic and sweet. You can't go wrong with miniature donkeys!

Thank you, Netgalley and Scribner for the digital ARC.

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What a delightfully unhinged little book.

Greta is a professional transcriber in the eccentric town of Hudson, New York. She's currently working for a sex therapist named Om, transcribing his sessions with clients for his book-in-progress. She falls hard for the disembodied voice of patient "FEW," whom she nicknames "Big Swiss," and is shocked when she comes across her in real life at a dog park. Greta strikes up a relationship with Big Swiss under less-than-honest pretenses, and the situation sort of spirals from there.

Y'all. There is a FONDUE dinner party scene in this book that is nearly as uncomfortably awkward as the dinner party episode of The Office, which I hope you've seen. Who on earth has fondue at an adult dinner party? Is this a thing? If so, where is my invite?!

Also, the house. The house that Greta lives in is a crumbling eighteenth century Dutch farmhouse, complete with an ENTIRE BEEHIVE, stinkbugs, ants, 52 generations of squirrels, and precious mini donkeys named Ellington and Pantaloon.

I digress. This book is quirky, grotesque, uncomfortable, and hilarious. It does deal with some pretty serious issues, but it manages to keep the tone light despite the darkness. I really enjoyed the ride, and if you like strange and unique fiction, I heartily recommend giving it a read.

Thank you to Jen Beagin, Scribner, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this ARC!

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Jen Beagin is a national treasure. Thankfully she is a prolific author, as waiting for her next work is painful.

One of the few authors who make me literally chuckle out loud, Beagin’s work deserves to be devoured only when one can concentrate on her sublime phrasing. Big Swiss takes her work to a whole new level.

Highly recommended!

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This was a queer, hilarious, and big hearted novel with such a unique premise and point of view. The main character was messy and unlikeable, but unlike most women in this genre, she was an older woman, middle working class, and lesbian. I loved the stupidity of her con against two other characters who are just as stupid as her. It made for such an entertaining read, and I would totally recommend this as one to tout along to the beach for a dark, funny anti-romance that is still commercial. It is also compulsively readable because so much of it is written as transcripts of conversations.

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