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The Dinner by Herman Koch

The Dinner

by Herman Koch

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2,8282462,057 (3.43)222
Title:The Dinner
Authors:Herman Koch
Info:Text Publishing Co, Edition: English Language ed of Het Diner, Paperback
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Dinner by Herman Koch

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» See also 222 mentions

English (196)  Dutch (35)  Spanish (5)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (244)
Showing 1-5 of 196 (next | show all)
This book is amazing. It took me a while to get into it but when I got sucked in I couldn't put it down. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading a good page turner. ( )
  hayleymarie8161 | Nov 20, 2015 |
Though it was billed as being disturbing, I thought the subject matter of this book was stuff you’d typically hear on the news. I wished it was more shocking, but it was interesting to have to think of what you would do as a parent to give your kid the life you think they should have. ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
This was the NNCC book for October, and joy of joy's it was my suggestion. Hooray. I first heard about this book both BBC world book club and listening to the author speak about it really made me want to read it. Koch states in the BBC world book club that the theme is really that violence lurking inside all of us given the correct circumstances and it intrigued me.
This is the story of two couples, actually two brothers and their wives who are meeting for dinner to discuss something horrible their sons have done together. The first third of the book we don't know what the boys have done. The repercussions of this act by the boys is far reaching and potentially devastating for both themselves and their parent's futures.
I really liked this book. I was so happy I selected it. At the end of the there were still unanswered questions and mysteries that keep me up at night wondering about. I really like the character, even the unlivable ones, Koch did a great job writing and developing them. The mystery of the boys deeds and what their parents are going to do about it was doled out the right speed. Koch suckered us in and kept us asking what is going on? The characters find themselves in a very complicated situation and are very complicated characters, it all feeds into a well written and suspenseful novel that I couldn't put down once I picked it up, all other books fell to the wayside, because I had to KNOW what was going on.
It seems that at my book club I was the only person who actually liked the book, three others had mixed feelings, and the remaining four didn't like it. I understood their feelings and their reasoning, and it was actually mostly those reasonings that I liked it.
One of the big reasons the book was unlike was that the story got turned upside down, what you expected at the beginning of the book isn't what happened at the end. I liked that Koch took us down a twisty rabbit hole, that where we thought we knew what was happening and what would happen was wrong, I like when a book proves my preconceived plot notions wrong.
Two, the characters are unlikable, they don't make you want to invest in them. As I said earlier, I did like the characters and I did invest in them, so I didn't have this issue at all. I think it is refreshing to sometimes read about unlikable characters, to love to hate them almost. I didn't hate any of the characters, did I think some were schmucks, yes, did I hate them for it no. Were some of the characters morally corrupt and not nice people, did I hate them for that, nope. I viewed them as complicated and layered, the first layer is oh yes look as this nice family and this not so nice family, start peeling away the layers and you start seeing that things are not as cut and dry as they seem. If felt that Koch did a great job of peeling away the layers and showing us a more complicated family dynamic than at first appeared.
Three, Koch was a lazy writer who left lots of details out because it was too much work. I don't think he did it because he was lazy, I think he did it to reach a goal, to force his reader to wonder. That Koch wanted us to come to conclusions. The disease the father and mother have are never stated. Names of people and places are often left out.
Four, why was it set in a restaurant. Koch says in the BBC interview it was set on a restaurant in his neighborhood, and the point was to have the discussion in a public place to avoid violence.
Again I still really liked the book, I thought it was well written. I recommend it, but I think the caveat is that you might walk away from it with mixed feelings.
For additional reviews please see my blog at www.adventuresofabibliophile.blogspot.com
  Serinde24 | Oct 18, 2015 |
70 ( )
  michelestjohn | Oct 14, 2015 |
This is a book I highly recommend. Based on true events (albeit in another country), this novel is a chilling reminder of how actions can snowball and go so wrong. Facing the truth and the consequences of those actions, both on the part of the perpetrators and their families, makes for a thought-provoking story. ( )
  Jcambridge | Oct 13, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 196 (next | show all)
If you want to enjoy Herman Koch’s new novel, don’t read a single thing about it. To do so seriously reduces its power. Don’t read the blurbs on its dust jacket — an impressive list of authors that includes Gillian Flynn and S.J. Watson — nor the synopsis on the inside flap. Don’t even read this review. Actually, forget that — come back! It’s spoiler-free, I promise. . . . The Dinner is the kind of book I wish could be translated into English more often.
added by Nickelini | editNational Post, JC Sutcliffe (Feb 15, 2013)
The Dinner, a suspense novel by Herman Koch, has sold over a million copies since it was published in Europe in 2009, and it's not difficult to understand the appeal. It's fast-paced and riveting. Written in cool, detached prose (deftly translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett), The Dinner is as theatrical and dramatic as a well-crafted play. It's also nasty. It starts off as social satire but shifts gears, and you find yourself in the middle of a horror story. . . . Mr. Koch delivers his revelations cleverly, by the spoonful. Issues of morality, responsibility and punishment are raised along the way, and a Pinteresque menace lurks under the surface. When savagery takes over, the reader is shocked. But some of Mr. Koch's conclusions are a bit too pat. In the end, the book sits on the digestion less like an over-indulgent "fine dining" experience than Chinese food, which, as we all know, leaves you feeling hungry a couple of hours later.
“The Dinner,” Herman Koch’s internationally popular novel, is an extended stunt. Mr. Koch confines his story to one fraught restaurant meal, where malice, cruelty, craziness and a deeply European malaise are very much on the menu.
"The Dinner” has been wishfully compared to Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” (and enthusiastically endorsed by Ms. Flynn) for its blackhearted deviltry. But her book, with its dueling narrators, had two vicious but sympathetic voices. Her sneaky spouses were delectable in their evil genius. The Lohmans are indigestible.
added by sneuper | editNew York Times, Janet Maslin (Feb 6, 2013)
“The Dinner,” Herman Koch’s internationally popular novel, is an extended stunt. Mr. Koch confines his story to one fraught restaurant meal, where malice, cruelty, craziness and a deeply European malaise are very much on the menu. The four diners can leave the table occasionally, headed to the restrooms or the garden or the handy room of flashback memories. But mostly they sit and seethe at one another as a miserable night unfolds.
This book has been widely described as both thriller and chiller, but it really is neither.
But it’s the morality of the story that’s really sickening.
added by sneuper | editNew York Times, Janet Maslin (Feb 6, 2013)
Welsh is intrigued by a novel reminiscent of The Slap and Carnage
added by Nickelini | editthe Guardian, Louise Welsh (Aug 17, 2012)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Herman Kochprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Garrett, SamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
C'mon, throw in a buck.
Uh-huh, I don't tip.
Whaddaya mean, you don't tip?
I don't believe in it.

Quentin Tarantino
Reservoir Dogs
First words
We were going out to dinner.
If I had to give a definition of happiness, it would be this: happiness needs nothing but itself; it doesn't have to be validated.
A fixed appointment for the immediate future is the gates of hell; the actual evening is hell itself.
The stupid woman is the one who thinks she doesn't need any help.
It's like a pistol in a stage play; when someone waves a pistol during the first act, you can bet your bottom dollar that someone will be shot with it before the curtain falls. That's the law of drama. The law that says no pistol must appear if no one's going to fire it.
Sometimes things come out of your mouth that you regret later on. Or no, not regret. You say something so razor-sharp that the person you say it to carries it around with them for the rest of their life.
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Book description
Haiku summary
Soap opera. Cast:
The Jukes family. (What's the
Dutch for 'OTT'?)

No descriptions found.

Meeting at an Amsterdam restaurant for dinner, two couples move from small talk to the wrenching shared challenge of their teenage sons' act of violence that has triggered a police investigation and revealed the extent to which each family will go to protect those they love.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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