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Het diner by Herman Koch
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Het diner (edition 2009)

by Herman Koch

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3,0742541,847 (3.42)237
Member:sostojevski
Title:Het diner
Authors:Herman Koch
Info:Amsterdam Anthos cop. 2009
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

The Dinner by Herman Koch

  1. 30
    Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller (jayne_charles)
  2. 30
    The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Both books center on a moral dilemma, both books feature unlikable characters behaving badly.
  3. 31
    Tirza by Arnon Grunberg (JustJoey4)
    JustJoey4: Wat ouderliefde met een mens kan doen...
  4. 31
    We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (INTPLibrarian)
    INTPLibrarian: Disturbed child and parents dealing with it. Both with twists / unexpected parts.
  5. 10
    The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester (sturlington)
    sturlington: Similar dark subject matter and unreliable narrator.
  6. 10
    Defending Jacob by William Landay (CarterPJ)
  7. 21
    The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid (baystateRA)
    baystateRA: A first-person narration over a single long conversation with loads of backstory skillfully woven in.
  8. 00
    Munich Airport (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Shares a sense of rising unease and the same style of narration, from close within the narrator's head.
  9. 11
    The Circle by Dave Eggers (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Both of these are novels of ideas.
  10. 00
    Bonita Avenue by Peter Buwalda (hste2011)
  11. 02
    The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling (julienne_preacher)
    julienne_preacher: Good books, unlikeable characters.
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» See also 237 mentions

English (207)  Dutch (33)  Spanish (5)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (253)
Showing 1-5 of 207 (next | show all)
Happy families? I think not. This is a novel of secrets and lies, of violence and resentment, of rage and obsession. Paul is the essence of an unreliable narrator and while I disliked all the characters, it was like watching a train wreck - you know you shouldn't look, but you can't tear your eyes away! I think I need to read something in the escapist genre now, so I don't have to think too hard! ( )
  mmacd3814 | May 30, 2016 |
In Amsterdam, two brothers and their wives meet for a dinner loaded with undercurrents. It's difficult to say which brother is more self-absorbed and pompous - Serge, the politician or Paul, the former high school history teacher forced into an involuntary "sabbatical" due to mental health issues. Their sons have been involved in a crime of unimaginable cruelty, which they are attempting to justify and absolve. The early background leads quickly to the understanding that Paul's son, Michael, has learned at a very young age that his father will protect him from taking responsibility for any wrongdoing. There is a pervasive sense in this book that once the superficial veneer of "a happy family" collapses, nothing is left but the harsh knowledge of their dysfunction as parents and worthwhile people. For those of us who believe that there are consequences for our actions and for those of our children, this is a difficult book to read. ( )
  pdebolt | Apr 25, 2016 |
This was not like Gone Girl, despite the blurb. Gone Girl was fun, with hairpin twists and turns to the plot. This was not fun. This was just nasty.
Like Gone Girl, this too has unreliable narrator, and characters making sharp bitchy observations.
Their children are the spawns of Satan, and it's like reading about demons in a boardroom questioning the moralities and ethics about life and child-rearing. WTF?
The writing was good, the tension nicely paced -- it was a page turner alright. But it was ultimately unsatisfying--the violence was not sufficiently redeemed. ( )
  TheBookJunky | Apr 22, 2016 |
Too long ago, can't quite remember what it is like. All I remember is that it didn't leave a real impression on me.
  bartt95 | Apr 10, 2016 |
Reading about this book before reading it puzzled me at first. Why are these people so hard on the characters? Then it unfolds. It is a bit like The Slap meets We Need to Talk About Kevin and goes psychopathic. ( )
  triscuit | Mar 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 207 (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)
 

» Add other authors (16 possible)

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

Quentin Tarantino
Reservoir Dogs
Dedication
First words
We were going out to dinner.
Quotations
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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Soap opera. Cast:
The Jukes family. (What's the
Dutch for 'OTT'?)

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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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