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Het diner by Herman Koch
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Het diner (edition 2009)

by Herman Koch

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,3092032,747 (3.44)186
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. 20
    The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Both books center on a moral dilemma, both books feature unlikable characters behaving badly.
  2. 31
    Tirza by Arnon Grunberg (JustJoey4)
    JustJoey4: Wat ouderliefde met een mens kan doen...
  3. 10
    The Circle by Dave Eggers (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Both of these are novels of ideas.
  4. 00
    The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester (sturlington)
    sturlington: Similar dark subject matter and unreliable narrator.
  5. 00
    Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller (jayne_charles)
  6. 00
    Defending Jacob by William Landay (CarterPJ)
  7. 00
    Bonita Avenue by Peter Buwalda (hste2011)
  8. 00
    The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling (julienne_preacher)
  9. 11
    The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid (baystateRA)
    baystateRA: A first-person narration over a single long conversation with loads of backstory skillfully woven in.
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» See also 186 mentions

English (157)  Dutch (33)  Spanish (5)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (203)
Showing 1-5 of 157 (next | show all)
Joy's review: I can't say much about the plot without spoiling the book! Let's just say it's a GREAT book for a book club discussion and will have you thinking about the people and decisions they make for quite a while. Don't expect to find anyone particularly likeable, though... ( )
  konastories | Jul 23, 2014 |
recommended by a friend i started this book without reading the synopsis. this way the book took my on a roller coaster ride. a story that revels itself like an onion. layer by layer until the grand finale. great book. unusual story. ( )
  kakadoo202 | Jul 21, 2014 |
This book was given to me by someone who reads a great deal, and she thought "I might like it" — so I read it. Turns out, she was quite right. It's a fascinating and dark book that is done in a very curious style. Part of the book follows two couples through a dinner at an exclusive restaurant. It follows them course by course. Now, if that were the whole book, it wouldn't grab me much, but there's so much more.

Through flashbacks, dinner conversation and action, and some other disturbing side events, it turns into a most interesting story. There is violence, intrigue, politics, resentment, family issues, and much more, but it was the relationships between these well-drawn characters that always rang true, real, and exciting. The plot gets more and more involved, but the book's characters act and react in very believable ways.

This was a fine meal of a book, and, while there was upset and spice to The Dinner, the flavor of the writing was very satisfying. It should rate high in the next Zagat survey. ( )
  jphamilton | Jul 19, 2014 |
I loved this beautifully written and perfectly paced novel. At the beginning, we meet the narrator Paul, a man with a chip on his shoulder the size of a small country, whose snippy observations about the world in general and his high-profile politician brother in particular, were an unmitigated delight. As the novel progresses, it becomes darker, and whilst it is still funny, it is also very unsettling. A masterclass in the unreliable-narrator genre, it was brilliant from start to finish. I hope some of this author’s other work has been translated into English – definitely one I’d read more by. ( )
1 vote jayne_charles | Jul 18, 2014 |
This is another fantastic recommendation from the Books on the Nightstand podcast. It's a short, gripping novel that involves parenting, family, violence and mental illness--and of course the dreaded family dinner.

Definitely recommend this book!! ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 157 (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.
 
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 the English one.
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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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)

» see all 9 descriptions

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