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Het diner by Herman Koch
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Het diner (edition 2009)

by Herman Koch

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,5212172,403 (3.43)209
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

Recently added byabbyrach, Buecherjenna, ElizaBev, Gary10, private library, MJF68, Mike7, Thomaaso, olegalCA
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» See also 209 mentions

English (171)  Dutch (32)  Spanish (5)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (216)
Showing 1-5 of 171 (next | show all)
Really, really creepy. ( )
  olegalCA | Dec 9, 2014 |
Really, really creepy. ( )
  olegalCA | Dec 9, 2014 |
2.5
This was rather disappointing. I had been excited to read The Dinner and from the marketing believed I was in store for a fun and fast-paced thriller. Not so much. This was the epitome of a slow build, so much so that I was bored and tempted to skim. Perhaps I wouldn't be so harsh if I had gone in without the same expectations. It was a decent look at the lengths people go to to protect their family. But overall, not for me. ( )
  LaurenMae85 | Dec 8, 2014 |
Got a free advance copy of this at a conference. Fast read, similar in tone to Gone Girl but not as good. ( )
  AThurman | Dec 7, 2014 |
The Dinner by Herman Koch 4/5

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

No, this isn't a review error, I'm not reviewing Anna Karenina. The Dinner by Herman Koch is the story of an ostensibly happy family. Until their fabric threatens to be torn apart by an act of violence. The dinner of the title is being held by the pair of parents (the fathers are brothers) whose 15 year old sons participated in, and/or instigated the act of violence. One of the fathers is a politician with a very high profile, in fact he is running for Prime Minister of Holland at the time of the dinner.

The story is told within the parameters of the dinner, aperitif, appetizer, main course, dessert, and digestif. The back story is told in the same manner, with of course, the meat of the tale told in "main course". Long simmering resentments rise and fall during the actual dinner giving a framework to the tale of violence. I say violence in general because the boy's act does not stand alone unto itself. There is a familial pattern that is taking place that becomes more and more clear as the reader progresses.

How far would any parent go to protect their child? I believe this book is one very interesting and disturbing answer to that question.

Recommended. ( )
  booknest | Nov 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 171 (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 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'?)

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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