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The Dinner by Herman Koch
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The Dinner (edition 2013)

by Herman Koch

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,4312841,572 (3.42)286
Member:RobinBrz
Title:The Dinner
Authors:Herman Koch
Info:Hogarth (2013), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, Book Club '13-'14, Recently Read
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work details

The Dinner by Herman Koch

  1. 30
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  2. 30
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  5. 10
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  8. 00
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    RidgewayGirl: Shares a sense of rising unease and the same style of narration, from close within the narrator's head.
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    julienne_preacher: Good books, unlikeable characters.
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» See also 286 mentions

English (235)  Dutch (34)  Spanish (5)  Italian (3)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  All (284)
Showing 1-5 of 235 (next | show all)
Even with all the brilliant observations on human behavior, this book still left a bad taste in my mouth. Too cynic, bitter and downright disturbing, with twisted notions of right and wrong on behalf of the protagonist - which is sort of explained away by his psychiatric ailment (but what about the others? they are "normal" in the strict sense of the word and yet flawed as well...). At the start, you don't really know what to expect of this dinner between two brothers and their wives, and I almost gave up, but then the story unravels with sobering speed, with all unpredictably revealing flashbacks, and you cannot practically put the book down. There is a fascination of sorts, but an unpleasant one - about how it will really end?!... The whole thing is enveloped with cynicism - a disappointment, in a sense. ( )
1 vote Clara53 | Jul 13, 2017 |
Chilling. Uncomfortable reading that really made me thing about the choices a parent makes ( )
  boobellina | Jul 12, 2017 |
Chilling. Uncomfortable reading that really made me thing about the choices a parent makes ( )
  boobellina | Jul 12, 2017 |
A fast-paced story of shifting intrigue. Fresh perspective and strong writing. Loved it! ( )
  dcmr | Jul 4, 2017 |
The Dinner by Herman Koch begins deceptively reasonable in its act of “normalcy” by its introduction of one of the book’s characters, Serge Lohman, a cabinet minister running in an election, his wife Babette, and its talk of what many families and couples enjoy — a night out to dinner.

The first-person narrative shared by the main character of the book, Paul, is easily readable, intelligent, and brutally honest that readers can enjoy being pulled into the fabric of the story with ease and interest.

But as the story continues, the “horrific act” committed by both of the couples’ sons is revealed, and not only triggers a city-wide police investigation, but leaves the readers with the shocking anger of its injustice.

While not discounting the severity of the crime itself because juvenile delinquency exists in the everyday of community, the book does delve deeper in revealing an even more shocking immorality — the response and reaction of the boys’ parents.

To read the rest of my review, you're more than welcome to visit my blog, The Bibliotaphe Closet:

http://zaraalexis.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/book-review-the-dinner-by-herman-koch...

Thanks,
Zara ( )
  ZaraD.Garcia-Alvarez | Jun 6, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 235 (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 (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Herman Kochprimary authorall editionscalculated
Garrett, SamTranslatorsecondary authorsome 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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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 12 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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