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The Dinner by Herman Koch
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The Dinner (original 2009; edition 2013)

by Herman Koch

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,4313601,994 (3.42)323
Two couples meet for dinner at a fashionable restaurant in Amsterdam. Behind their polite conversation, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened. Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.… (more)
Member:lauralkeet
Title:The Dinner
Authors:Herman Koch
Info:Hogarth (2013), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Removed from Library, Rest of World
Rating:***1/2
Tags:read in 2013, fiction, borrowed, dutch authors

Work details

The Dinner by Herman Koch (2009)

  1. 40
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    The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester (sturlington)
    sturlington: Similar dark subject matter and unreliable narrator.
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    Munich Airport: A Novel by Greg Baxter (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Shares a sense of rising unease and the same style of narration, from close within the narrator's head.
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  10. 12
    The Circle by Dave Eggers (akblanchard)
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    julienne_preacher: Good books, unlikeable characters.
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» See also 323 mentions

English (302)  Dutch (37)  Italian (5)  Spanish (5)  French (4)  German (2)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (359)
Showing 1-5 of 302 (next | show all)
Love me an edgy, quasi - literary thriller, and one featuring an unreliable narrator in an exotic locale is on paper a perfect book for me. This was a good intriguing read, though didn't feature any truly jaw dropping moments or quite pack the punch I was hoping for. ( )
  usuallee | Oct 7, 2021 |
Dark, twisted tale, with the ultimate unreliable narrator. Each time you think the story can't get any darker it does. Great short novel. ( )
  wordloversf | Aug 14, 2021 |
3.5 - 4 stars!

See my full review at www.coffeeandtrainspotting.wordpress.com.

This was a weird one. ( )
  SarahRita | Aug 11, 2021 |
Yikes! That was good! ( )
  Jinjer | Jul 19, 2021 |
I really can't write a review of this book because the crucial element in my review would be the ending of the book and I DESPISE those that give away plot elements and especially endings of books. So I won't do that here. What I will say, rather obliquely, is that I was intrigued and interested in this book as I read it. It is not exactly like anything else I've read although it has elements in common with many other books. I found the characters to be problematic but worth reading about. It was probably a 4 star book until... Anyway, I probably shouldn't knock it all the way down to 3 stars, it was better than that, but I'm doing the rating and I can be petty when I want to be. I may have to see the movie version they made of this to see how they do it. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 302 (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 (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Herman Kochprimary authorall editionscalculated
Garrett, SamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Testa, GiorgioTranslatorsecondary 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.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Two couples meet for dinner at a fashionable restaurant in Amsterdam. Behind their polite conversation, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened. Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
Soap opera. Cast:
The Jukes family. (What's the
Dutch for 'OTT'?)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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