The Dinner - Herman Koch

Title: The Dinner
Author: Herman Koch
Pages (File Size): 304 (2376 KB)
Published: 2013 (first published 2009)
Challenges: E-Book
Genre: Fiction,  Mystery, Literary Fiction
Edition: E-book
Source: Library

Description: It's a summer's evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse -- the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, 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. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: I had a lot of expectations when coming into the book and by the time I completed the book, I felt disappointed and a bit let down by the book.  I felt that the story was a bit short and that the author spent too much time away from the dinner table, which I had been led to believe what it was about.  Of course most of it did take place during the course of the dinner, but it just felt like the author spent too much time away from the dinner.  And while I understand the point of "the dinner", I just felt that it spent too much time away from the actual dinner and spent more time dealing with their lives, which I had very little interest in.  It was almost I was waiting for them to discuss why they had come together for dinner and one point I wondered why couldn't they have this sort of dinner in private, where there wouldn't seem to be as many prying eyes/ears around.

The characters didn't really seem to be likeable and just seemed to be so self-absorbed with whatever issue they were having and not really in the moment and as though anything they ordered wasn't good enough for them.

Bottom line:  I really didn't like it and struggled to get through it at times.  While it was recommended for those who liked Gone Girl, which I did enjoy, even if I didn't like the main characters, I felt that it fell a bit short in that I felt that the characters were way too pretentious for my liking and I am glad that I read it as quickly as I did.  I really don't know who to recommend the book to due to the fact that I have mixed feelings about the book and that I had a difficult time reading the book.

Rating: 3.25/5

Pages for 2013: 10716


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