“(Dutch) Great book about a diner in a fancy restaurant 'enjoyed' by two brothers and their respective wives. Gradually a crime committed by their kids starts to dominate the conversation, and gradually the 'respectful' members of the group become the most villanous and vice versa.”Gil Lissens wrote this review 6 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Creepy and awesome!”Ms. L wrote this review Sunday, October 20, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Cathy M”Karen R wrote this review Sunday, October 20, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It's difficult to review a book like this without talking spoilers, which form the most fascinating aspects of the story. So please excuse my deliberate vagueness.
Two brothers and their wives meet for dinner to discuss their sons. Paul Lohman's narrative is quite clever, noting the pretentious ways people talk about food, film, politics, family, teaching, and history. The dinner itself is rather ridiculous: several courses of unimpressive food in tiny portions. And the host with his pinkie-pointing!
The characters' viewpoints are understandable, but that doesn't make the people likeable. They seem to like a bit of drama, and Paul in particular likes to see how far he can push posh politician brother Serge into losing his marbles. Terribly awkward if experiencing this in person, but I love the trashiness. And I do rather love this novel, though I may be in the minority, judging by star-ratings I've seen.
It starts off easy enough, with plenty of Paul's smart observations on life...until Chapter 19. Then the story takes a sharp turn into psychological thriller territory, asking the tough questions about heredity, parenthood, and justice. Not everything is spelled out in detail, so readers may work to figure stuff out (such as a certain character's illness), but when you solve the puzzle it makes sense.
Are you sure you want to be parent? After reading Herman Koch's The Dinner, reconsider. This wryly-told novel is clever and quirky, and overall a great read. Love the witty observations, love the drama, love that the author makes you think to understand the full picture. Huzzah!”
“The Dinner by Herman Kock is out of this world in style and suspense and intriguing substance. It worked, it was credible, insightful, and readable. And then, it went off. The final part of the book reveals the flaws of the narrator, changing the message and tone and deflating the book.”Jeff Van Dehy wrote this review Friday, October 11, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I like a book I can't predict. This story kept me guessing and turning the virtual pages. Translations can be tricky but the language here is great. ”Cathy R wrote this review Wednesday, October 9, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Two couples get together during dinner to solve their problems with their sons who have committed a crime beating and killing a homeless woman sleeping in an ATM booth they were trying to use. As the dinner courses are served at this exclusive high fashion restaurant the family makes a plan how to save their biological sons from ruining their lives. The problem is that a surveillance camera taped the crime and the younger adopted African brother of one of the boys was sent a video of the crime made by his brother and posted it on YouTube and won't take it down unless he is paid. Add to that the father of the other boy lost his teaching job 10 years ago telling students that wars eliminate the weak and undeserving in favor of the ones who survive. His shame, his psychological problems could be made public. One of the boys also has written a paper in class about capital punishment that was found to be disturbing. There is an idea of privilege, superiority coming from both families. Will they come to terms with their son's guilt? ”Lellingw wrote this review Tuesday, October 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book made for a great discussion at our book club meeting but I can't say that I enjoyed reading it. Thought provoking.”Banquet of Life wrote this review Monday, September 30, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I liked it. It kept my interest the whole way through, but the ending was a bit disappointing. I was kind of mad at the end and yelled, "That's it? That's how it ends? Ugh!"”Robyn Prokop wrote this review Thursday, September 26, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No