The Dinner by Herman Koch, Not A Full Meal – A Review

the dinnerlobsterbykoch

The Dinner may leave you wanting something more for desert.

I loved Gone Girl so I read this because the Wall Street Journal called it “A European Gone Girl,” also because it was an Amazon best book of the month for February 2013. However, I don’t think this book lived up to the hype. This book takes place at a dinner, as it is self-titled, between two couples discussing an “issue” with their children. The book does flashback to different points in time to help you understand why and how these things could have come to pass.

Unlike Gone Girl I am not on the edge of my seat, staying up all night to find out why and what happens next. This book does have some surprising twists and turns but for the most part these people are just batshit crazy!  The author does make you flip flop about your feelings of each character. You love them, than hate them, than love them. But it wasn’t developed enough for me to be really invested in one feeling or the other. This could be considered almost a Gone Girl sequel. (If you haven’t read Gone Girl this could be a spoiler so stop reading now.) This could be the story of the child from Gone Girl but not as exciting as it is all told from the perspective of one of the main characters instead of multiple points of view.That’s just my opinion. Share yours and find new books in the comment section or the VSearch Blog. – Monique RIce — Creator, Your Media World       herman koch

Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2013: A good unreliable narrator is one of the most satisfying characters a novelist can dream up–and Herman Koch takes us on a hell of a ride through the mind of Paul Lohman, the deliciously sinister host of The Dinner. Paul’s 15-year-old son, Michel, has committed an unspeakable crime; his brother, on the cusp of becoming the Netherlands’ next prime minister, has a delicate wife and two teenagers who share Michel’s secret; Paul’s wife, Claire, will do anything to protect their boy. As the two couples inch through an excruciating meal at a chic restaurant–their children’s whereabouts uncertain–Paul peels back the layers of their situation, weaving to and fro through time and truth. Koch’s finely structured story gives away just enough on each page to keep us riveted, feeling like private investigators on the verge of discovery, until the shock of an ending. It’s no small feat for the author that the less we trust Paul, the more we want to hear what he has to say. —Mia Lipman
“[A] deliciously Mr. Ripley-esque drama.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

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