rebus 30th anniversary when the sky fell apart debuts of the month make the most of Lovereading when i was invisible
Vouchers


Reader Reviewed
The Dinner by Herman Koch
  

The Dinner

Literary Fiction   Books of the Month   Family Drama   eBook Favourites   
Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Literary Contemporary Facebook group Add to wishlist Share this book

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

May 2013 Book of the Month.

This is one of those books like The Slap and We Need to Talk About Kevin where no one is likeable and the outcome difficult to predict. Here the family drama is related during a posh restaurant dinner as brothers and their wives partake of the sort of pretentious meal that the rich and famous revel in, only throughout this one there is a family crisis. Both couples have teenage boys who have been involved in a violent crime caught on CCTV but in such a way as to make it almost impossible to identify the boys. Their parents know who they are and now each is out to protect their own. This is shocking, with a stunning conclusion. A very clever book - dark, satirical and interestingly structured, made more complicated by an unreliable narrator. Personally I could have done with less food. Fascinating stuff.

The Lovereading view...

This contentious tour de force of middle class morality in the face of family disaster has, like The Slap, become a real talking point. A seemingly polite dinner in Amsterdam between friends spirals out of control as the horrors of what needs to be discussed, and what they will do to protect themselves, unfolds. Uncomfortable to read but searingly well observed. Find out what all the fuss is about - it will be worth it.

reader reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Dinner, a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'The Dinner is full of suspense and kept me gasping all of the way through' - Michelle Russ. Scroll down to read more reviews.

If you like Herman Koch you might also like to read books by Noah Hawley, Christos Tsiolkas and Lionel Shriver.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

Synopsis

The Dinner by Herman Koch

An evening in Amsterdam and two couples meet for dinner. They need to discuss their teenage sons. The boys have committed a horrifying act, caught on CCTV. They remain unidentified - except by their parents. How far will each couple go to protect their child?

Reviews

We have asked a select number of members and browsers to review The Dinner. You can read their reviews below.

Sharon Butler - 'The overall story is intriguing and does raise the question of what is morally right and wrong when it comes to family and how far people are prepared to go to protect those they love.' Click here to read the full review.

J B Johnston - 'the story draws you in, and you become how far will their parents go to do what they consider the right thing? It poses a serious moral dilemma for every parent – how far would you go to protect your child? Click here to read the full review.

Nailah Afghan - 'The story line was fascinating, the characters were very believable and overall this was a thrilling book, exploring the depths to which some people might plunge in order to protect their offspring.' Click here to read the full review.

Judith Davies - 'A thriller with a difference!...The author really makes you question your loyalty and your family values...If you love thrillers THE DINNER is a must read!' Click here to read the full review.

Joy Bosworth - 'A man and his wife dine out with his brother and sister-in-law. It should be pretty uneventful – and it is. But the underlying circumstances are anything but...There is a great deal here...but it is never predictable or boring.' Click here to read the full review.

Kath Thornton
- This dark modern day tragedy is told in chapters relating to the different courses in a meal. I must say I read quickly in two sittings as I couldn’t wait to see what happened at the end of the meal.' Click here to read the full review.

Richard Hamlin - 'This book is a thriller; not in the sense of suspense and guessing who did what, but in the sense of the darkening mood and the build up to its close.' Click here to read the full review.

Michelle Russ
- Reading In Progress blogspot 'The Dinner is full of suspense and kept me gasping all of the way through...Overall, a good read and I would definitely recommend it.'Click here to read the full review.

Sally Doel - 'This is a very interesting and engrossing read...I thoroughly recommend this book to anybody who enjoys a good mysterious (and dark) read.' Click here to read the full review.

Joan Hill -
'this is a page-turner of a novel, but all the time dreading what is almost sure to happen...Would you turn in a member of your family when an odious crime resulting in death had been committed?'Click here to read the full review.

Praise for Herman Koch:

'Funny, provocative and exceedingly dark, this is a brilliantly addictive novel that wraps its hands around your throat on page one and doesn't let go.'
SJ Watson

'The Dinner is a riveting, compelling and a deliciously uncomfortable read. Like all great satire it is both lacerating and so very funny... Intelligent and complex, this novel is both a punch to the guts and also a tonic. It clears the air. A wonderful book.'
Christos Tsiolkas

'What a tremendous book. I loved every single gripping and strange thing about it.'
MJ Hyland

'By the end of The Dinner you'll have to rethink everything, including who you are and what you believe. This is a book you won't forget.'
David Vann

'Rather like The Slap it is set to become a contentious must-read. It may thrill, chill or cheat, but it is undeniably riveting.'
Arifa Akbar, Independent

'The perfect undemanding, credible, terrifying beach read.'
Simon Kuper, Financial Times

'The talking point of the summer.'
Sunday Times Style

'A well-paced and entertaining novel. It will sit well with The Slap and Christopher Wakling's What I Did (2011) on the shelves of those who enjoy seeing what happens when the cosy certainties of middle-class families are shattered, when the thin facades of decency and manners are wrenched aside, showing the brutal, violent creatures that lurk beneath the surface.'
Alex Preston, Observer

'Slick, thrillerish and highly enjoyable.'
Robert Collins, Sunday Times Culture

'An essential summer read.'
Independent Magazine

'Mr Koch's book proves how powerful fiction can be in illuminating the modern world. The reader does not rise from his table happy and replete so much as stand up suddenly, pale and reeling. Bored with Fifty Shades of Grey and all that brouhaha? Read The Dinner - and taste the shock.'
Red Magazine

About the Author

Herman Koch

Herman Koch, born in 1953, is a Dutch writer. He was a renowned television actor on the series Jiskefet and a former columnist for the newspaper Volkskrant. The Dinner is his sixth novel and has already won the prestigious Publieksprijs Prize in 2009. Herman Koch currently lives in Amsterdam.

Author photo © Mark Kohn

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

2nd May 2013

Author

Herman Koch

More books by Herman Koch
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Author's Website

www.hermankoch.nl/

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...

Publisher

Atlantic Books

Format

Paperback

Categories

Literary Fiction
Books of the Month
Family Drama
eBook Favourites


ISBN

9781782394884

Their sending me my first book to review 18 months ago re-awakened my fondness for reading, since then I have purchased some real gems.

Barry Griffiths

The books for review are always great reads, brilliantly written, and introduces me to a huge variety of, established and new, authors.

Lesley Hart

Lovereading is a wonderful way to expand my literary horizons, discover inspiring authors & get the chance to read new novels first. #loveit

Zarina de Ruiter

Insightful reader reviews and unbiased recommendations. I don't know how I chose books before Lovereading! An essential for all book lovers.

Sarah Harper

For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore

At Lovereading there are fabulous books available in every genre, with great reviews to help you pick the right book for you.

Teresa O'Halloran

Lovereading does a stella job in promoting both new and established authors.

Iris Clements

With literary excellence, humour and drama, Lovereading's got value and is a real stress-calmer!

Siobhan McDowell

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools