Title: The Dinner
Author: Herman Koch
Genre: Fiction, Literature, Contemporary
Release Date: November 2013
Author Herman Koch’s Official Websites:
(image grabbed from goodreads.com)
The Dinner starts with two brothers and their wives at a fancy restaurant in The Netherlands. The one brother is a politician and the other a businessman out of work because of an illness. They both have teenage sons who seem to get along. The way the cousins get along and spend their time is what starts to bring the drama to the story. It is mostly set at the restaurant and flashbacks other places where the story takes an unexpectedly dark turn.
I read this for a book club. This book was not technically picked, the theme for the month was “Food”. This was the closest I had on the subject. I was not sure what to expect because I had never heard of the book before. Reading the description of the characters and story did not interest me. In fact, I think my husband picked up the book. The story was very different than anything I have read and with this one I consider it a good thing. I really did not expect the turn at the end. In truth, I figured the opposite was going to happen and most lived happily ever after. Nope, that was not the case. The kids were juvenile delinquents who needed a kick in the ass and a trip to jail, as did other characters by the end. The book kept me interested. It was like watching an accident on the side of the road.
I do not usually read books with such dark and despicable underbelly unless it is so supernatural or fantastical that I know the happenings will not come to be. This was a story about something that could happen and probably has. So my only dislike after reading this is me whining “why’d you have to make me think such dark thoughts?”
It was an interesting read but I think if I had the choice to read it again for the first time I would not. Reading a review would have been enough for me. That does not mean I hated it and it was not interesting. I just feel like I spent more time then I want on this book.