Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Dinner
By Herman Koch

Normally if I don't like any of the characters in a book I find it hard to like the book. Oddly, that is not the case with The Dinner.

The story revolves around two brothers and their wives whose sons have committed a disturbing crime. While the entire country (Holland) knows about the crime through surveillance video aired on an America's Most Wanted-type show they don't know who the culprits are, and surely do not suspect they are the son and nephew of the country's future Prime Minister.

At first I was confused as to why the author would choose a posh, pretentious restaurant as the setting for this book. I eventually realized it was a way to pique the readers' curiousity as each course was served and the manager annoyingly described each dish and other diners or employees were brought into the mix all while we are waiting to find out what the two teenagers did that was so horrible. In the dessert course, the melting ice cream is a brilliant metaphor. I don't like spoillers so I'll let you figure out its meaning for yourself.

This would be a great book for book clubs because of the many questions raised including, how far would/should a parent go to protect his child; mental illness and heredity; genetics; morals of politicians.

I'd love to see what you thought of this book.

This book also gets a Zippo for one Zippo reference.

1 comment:

  1. Can't say I agree with your assessment of the book but I do like that you gave it a "Zippo." I'll be looking for more of those. :)