Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"The Dinner" by Herman Koch

I was in Barnes and Noble and The Dinner by Herman Koch and the back cover piqued my interest.  The back cover mentioned that the parents of two boys were meeting over dinner and that a single horrific act united the boys.  Nosy me wanted to know what they did.  That's all that it took for me to buy it.

It was a good book, but I wasn't super impressed.  Pretty much the entire book is about this dinner.  I felt like I was at a never-ending dinner.  It did keep me in suspense to see what would happen.  I wasn't crazy about the ending either.  I don't want to go into too much detail because I don't want to spoil the book for anyone who wants to read it.

Overview from Barnes & Noble's website:
An internationally bestselling phenomenon: the darkly suspenseful, highly controversial tale of two families struggling to make the hardest decision of their lives—all over the course of one meal.
It's a summer's evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened.
     Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.
     Skewering everything from parenting values to pretentious menus to political convictions, this novel reveals the dark side of genteel society and asks what each of us would do in the face of unimaginable tragedy.

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