Tuesday, 2 April 2013

The Dinner

Author: Herman Koch

Published: August 2012

Publisher: Atlantic Books

What They Say: A summer's evening in Amsterdam and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse - the banality of work, the triviality of holidays. 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, and as civility and friendship disintegrates, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.

What Sheli Says:The Dinner is full of suspense and kept me gasping all of the way through.

The story is set over the space of a dinner out at a restaurant. We also flashback to different points in the characters lives as we dig further into what seems like a nice civilised dinner, and find out more about the skeletons in their closets.

The story is well paced, although a little slow to start and is well written. I read this book fairly quickly as I really enjoyed it, and my initial worry that it might be another piece of pretentious contemporary fiction was quickly dispelled.
There were a few points in the book where the writer didn’t give detail on something and just brushed it off as “not for here”. I didn’t really like this style and thought that maybe all would be revealed by the end of the book. These things were left unresolved and I felt that the end of the book was a bit of an anticlimax in general.

Overall, a good read and I would definitely recommend it.

I was sent this book for review by Lovereading

Sheli's Rating: 7/10

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