The Dinner, by Herman Koch

5 Sep
FIVE of FIVE stars

FIVE of FIVE stars

Book Form: Holy crap! This thing goes unexpectedly DARK halfway through, and somehow gets even darker and darker and darker until the last horrifying missing piece comes in at the end. GREAT book, but be prepared for the darkness.

I had thought I was getting a more comical Gods of Carnage (a play that I hate with all my being) when I got this book. So I was very pleasantly surprised when that turned out to not be the case. I am a little surprised that so many reviews are hating the book because they hate the characters. I think that is part of the point though… you are led to think one thing about the characters at first, and then halfway through, like a play, discover nothing is as it seems. It takes you deep into serious mental and psychological issues as well. I felt like the dislike of the characters was very important to the story.

As for the comparisons to Gone Girl… the publishing world needs to stop saying that every book with a twist is the next Gone Girl. In fact this book is MILES ahead of Gone Girl by ending when it should instead of dragging out the story an extra 100 pages. And unlike Gone Girl, where one character suddenly starts behaving in ways they never should have (someone so smart to have committed that crime should not have made so many mistakes later on), the changes in the characters from The Dinner are just slowly revealed to us. The changes don’t go against character, we just realize we never knew them to begin with. As for story comparison, it reminded me much more of Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent, where you really did not see the culprit coming.

In short, I loved this book.

My second “reading”, this time on Audible.
Just as fantastic. I still don’t understand any negative reviews; this story is told brilliantly and voiced perfectly by Clive Mantle. It’s been almost two years since I had read the book, and I couldn’t remember many of the details, so I was still surprised over and over again. I could recommend either book or audio, they are both great. The best word I can think of to describe this book really is simply brilliant.

2 Responses to “The Dinner, by Herman Koch”

  1. Chantal and Shekinah September 5, 2015 at 11:43 am #

    Thanks! Looks like I’m getting this book!


  1. Siracusa, by Delia Ephron | Lost Bookmark - August 26, 2016

    […] book reminds me of The Dinner, where you have two couples getting together (on vacation here) telling a story, and you know […]

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