The Dinner

by Herman Koch | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1922147567 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 12/18/2018
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, December 18, 2018
I got this fair-condition softcover at a local Savers thrift shop, and was glad of another release copy of this troubling, intense book.

This is a totally riveting, and increasingly gut-wrenching, story, told from the viewpoint of a man who's meeting with his wife, brother, and sister-in-law over dinner to discuss a... problem... regarding their respective teenage sons. Turns out the boys are involved in a crime, but the degree of that involvement - and the depths to which each parent wants to go to help and/or protect their children - unfolds gradually, leading to decisions that horrified me even as I could see how people might make such appalling choices.

Our narrator has a rather off-putting style from the beginning, opening the story with details about his distaste for dining at places that require months-in-advance reservations - turns out his brother's rich and famous, and there's a lot of sibling-rivalry tension there. Details as to the narrator's relationship with his brother, with his own wife, and with his son creep in among tidbits about his feelings on food, jobs, society, and other things - along with some throwaway remarks as to incidents in his own past that color the decisions made down the line.

I don't want to give too much away here, but I did find the setup of the boys' behavior, including the Youtube-video aspect, all too believable. The narrative itself included lots of amusingly snarky observations (the narrator waxes lyrical on some of the more ridiculous extremes of exclusive-restaurant behavior), but that only lulled me into acquiescence before hitting me with the narrator's more warped world-view. I found my sympathies changing with each new chapter, cycling back around again as I wondered how much of the truth had been revealed just yet. Riveting story, reminding me in some ways of Patricia Highsmith at her best, but with the author's own style. Recommended!

[There's a TV Tropes page for the book with some interesting tidbits. I haven't seen the 2013 film adaptation; might try and catch it some time.]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Cheshire Marketplace (see notes) in Rindge, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, December 30, 2018

Released 2 yrs ago (12/30/2018 UTC) at Cheshire Marketplace (see notes) in Rindge, New Hampshire USA


I left this book outside the NH State Liquor Store in Cheshire Marketplace; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2018 D for December release challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2018 Movie release challenge. ***

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