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The Dinner Audiobook

The Dinner: A Novel

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 polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse - the banality of work, the triviality of the 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 15-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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse - the banality of work, the triviality of the 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 15-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 shows just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.

Tautly written, incredibly gripping, and told by an unforgettable narrator, The Dinner promises to be the topic of countless dinner party debates. 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.

©2009 Herman Koch; Translation © 2012 by Sam Garrett (P)2013 AudioGO

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (1582 )
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4.0 (1403 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Russell 12-07-13
    Russell 12-07-13 Member Since 2008

    I love books and animals.I enjoy all sorts of genres, anything from history to supernatural.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting concept, yet a miss for me"

    This was an interesting book, however a few things held it back in my opinion.

    The best aspect:
    -I enjoyed the unreliable narrator, this gave the first person point-of-view credibility. This also gave the main character Paul, credibility.
    -The author does a good job of giving the reader details of the world and it's characters. The character fixates on details that create interesting scenes in our imaginations.
    -The narrator did a great job reading this book. I enjoyed his voices, accent, and inflections.

    The worst aspect:
    -We slowly see this family unravel, too slowly. The entire book literally takes place during one dinner. There are flashback to feed us information, but the constraint of one evening is tedious.
    -A little confusing. Even though the entire book is essentially this one evening, I found myself lost in the timeline with all the flashbacks.

    Overall, if you want to try something different, read this. It is an interesting book, there are great descriptions and dialogue. However, if you are like me, you might find yourself annoyed with the tedious aspect of spending nearly nine hours with this family during this meal. Although, I think the author did this intentionally to create restlessness in the reader so we understand the main characters feelings.

    I have seen many reviews comparing this to Gillian Flynn's work of Gone Girl, I do not see it. The pacing and development of Gone Girl was much faster and interesting than this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan 11-03-13
    Susan 11-03-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring and tedious"
    Would you try another book from Herman Koch and Sam Garrett (translator) and/or Clive Mantle?

    No for the author. Perhaps for the narrator.


    Has The Dinner turned you off from other books in this genre?

    What exactly is this genre? But no. I choose each book on it's own merits despite genre.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Maybe in the end but after two hours and 45 minutes I just couldn't listen any longer.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was so boring and drawn out. I thought the story line was interesting so I tried to stick with it hoping it would get better. I wish I would have read all of the reviews instead of just the first few. Lesson learned!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Fields Charlotte, NC 04-07-13
    Laura Fields Charlotte, NC 04-07-13 Member Since 2012

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unable to keep traction"
    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The story started out so great, with great foreshadowing; however, around the halfway point it got rather tedious and I found it really hard to care about what was being foreshadowed. The ending was okay, but the payoff I was hoping for was just not there.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vanessa D 03-29-13
    Vanessa D 03-29-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not Gone Girl"
    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The narrator was fabulous, loved his voice and could have listened to him for days, in fact, because of his voice I listened longer that I would normally.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria KAPOLEI, HI, United States 03-19-13
    Maria KAPOLEI, HI, United States 03-19-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointed"
    Would you try another book from Herman Koch and Sam Garrett (translator) and/or Clive Mantle?

    Probably not.


    Has The Dinner turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, just this particular author.


    What three words best describe Clive Mantle’s performance?

    His narration was pretty good.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I kept waiting for something more revealing.


    Any additional comments?

    I heard an interview with this author on NPR. It sounded interesting as the host did not want to divulge too much and ruin the book. Throughout the book it felt like it was building to some sort of twist or something interesting...and it never really got there.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yvette H Nevada 12-22-15
    Yvette H Nevada 12-22-15 Member Since 2015
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    "I was captivated"

    It's starts off simple enough...and then it spirals. The story was difficult to put down.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Colorado Springs 12-19-15
    Kelly Colorado Springs 12-19-15 Member Since 2016

    Reading allows me to travel through time, to visit the world's unique and stunning places, to become somebody I am not... It is glorious.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disturbing conversation = Delicious book."

    This book is excellent: witty, sometimes funny, often unsettling and sometimes ghastly. The 4 dinner companions are each different and surprising and seek to hide their prejudices and animosity. The narration is very good, the plot is intriguing and the characters are twisted.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David D Thomas Roseville, CA United States 11-06-15
    David D Thomas Roseville, CA United States 11-06-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Characters You Love To Hate"

    I begin this book with a presupposition; that I would like the main character. You always like the main character , right? But as I invested time into this book, even before the secretes were revealed, I had a strong distaste for Peter. What a self-centered jerk, I found myself yelling.

    For that, I applaud the author and narrator. They did such a good job of it, I debated with myself weather or not I wanted to go on listening. I LIKE to like my main characters, to find some redeeming value in them. But the decisions made by these characters, I found absolutely appalling.

    So go on... Get immersed in the telling, but have your mouthwash ready to wash the lingering taste from your conscience.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine L. Anderson Chicago 10-12-15
    Katherine L. Anderson Chicago 10-12-15 Member Since 2015

    citychicky

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absolutely terrible"
    What would have made The Dinner better?

    A completely different story. Nothing could make this story better. It's a completely vile and disgusting story


    What could Herman Koch and Sam Garrett (translator) have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    None


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    None


    What character would you cut from The Dinner?

    None/All


    Any additional comments?

    I am severly dissapointed that this book was sent to me as a suggestion of something that I might like. This story left me with a feeling of pure disgust.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry A. Carrigan lockport, il United States 09-22-15
    Jerry A. Carrigan lockport, il United States 09-22-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Yuck"

    This was truly the worst audio book ever. I continued to listen because I always finish what I start but it was literally horrible. I don't think I could listen to one more minute of Paul. OMG

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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