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
Claire. They are hers and she will do what she has to do...
Possibly....with the boys, years later? How did this event affect/change their lives?
It's an interesting subject... What do you do if your child does the unthinkable? Do you protect them? How does the event and how it is handled affect the rest of their lives? Can they live with it?
Probably not simply because it is 8 and a half hours long! Life is too short.
Originality. Plot twists unexpected.
The protagonist, Paul.
That is tough because the Dinner is such a great title for this story. I would not rename it.
If there were an academy awards of narration, this narrator would win an Oscar. He did an amazing job.
A completely different story. Nothing could make this story better. It's a completely vile and disgusting story
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.
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
Disguised as a clever, witty, commentary about people and attitudes, this description of going to a dinner turns into so much more. Although Dutch, the narrator sounds British, and has the same flare for British humor as treasures like Derek Jacobi. You find yourself amusingly following his mini-tirades aimed at pompous people and restaurants, when you suddenly realize all is not what it appears, and the narrator may not be a humorous reflection of our secret gripes. It caught me totally unaware (at least for the first part), and I usually pick up on those things. The clues are there, the banter, though, is humorous and misleading. A great read and excellent narrator!
Reader And Listener
First I'm SO glad I listened to this one instead of reading it! The narrator was perfect, and added amazing suspense to an already surprisingly suspenseful tale. It starts out so unassuming, and the primary/ first-person character is not someone you think you'd want to spend much time with. Yet you cannot stop listening... the most mundane asides are still captivating. I'm afraid to say much more for fear of dropping a spoiler, but... if you like mysteries, thrillers, or literary dramas featuring dystopian antiheroes... you will love this book!
I was captivated by this story and the audio performance was exceptionally good. A dark story that unfolds amazingly well.
If I were the main characters, I would not have chosen to discuss their problem over dinner in a public restaurant! Who do you care about enough to put all of your values aside to "save" them? What does that say about what your values really are? Maybe this book is a disturbing peek under the blanket of our middle class hypocrisy. Or maybe it is about something else altogether.
Drones on just a bit in places, but overall a very thought-provoking read.
It took forever to get into this story. I was trying to figure out why the main character had such animosity for his older brother and the tension between his son. It almost seemed
Comical to me at first, but few serious as the book went on. Geez, I wish more details behind the (spoiler alert) murder of Bo was revealed and why he needed to blackmail his brother and cousin.
Guess I need to process and discuss this book with someone to answer some of the questions that I have.
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