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Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2013: A good unreliable narrator is one of the most satisfying characters a novelist can dream up--and Herman Koch takes us on a hell of a ride through the mind of Paul Lohman, the deliciously sinister host of The Dinner. Paul's 15-year-old son, Michel, has committed an unspeakable crime; his brother, on the cusp of becoming the Netherlands' next prime minister, has a delicate wife and two teenagers who share Michel’s secret; Paul's wife, Claire, will do anything to protect their boy. As the two couples inch through an excruciating meal at a chic restaurant--their children's whereabouts uncertain--Paul peels back the layers of their situation, weaving to and fro through time and truth. Koch's finely structured story gives away just enough on each page to keep us riveted, feeling like private investigators on the verge of discovery, until the shock of an ending. It's no small feat for the author that the less we trust Paul, the more we want to hear what he has to say. --Mia Lipman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Already a runaway hit throughout Europe, boasting more than a million copies sold, Koch’s sixth novel arrives stateside, giving readers here a chance to mull over some rather meaty moral quandaries. But not so fast. First, Koch has a few false paths to lead us down. The story starts off casually and unassumingly with a dinner between two brothers, one running for prime minister of the Netherlands, along with their wives at one of Amsterdam’s finest establishments. The other brother, as narrator, sharply ridicules every absurd element of the night to great effect. But just as everything settles in, Koch pivots, and these pointed laughs quickly turn to discussion about their teenage boys and something they’ve done. And it’s at this point when readers will feel two distinct ideologies forming and will face the novel’s vital question: which position to side with? Koch’s organic style makes for a continuously engaging read that, if anything, leaves readers wanting more. Another 100 pages or so exploring these issues further would have been more than welcome, but what is here will no doubt stir some heady debates. --Casey Bayer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Surprising. As you read it in the first person, you slowly realize that the person speaking is quite sick!Published 3 days ago by smk
I did not care for the story and forced myself to finish it. I would not recommend it. A dinner conversation between 4 people lingered on and on all to try and talk about... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Mary E. Travis
I really liked that I had no idea where the book was going. I thought the ending was really surprising. Read morePublished 5 days ago by robyn quinlam
Incredibly well written while being very upsetting.
This story proves again that we can remain glued to a story despite being revolted by the characters' ethically challenged... Read more
I just finished The Dinner by Dutch author Herman Koch, and after some reflection went online to look up just what on earth happened in the last two pages. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Kelly England
I found the story hard to follow. Paul's musings were a bit tedious.Published 7 days ago by Jerry H. Collins