Automotive Deals HPCC Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it $5 Albums Fire TV Stick Sun Care Handmade school supplies Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer TarantinoCollection TarantinoCollection TarantinoCollection  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Water Sports
Customer Discussions > Mystery forum

The Dinner by Herman Koch (Spoilers)


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-25 of 57 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 18, 2013 8:52:17 PM PST
Susie says:
Hi All,

This discussion is for people to comment freely about THE DINNER by Herman Koch.

'SPOILER ALERT'

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013 6:53:12 AM PST
Jacquie says:
Susie

I haven't read the book yet, but a friend told me that yesterday (Monday) NPR's Morning Edition had an interview with the author of THE DINNER. If you go to NPR Morning Edition you can probably listen to the interview. I haven't done it yet, but will try now.

I'll get the book so I can join in on the discussion.

Posted on Feb 19, 2013 6:59:21 AM PST
Jacquie says:
Following my prior post I have found the NPR interview with the author of THE DINNER. It is here:

http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=172131243&m=172298058

The interview lasts just over 7 minutes.

.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013 9:48:10 AM PST
Susie says:
Hi Jacquie,

That's awesome your friend told you about the interview with Koch, great timing for us.

Thank you, going to check it out.

Posted on Feb 19, 2013 10:35:43 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2013 10:56:07 AM PST
Cluny says:
Was anyone surprised that Serge was the one taking the more moral ethical choice concerning the children? He was the best drawn of the protags. I ,throughout the book, fully expected that he would be forceful, but taking the other attitude/solution. What did you make of Claire's actions as she was probably the least characterized for me of the diners and for me, she was probably the most deceptive and manipulative in the group and the biggest villain of the entire book..

REVISED TEXT

Posted on Feb 19, 2013 10:54:44 AM PST
Cluny says:
The biggest question that this book makes a reader ask(even a non parent) is:
What would you do if you knew your child or someone close to you, inadvertently, committed a horrific act and it was highly unlikely that they would be caught by the authorities and they truly felt remorse/regret? Would you turn them in? Do we really know what we would do?

Book also brings up the eternal question of Nuture vs. Nature.....environment vs. DNA

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013 12:08:46 PM PST
Nancy says:
I know Paul was a very unreliable narrator so I really wondered about some of his stories.
Did he really smash his brother's face in with a cassrole dish?? Did he smash his headmaster's face? Or was this all his fantasy?
Also what mental illness did he suffer from that could be detected through amnocentisis??

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013 12:11:57 PM PST
Nancy says:
Claire was a sociopath,IMO.
Serge, although constantly disparaged by Paul, seemed to be the only one with a conscience.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013 12:15:20 PM PST
Nancy says:
Another question---what illness, described by Paul as non threatening,necessitated Claire to have Three operations???

Posted on Feb 19, 2013 12:20:28 PM PST
Cluny says:
Nancy
Great comment about the unreliability of Paul's narration and whether you could trust his pov./recounting of events....don't know if you can detect any mental issues other than Down's thru amnio.....does anyone know the answer? He definitely resented Serge.

Posted on Feb 19, 2013 12:21:47 PM PST
Nancy says:
THE DINNER was touted by some reviewers as the European counter to GONE GIRL.
I found GONE GIRL to be extremely fast paced and full of twists whereas I found the detailed descriptions of every course of the characters' meals very very tedious.
This cold have been a novella.

Posted on Feb 19, 2013 12:35:55 PM PST
Cluny says:
if anything GONE GIRL is the counter to THE DINNER as this came out before that.....GONE GIRL had a few holes in the plot structure that kept it from being a top drawer for me....I liked it....don't think that this would have had quite the impact if told over a McD lunch.....author could not have developed character in a novella...needed to intersperse the food courses to subtly lead up to the climax......Paul's reactions to the courses and manager and where he would not order the same appetizer as his SIL are telling....but I DID keep thinking "Why would these people go out to dinner , rather than discuss this in private?" If I had something of such a nature to discuss, I surely would not go to a restaurant and would prefer privacy....but then perhaps knowing Paul's propensity for violent outburst, perhaps Serge felt discussion less likely to get out of hand if discussed in public.

Posted on Feb 19, 2013 12:42:55 PM PST
Cluny says:
Nancy
Did she really have three operations? Paul , I thought it was strange wouldn't take Michel to see her.....did she maybe leave him....did he perhaps put her in the hospital due as a result of violence and Serge and Babette wanted to remove Michel for his physical safety?

And what parent allows their fifteen year old to drink and run around at one a.m. when the incident occurred?

Posted on Feb 19, 2013 12:48:21 PM PST
Cluny says:
Since Paul is an unreliable narrator.......did incident occurred as related by him OR was it not as he related....were the kids malicious in their intent? Especially since what is implied happens in the end to Beau.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013 4:02:13 PM PST
Nancy says:
Cluny,
Lol, I agree that it wouldn't be the same over a McD meal. It was telling that Paul wouldn't order something that he wanted to eat, just because it was want his SIL ordered. He is truly one of the weirdest characters I have encountered lately in a book.
If his violent outbursts were really not just fantasy, do you think Serge would want to risk discussing this in a public location?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013 4:15:25 PM PST
Nancy says:
Cluny.
I wondered too if Paul had put her in the hospital. It would have been serious injuries to result in 3 operations. If so wouldn't he might have been arrested and Michel removed from him right away?
I was shocked that they allowed their sons such leniency about drinking and staying out late. Claire claimed to be concerned about ruining their future.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013 4:22:18 PM PST
Nancy says:
Cluny,
I kind of got the impression that the incident wasn't really intended to be malicious at first, but then got really out of hand. I don't think they intended to cause a fire.
What is implied that happens to Beau was plotted by Claire and that is why I called her a sociopath.

Posted on Feb 19, 2013 5:53:48 PM PST
Jacquie says:
I'm not very far into this, but am hung up on why Paul wouldn't order the same thing as his brother or wife. It's a little slow going right now, but I shall press on because it sounds like some interesting stuff is coming up.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013 7:09:57 PM PST
Amnio is a genetic test, so pretty much anything that would show up on a chromosome panel can theoretically be identified - Down syndrome (chrom 21 - trisomy - so there are 3 of them); Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18) and Turner syndrome (monosomy X - only one of the sex chromosomes vice 2) - all per wiki - but I remember lots of it being covered in my college genetics class

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013 7:11:48 PM PST
interesting - I kind of figured that it was a translated book, didn't realize that it had come out in 2008 - makes me wonder, how popular/prevalent it was known before it was translated, so say whether GG was/is a counter for it

Posted on Feb 20, 2013 10:55:10 AM PST
Cluny says:
Nancy
"If his violent outbursts were really not just fantasy, do you think Serge would want to risk discussing this in a public location"

Maybe Serge found Paul to be less likely to act explosively in a public place

"wondered too if Paul had put her in the hospital. It would have been serious injuries to result in 3 operations. If so wouldn't he might have been arrested and Michel removed from him right away?"

Perhaps Claire did what many women of violent physically damaging relationships did and she attributed her injuries to an accident like falling down stairs.....remember how Paul says that he doen't want to specify her illness....makes me think that he may have had something to do with her landing in the hospital.

"I kind of got the impression that the incident wasn't really intended to be malicious at first, but then got really out of hand."

Initially I thought so too but now question this, especially since it is indicated that Michel may have inherited Paul's mental illness/propensity to violence.....especially it is implied that he and Rick(who Paul says was more of the follower than the leader of the cousins) "took care of" Beau in the penultimate scenes....as encourage by Clair and condoned by Paul

Posted on Feb 20, 2013 11:00:50 AM PST
Cluny says:
Deanna

RE:
"makes me wonder, how popular/prevalent it was known before it was translated, so say whether GG was/is a counter for it "

THE DINNER was a bestseller throughout Europe. There is an iron wall that is extremely more difficult for European writers as a general rule to break thru when selling books to U.S. market. It is much easier for American authors to successfully market their books(often the mediocre ones too) to the European readers.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 1:52:39 PM PST
Nancy says:
Hi Cluny,
How I wish the author could be made to appear and answer our questions!!! Not only didn't he want to specify her illness, remember he wouldn't mention the name of the hospital? Such bizarre behavior.
I am planning to reread DEFENDING JACOB soon to refresh my memory for book club next month. Have you read that one yet? Similar in theme, but more believable chacters.

Posted on Feb 21, 2013 7:23:51 AM PST
Jacquie says:
I finished the book last night. I was really disappointed in it. I felt as though I were being asked to write my own book. Because Paul didn't want to tell us so much of the detail, it was left to us the readers to either figure it out or put our own spin on it. I really wouldn't recommend it. I like at least a few answers when I read a book. I can see why the reviews are all over the place.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 12:02:05 PM PST
Nancy says:
I agree with you, Jacquie. I think this book got a tremendous amount of hype by the publishers. I much preferred DEFENDING JACOB.
‹ Previous 1 2 3 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in
 


Recent discussions in the Mystery forum

 

This discussion

Discussion in:  Mystery forum
Participants:  18
Total posts:  57
Initial post:  Feb 18, 2013
Latest post:  May 4, 2015

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 7 customers

Search Customer Discussions