Tuesday, April 30, 2013

[Book Review] The Dinner by Herman Koch


Andrea reviews THE DINNER by Herman Koch  (Hogarth, 2012).

I decided to read this after receiving a poster in the mail entitled, “What will you read after GONE, GIRL?” Like the aforementioned best-selling novel from Gillian Flynn, this novel by Herman Koch is one of shocking family drama.

Two affluent couples sit down to dinner at the local cafe’ to discuss what to do about their sons. Each couple has 15-year-old sons who are cousins, and both boys have been involved in a most heinous crime. Due to police investigations, each couple’s family dynamic will be tested to the limits of just how far the parents will go to protect their children.

Well-known older brother, Serge Lohman, is a Dutch politician who has almost secured his position as Holland’s prime minister. Younger brother Paul is a high school history teacher and has always been in Serge’s shadow. The wives, Babette and Claire, are supportive of their respective husbands even though both men are boorish bullies.

And, of course, both sets of parents want what is best for their children; no matter the consequence. (Even though it is apparent Serge is trying to save political face.)

Readers will be amused by the brothers’ not-so-friendly banter and shocked at the novel’s conclusion.

Andrea King, Poplar-White Station Library

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