The Dinner by Herman Koch- Book Review
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'The Dinner' Is The Immoral Book You Need To Read This Summer

Read this book if you're looking for something dark, twisted, and immoral.

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'The Dinner' Is The Immoral Book You Need To Read This Summer
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After reading "The Flight Attendant" by Chris Bohjalian, I was on the hunt for another suspenseful novel. A few clicks around Goodreads led me to 'The Dinner' by Herman Koch. There are over 100,000 reviews averaging out to just above 3 stars. I was hesitant but checked out the book anyway. I flipped through it in two days, but realized towards the end that I just wanted to get it over with; I'll get into that it in a minute.

So, 'The Dinner' tells the story of two couples having a meal at a very expensive restaurant. Not just any meal, per se, but one that determines the fate of their teenage sons. Their sons have committed a horrible crime, and it's up to the adults to fix it. The book brings the reader in on this moral dilemma, and you can't help but wonder what you'd do in the situation; you want to protect your children at all costs. But when the sons show little remorse for what they did, it's hard to root for them.

The book is divided by the various courses of the meal, narrated by one of the fathers, Paul. At the beginning of the novel, I had no problem with him. I enjoyed his sarcastic remarks and negative but realistic views. Towards the end, though, I became annoyed. He was the main reason that the book was so difficult to get through. As I found out more about him, I hated him more. If you can handle an obnoxiously sarcastic narrator, then you'd probably have no problem with Paul and the dark thoughts that accompany him.

The beginning is very suspenseful- appetizers are accompanied by small talk and aversions to the matter at hand. But when they finally let us in on the big secret, it gets good. It's a very dark read, so that's another reason it took me a while to get through, but it's definitely a page-turner. After detailing what their sons did, the characters talk about what they're going to do. Paul's brother, Serge, is running for office and can't have anything ruining his reputation. If the news identifies his son as one of the boys in the video, he would lose the election. His wife is not happy with their marriage, which is evident as the narrator picks her mannerisms apart. None of them are happy, really, and the dinner showcases that. They are all uncomfortable, trying to stick to small talk throughout the night. There are many secrets among the couples that begin to unravel as each course gets set before them.

"The Dinner" was an interesting read- but I'm glad it's over. This book might be good for a book club, it could definitely spark an interesting discussion on morals. While the relationship between the characters is interesting, they're all just horrible people. Read this book if you're looking for something dark, twisted, and immoral.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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