Book Review | Het Diner (The Dinner) by Herman Koch

book cover Het Diner (The Dinner) by Herman KochThe Dinner was an excellent read. With a simple and very clear narrative style it immediately drew me in. Reminiscent of the movie Carnage, the plot of this book centers on two sets of parents (the husbands happen to be brothers) and an incident involving their sons. The four adults are out to dinner for almost the entire duration of the book, but Koch seamlessly incorporates past events leaving you with a much fuller story than just parents having a dinner discussion. Through these passages, the reader is able to gain an understanding of and relate to the characters on a different level.

Dealing with familial confrontation, The Dinner would make an excellent movie. I loved the raw text and the informality of the narrator, making him very realistic. Though the story takes place in the Netherlands, it could have happened anywhere. Told by a man who has already gone over the edge himself, this novel depicts the struggle of what to do when your children have gone too far. I felt like I could really relate to some of the characters and did not want this book to end. Although there are still hold queues at many libraries, check to see if your public library has it.

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About amy de simone
Amy is an active volunteer, traveler and photographer. She is interested in art, libraries, museums and nonprofits. She holds an M.A. in Library & Information Studies and a B.A. in Italian Language & Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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