The Dinner

Sipping while reading at Cosi Photo credit: nishaksquared
Sipping while reading at Cosi
Photo credit: nishaksquared

It took me a few days to finish reading Herman Koch’s The Dinner, and my overall thoughts on the novel? It was okay

The novel tells the story of two couples that meet over dinner at a posh restaurant to discuss something their children have done. Decisions must be made. The premise is intriguing, and the writing (in translation) is quite good, but I felt the characters are not particularly likable, and that there was something missing from the entire recipe. After a certain point, I think I was turning the pages faster, not because this is a page-turner, but because I wanted it to end.

I’m personally fascinated by novels that take place over a single day. It takes real skill to do that, make it seem effortless and tell a real story. (Think about Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway or Ian McEwan’s Saturday, two of my favorites.) That’s what drew me to read The Dinner — that, and the fact that it was being compared to Gillian Flynn’s excellent Gone Girl.

All that being said, I think it’s worth reading — The Dinner is a quick read, and it did have some great moments. But don’t dive in with as high hopes as I had, otherwise I fear you will be disappointed.


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