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Monday, February 11, 2013

The Dinner: A Novel

Oooooh, as soon as I read a synopsis of Herman Koch's The Dinner I knew knew knew I needed it in my life. My hunch was not wrong.

A dreaded family dinner between Paul and Claire and Serge and Babette in Amsterdam leads to revelations that each knew, and didn't know, about their children. Paul despises his brother, Serge, and knows a secret about their two sons that no one else does--or so he thinks. It's a secret that could ruin Serge's campaign for Prime Minister and could destroy the pseudo-peace that runs through their relations.

What a wild ride was this book! Holy cow, I sped through this thing. The stakes were so high yet the book took its time in the revelation--everything I love in a good book.

Seriously, every time I find a story that holds out on me I fall in love. This book was definitely that. I loved the first-person narration of the story and how I could see Paul's deep despising of his brother for all that he is and all for which he stands. Family dysfunction when done well sends a story into the realm of superb. I was horrified when the secret was revealed yet I completely understood Paul's desire to shield his child from the abject consequences that would come about if the outside world discovered the truth.

I also loved Amsterdam as the setting. It's one of my most favorite places on earth and I loved that I could picture the entire story happen. This book follows the trajectory of dinner (appetizers, salads, main course, dessert) with the stakes being raised higher and higher with each serving, which I thought was an excellent approach to this story.

So yeah, it's safe to say I loved this book.

Yours--now! Kindle on the left, hard copy on the right.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there, the February edition of Books You Loved is open for entries. Here is the link Books You Loved February Edition Please do pop by and link in a post about a book/s you loved. Maybe this one? Have a great week.