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The Dinner by [Koch, Herman]
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The Dinner Kindle Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 404 customer reviews

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Review

"A European "Gone Girl.".."The Dinner," a sly psychological thriller that hinges on a horrific crime and its consequences for two families, has become one of spring's most anticipated suspense novels." --"The Wall Street Journal
"
"[Koch] has created a clever, dark confection... absorbing and highly readable."
--"New York Times Book Review"
"Tongue-in-cheek page-turner." --"The Washington Post"
" "
"The best part about "The Dinner" was this tension taking place above the plates. As the meal wore on, I realized I couldn't get up from the table." --"Rosecrans Baldwin, NPR
"
"Poised to shake up American publishing...Koch tells a story that could very well take away your appetite." --USA Today.com
"[A] deliciously Mr. Ripley-esque drama." --"O, The Oprah Magazine"
" "
"You'll eat it up, with some fava beans and a nice Chianti." --"Entertainment Weekly "
"Koch's ability to toy with the reader's alliances while using one family's distress to consider greater societal ills gives the novel a vital punch." --"Daily Beast"
"
""Every detail...manage[s] to catch our attention when Herman Koch uses them to develop his curious characters and bring us into the dark and thought-provoking plot." --Seattle Post Intelligencer
"A tart main course that explores how quickly the facade of civility can crumble. It's hard to digest at times, but with a thought-provoking taste that lingers."
--"Cleveland Plain Dealer"
" "
"The novel has been called the "Gone Girl" of the Continent, and not without cause: Like Gillian Flynn's bestseller, it's a tale told by an unreliable narrator, full of twists and skillfully executed revelations, ultimately registering as a black parable about the deceptively civilized surface of cosmopolitan, middle-class lives...What Koch achieves with his prose--plain but undergirded by breathtaking angles, like a beautiful face scrubbed free of makeup -- is a brilliantly engineered and (for the t

A "NEW YORK TIMES" BESTSELLER
A "USA TODAY" BESTSELLER
A "LOS ANGELES TIMES" BESTSELLER
"A European "Gone Girl.".."The Dinner," a sly psychological thriller that hinges on a horrific crime and its consequences for two families, has become one of spring's most anticipated suspense novels." --"The Wall Street Journal
"
"[Koch] has created a clever, dark confection... absorbing and highly readable."
--"New York Times Book Review"
"Tongue-in-cheek page-turner." --"The Washington Post"
" "
"The best part about "The Dinner" was this tension taking place above the plates. As the meal wore on, I realized I couldn't get up from the table." --"Rosecrans Baldwin, NPR
"
"Poised to shake up American publishing...Koch tells a story that could very well take away your appetite." --USA Today.com
"[A] deliciously Mr. Ripley-esque drama." --"O, The Oprah Magazine"
" "
"You'll eat it up, with some fava beans and a nice Chianti." --"Entertainment Weekly "
"Koch's ability to toy with the reader's alliances while using one family's distress to consider greater societal ills gives the novel a vital punch." --"Daily Beast"
"
""Every detail...manage[s] to catch our attention when Herman Koch uses them to develop his curious characters and bring us into the dark and thought-provoking plot." --Seattle Post Intelligencer
"A tart main course that explores how quickly the facade of civility can crumble. It's hard to digest at times, but with a thought-provoking taste that lingers."
--"Cleveland Plain Dealer"
" "
"The novel has been called the "Gone Girl" of the Continent, and not without cause: Like Gillian Flynn's bestseller, it's a tale told by an unreliable narrator, full of twists and skillfully executed revelations, ultimately registering as a black parable about the deceptively civilized surface of cosmopolitan, middle-class lives...What Koch achieves with his prose--plain but undergirded by breathtakin

A "New York Times Book Review" Notable Book of the Year
A "Kirkus Reviews" BestFiction Bookof 2013
An ALA Notable Book of the Year
"New York Times" Bestseller * "USA Today "Bestseller * "Los Angeles Times" Bestseller
A European "Gone Girl" "The Dinner," a sly psychological thriller that hinges on a horrific crime and its consequences for two families, has become one of spring s most anticipated suspense novels. "The Wall Street Journal
"
[Koch] has created a clever, dark confection absorbing and highly readable.
"New York Times Book Review"
Tongue-in-cheek page-turner. "The Washington Post"
""
The best part about "The Dinner" was this tension taking place above the plates. As the meal wore on, I realized I couldn't get up from the table. "Rosecrans Baldwin, NPR
"
Poised to shake up American publishing Koch tells a story that could very well take away your appetite. USA Today.com
[A] deliciously Mr. Ripley-esque drama. "O, The Oprah Magazine"
""
You ll eat it up, with some fava beans and a nice Chianti. "Entertainment Weekly"
Koch s ability to toy with the reader s alliances while using one family s distress to consider greater societal ills gives the novel a vital punch. "Daily Beast"
"
"Every detail manage[s] to catch our attention when Herman Koch uses them to develop his curious characters and bring us into the dark and thought-provokingplot. Seattle Post Intelligencer
A tart main course that explores how quickly the facade of civility can crumble. It's hard to digest at times, but with a thought-provoking taste that lingers.
"Cleveland Plain Dealer"
""
The novel has been called the "Gone Girl" of the Continent, and not without cause: Like Gillian Flynn s bestseller, it s a tale told by an unreliable narrator, full of twists and skillfully executed revelations, ultimately registering as a black parable about the deceptively civilized surface of cosmopolitan, middle-class lives What Koch achieves with his prose plain but undergirded by breathtaking angles, like a beautiful face scrubbed free of makeup is a brilliantly engineered and (for the thoughtful reader) chastening mindfuck. The novel is designed to make you think twice, then thrice, not only about what goes on within its pages, but also the next time indignation rises up, pure and fiery, in your own heart. Salon.com
""
Briskly paced and full of ingenious twists a compulsive read for those who can tolerate the unsavory company, "The Dinner" is a treat they ll gulp down in one sitting.
"Dallas Morning News"
"The Dinner" begins with drinks and dark satire, and goes stealthily and hauntingly from there. It's chilling, nasty, smart, shocking and unputdownable. Read the novel in one biggulp, and then make plans with friends you ll be desperate to debate this book over cocktails, appetizers, entrees, dessert and then you still won't be done talking about it. Gillian Flynn, author of "Gone Girl
"
Funny, provocative and exceedingly dark, this is a brilliantly addictive novel that wraps its hands around your throat on page one and doesn t let go. SJ Watson, author of "Before I Go to Sleep"
Herman Koch has written a sneakily disturbing novel. He lures us into his story with his unfailingly reasonable tone (just acidic enough to be entertaining), and before we know it we've found ourselves in places we never would've consented to go. "The Dinner" is a smart, amiably misanthropic book, and it's tremendous fun to read. Scott Smith, author of "The Ruins"
"The Dinner" is a riveting, compelling and a deliciously uncomfortable read. Like all great satire it is both lacerating and so very funny... Intelligent and complex, this novel is both a punch to the guts and also a tonic. It clears the air. A wonderful book.
Christos Tsiolkas, author of "The Slap"
What a tremendous book. I loved every single gripping and strange thing about it.
MJ Hyland, author of "Carry Me Down
"
By the end of "The Dinner" you'll have to rethink everything, including who you are and what you believe. This is a book you won't forget. David Vann, author of "Dirt
"
Mesmerizing and disturbing fast-paced and addictive "The Dinner," already a bestseller in Europe, is sure to find an enthusiastic American readership as well.
"Book Page"
This chilling novel starts out as a witty look at contemporary manners before turning into a take-no-prisoners psychological thriller With dark humor, Koch dramatizes the lengths to which people will go to preserve a comfortable way of life this is a cunningly crafted thriller that will never allow you to look at a serviette in the same way again.
"Publishers Weekly" (starred review)
A high-class meal provides an unlikely window into privilege, violence and madness Koch s slow revelation of the central crisis is expertly paced, and he s opened up a serious question of what parents owe their children, and how much of their character is passed on to them a chilling vision of the ugliness of keeping up appearances.
"Kirkus
"
International Praise for "The Dinner
"
The perfect undemanding, credible, terrifying beach read. "Financial Times
"
["The Dinner"] proves how powerful fiction can be in illuminating the modern world...The reader does not rise from his table happy and replete so much as stand up suddenly, pale and reeling. Bored with "Fifty Shades of Grey "and all that brouhaha? Read "The Dinner" and taste the shock. "The Economist"
I m confidently predicting that "The Dinner" will become this summer s literary talk of the town and the Twittersphere here in the UK, as it already is in Continental Europe, where the novel has sold more than a million copies. Order yours now.
"Evening Standard"
Shivers kept shooting up my backbone as I became engrossed in Koch s darkly disturbing tale of family life. . .As the dinner disintegrates into mayhem, we discover just how far the middle classes will go to protect their monstrous offspring. "Daily Mail"
Rather like "The Slap" it is set to become a contentious must-read. It may thrill, chill or cheat, but it is undeniably riveting. "The Independent"
This tense and thought-provoking family drama is set to become a major literary talking point as it asks the question: Just how far would you go to protect your family? "The Bookseller"
Hugely accomplished and surprisingly subtle. "Readers Digest" (UK)"

Review

'Perfect ... Terrifying.' (The Financial Times)

'The talking point of the summer.' (The Sunday Times)

'A family drama replete with surprises, so it is important not to give away too much of the plot here. It is enough to say that Mr Koch seizes his [listeners] by the ear, and with a sharp pinch pulls their sympathies this way and that ... Proves how powerful fiction can be in illuminating the modern world ... The [listener] does not rise from his table happy and replete so much as stand up suddenly, pale and reeling. Bored with Fifty Shades of Grey and all that brouhaha? [lListen to] The Dinner – and taste the shock.' (The Economist)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 719 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books; Open Market Ed edition (1 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848873824
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848873827
  • ASIN: B008DSEF6Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars 404 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,596 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
On an evening in Amsterdam a couple approaches a restaurant, intending to meet another couple for dinner. The couple, our narrator Paul, and his wife Claire, seem a bit distracted and apprehensive about the evening. We soon learn that they are meeting for dinner with the Lohmans - who turn out to be Paul's brother Serge, and his wife Babette. Serge is a very successful politician, who inevitably draws many stares and whispers from the other diners in the restaurant. Paul doesn't seem to like his brother Serge, so why are they meeting for dinner? It soon emerges that they are there to discuss their teenage sons, who have committed a terrible crime...

The Dinner is truly unlike anything I have ever read before, but in a good way. I was intrigued by the description but as soon as I started reading I immediately got the impression that all was not as it seemed, and so I was drawn into the story, keen to know more.

The book takes place over the span of one evening, more specifically, the dinner that the two couples are attending. The novel is split into `courses', with each section of the book relating to a certain course in the meal. I really loved this idea, because as the courses progressed, a little more of the story was unravelled and the reader could digest this the way they would a meal. I was very curious to see how Herman could keep up an entire book over the course of one dinner, but he did it and it worked! Our narrator Paul takes us through his thought processes, from what he thinks of his brother, to the actual dinner and how it seems to be more of a performance with the waiter pointing out the finer details of the food, to the revelation of what their sons have done.
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Format: Paperback
A summer’s evening in Amsterdam. Two couples meet at a restaurant. They talk about what couples do, but beside the seemingly normal and rather cosy chit chat there is utter anguish at despair at what their teenage sons have done.

Their children, their flesh and blood have committed a horrifying act. To make matters worse, they have been caught on camera, grainy CCTV images – despite a police manhunt, the boys remain unidentified – by everyone except their parents.

Asthe parents tuck into their starters, they have to decide what to do. Who really is to blame?

Apart from the setting in a unknown restaurant in Amsterdam, the sense of place is rather that of Dutch society and the role of parents and the portrayal of family life. You won’t like the people in the novel and in fact as I did, you will probably utterly despise them - Paul in particular who as the main narrator has a lot to say for himself about politicians, the state of the world etc etc but whether you can or should believe him is another matter entirely.

The structure of the novel – the serving of each course and the tasting of the various flavours suited this plot perfectly – the pretentiousness of the restaurant staff and the snobbery apparent is pitch perfect

The characters may be hateful yet a good story doesn’t necessarily have to have likable ones to be interesting – and these certainly are multilayered and very complex characters. Paul Lohman is also very dark and as for his brother Serge? Brrrr

Dark secrets in bourgeois families are definitely on the menu -and that’s just for starters – for the main course there is the preoccupation with appearances, and for desert – hiding the skeletons hidden in the closet.
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By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 April 2013
Format: Paperback
Holland is such a peaceful country, full of windmills and water, and the city, Amsterdam. Now, we find ourselves in Amsterdam, but the country, the city is beside the fact. What we have here is a dilemma. A family dilemma, a personal dilemma , unlike anything you want for your family.

Paul Lohman is the narrator of his family's dilemma. He is a retired history teacher, a violent man who is told he has a neurological disease and must take medication to control his behavior. Paul is unable to tell us the disease, it is too personal. His wife, Claire had some sort of disease that required hospitalizations and repeat surgeries, but to protect her privacy he cannot tell us what disease or what hospital. Very strange, but as the narration goes on, little bits fall together. Paul and Claire's son, Michel, we find, has committed a terrible crime. Both Paul and Claire find out about the crime separately, and neither speaks about it to each other nor to anyone but Michel. It is another one of those secrets.

Serge Lohman, Paul's brother, a well known politician, campaigning to be Prime Minister, asks them to dinner to discuss something important to the family. Throughout five courses in a very luxurious retaurant,everything is discussed but the matter at hand. Babette, Serge's wife is upset, old tears in the corner of her eyes. Old resentments bubble up, long ago hurts and family issues never discussed lie right at the surface. Tensions rise, words are spoken, eyes gravitate towards Serge, the famous one. The issue is discussed, Michel and Serge's son, Rick, committed a crime and now, decisions must be made.

To what lengths would you go to protect your child, his life, your life, your reputation? Deep issues, that require careful thought and examination.
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