Book Review: The Dinner by Herman Koch

The 9780770437855Dinner

by Herman Koch
Translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett
ISBN: 978-0-7704-3785-5
Hogarth, 2012

So many things to admire about this book: laser-precise character observations, a storyline that somehow manages to be both riveting and banal, and suspense cunningly built through ordinary human interactions.

Every line in this book made me think. Every other line made me second-guess something I thought I had all figured out. When I finished this book, I pondered the themes and my reaction to them. The subject matter disturbed me, by times, as it was intended to.

Koch pushes us to contemplate cultural norms we love to cling to. He explores sibling relationships, hero worship, mental illness, homelessness, parental decisions, social pretenses, and the sticky issue of who is worthy of living or dying.

Herman Koch wraps up mystery novel, social satire, and character study in a simple dinner conversation package.

Admirable.

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About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on September 25, 2013, in Book reviews, Books I borrowed, Fiction, Random House and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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