Book Review – The Dinner by Herman Koch

This is the kind of book I could have read through in one sitting (or 2). The Dinner of the title is at a fancy restaurant and is attended by 2 brothers and their wives.

The story is told by one of the brothers from his point of view. The book really moves along, gradually revealing the reason for this particular dinner, and aspects of the complex characters of the diners, in the course of the meal. If you are concerned about things being politically correct or want a story about nice people, this is not a book for you. 

It was originally published in Dutch in 2009 and I wonder how much of it is a comment on Dutch society. It has recently been made into a Hollywood film, but earlier Dutch and Italian films based on the book seemed to be rated higher by people.

I really liked this book. Its different types of characters; its digs at aspects of society such as fancy restaurants, politicians, schools …

Brian Holliday