The Dinner

Front Cover
Hogarth, 2012 - Fiction - 292 pages
129 Reviews
"A European Gone Girl." --The Wall Street Journal

An internationally bestselling phenomenon: the darkly suspenseful, highly controversial tale of two families struggling to make the hardest decision of their lives -- all over the course of one meal.

It's a summer's evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse -- the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened.
Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.
Tautly written, incredibly gripping, and told by an unforgettable narrator, The Dinner promises to be the topic of countless dinner party debates. Skewering everything from parenting values to pretentious menus to political convictions, this novel reveals the dark side of genteel society and asks what each of us would do in the face of unimaginable tragedy.
 

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3 stars
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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - joyhclark - LibraryThing

I hated everyone in this book. I think the author was trying to explore how far parents would go to protect their children, but he engaged in ridiculous plot devices that made no sense. Did I miss something? Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ChristineEllei - LibraryThing

Paul and his brother Serge are taking their wives out for dinner at an upscale restaurant. Serge has arranged the dinner at a restaurant that is well out of Paul’s budget. That’s always a problem, but ... Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
5
Section 3
13
Section 4
17
Section 5
21
Section 6
24
Section 7
28
Section 8
37
Section 24
151
Section 25
156
Section 26
163
Section 27
166
Section 28
169
Section 29
174
Section 30
185
Section 31
190

Section 9
43
Section 10
50
Section 11
56
Section 12
63
Section 13
74
Section 14
81
Section 15
83
Section 16
89
Section 17
92
Section 18
102
Section 19
113
Section 20
120
Section 21
131
Section 22
141
Section 23
143
Section 32
195
Section 33
197
Section 34
203
Section 35
217
Section 36
228
Section 37
235
Section 38
241
Section 39
253
Section 40
265
Section 41
269
Section 42
273
Section 43
277
Section 44
280
Section 45
284
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

HERMAN KOCH is the author of seven novels and three collections of short stories. The Dinner, his sixth novel, has been published in 25 countries, and was the winner of the Publieksprijs Prize in 2009. He currently lives in Amsterdam.

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