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review 2017-09-15 03:19
THE DINNER by Herman Koch
The Dinner - Herman Koch,Sam Garrett

Paul and Claire meet his brother, Serge and his wife Babette, for dinner one evening to talk about their children.  Serge is running for Prime Minister and wants to do damage control.  The other three have other ideas.


The story is told in flashbacks of the relationships and events of Paul's life.  I liked Paul but I never warmed to most of the characters.  I have a lot of questions for them. 


This is probably a book I would never have picked up on my own had it not been for my book club.  There is a lot to discuss and think about in this book.  How do people make the choices they do?  Very thought provoking and timely.

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review 2017-08-24 00:00
The Dinner
The Dinner - Herman Koch,Sam Garrett 3.5 stars

I don't know what to say about this book. Everyone in it seems to be crazy. I didn't know what was going on at first. Now that I've finished I don't know how to rate it. It's a weird story, but it's uniquely weird. I just don't know. This book is an experience for sure.
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review 2017-07-11 19:33
The Dinner - Herman Koch,Sam Garrett
The most remarkable, and frustrating, thing about this novel is the fact that it takes place over the span of one dinner — hence the title. Our main players are two married couples, all with worries and dark motives and problems to work through. 

Paul is the main character; The Dinner is narrated by him. He is a sinister fellow, obviously with things to hide. Despite always being in his head, I didn't feel I ever really got to know him . . . same goes for the other characters, too. All of 'em. They intrigued me just enough to keep reading, but I wasn't totally enthralled. Maybe that's why it took me a week to read this 300-page paperback? 

I must award points for Herman Koch's marvelous prose, though! He (and the translator, I suppose) write beautifully, without selling the story out for pretentiousness or oversimplification. The author masterfully pulls the reader in wrong directions. I was often lulled into a false sense of complacency before having the rug pulled out from under me! I'm usually good at seeing twists coming, but a lot of the ones here were subtle and so well done. 

I would call this one a success, though I wasn't totally head over heels for it. The pacing is a bit slow, and the ending was a bit disappointing (not much was resolved? I think? this requires a reread), but I did have fun. I liked it. Hence the three stars. While I vastly preferred Summer House with Swimming PoolThe Dinner is a sinister, tasty meal.


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review 2016-12-09 00:00
Dear Mr. M: A Novel
Dear Mr. M: A Novel - Herman Koch A slow moving and complex tale that takes patience and time to unravel

Having loved the [b:The Dinner|15797938|The Dinner|Herman Koch|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1355949630s/15797938.jpg|6463092] I was really looking forward to[b:Dear Mr. M|28186095|Dear Mr. M|Herman Koch|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1472552544s/28186095.jpg|41364302] by Herman Koch.

The premise for the novel drew me in and Herman Korch's cast of dislikeable characters never fail to deliver. However I did find for the most part this story tedious and dull and while the first few chapters had me intrigued I did however find myself losing interest as the story is quite complex and difficult to follow and the end result was far from satisfying.

I have no doubt that Herman Koch is a clever and talented writer and his complex novels are certainly unique and creepy but while I loved the Dinner I am afraid I struggled to with Dear Mr M. right to the end.

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review 2016-10-14 00:00
Het diner
Het diner - Herman Koch Als je een beetje rondneust in de reviews van dit boek, zie je vooral 3 sterren ratings.
Deze 3 sterren ratings snap ik wel, na het lezen van hun reviews: ze vinden de karakters akelig, ze voelen er geen connectie mee, je kunt er geen sympathie voor opbrengen.
Nou, dat is maar goed ook!
Je moest je pas zorgen gaan maken, wanneer je wel een connectie voelt met de karakters.

Iedereen die mij(en mijn smaak in boeken) een beetje goed kent, weet dat ik dol ben op psychologische thrillers, en vooral wanneer ze complexe, duistere karakters bevatten, die totaal fucked up zijn.
Dus ja, de karakters zijn akelig, maar ik hou er van .

Het verhaal is opgesplitst in delen, deze delen staan voor de verschillende gangen van het diner: aperitief, voorgerecht, hoofdgerecht, toetje, digestief en fooi. Ik vond dit heel erg origineel bedacht.

Het enige minpuntje is de onwaarschijnlijkheid van het verhaal.
Niet de daad op zich - want, ongelooflijk maar waar - dat soort dingen gebeuren echt.
Maar dat er zo over gesproken wordt tijdens een diner in een restaurant.
Dit heeft er voor gezorgd dat ik 4 sterren geef in plaats van 5.

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