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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 2017-07-11 19:33
THE DINNER Review
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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review 2016-09-20 19:59
Dear Mr. M: A Novel - Herman Koch

This was my second book by Herman Koch and I must say he definitely has a different style of writing and I mean that in a good way. For some, it can be tedious, but I like it.

In this book, he starts off talking about an author and he's not always so complimentary about him. This goes on for several chapters. Then all of a sudden, he is talking about a group of teenagers and it seems to be coming out of left field. Then it's back to the author and about how he has married a woman who is about half his age and how the author has one foot in the grave and another one on a banana peel, then back to the teenagers. All along I was wondering what in the heck is this story about the teenagers doing in here.

Lo and behold the puzzle pieces start to fit and I discovered why they were in this book.

I really enjoyed reading this book, as I said though, it is rather tedious and can be slow in several places. However, if you can stay with it, it is definitely worth the time. There are some great laugh out loud moments and some jaw dropping moments.

Huge thanks to Crown Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

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