NO SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW
Who could possibly imagine what two couples ultimately confront at an upscale restaurant in Amsterdam? Herman Koch tells a twisted tale about a seriously messed up and unlikable family with a terrible secret. The story is narrated by Paul Lohman, whose detestable ideas and actions you may never completely understand. The plot is structured around an expensive dinner, destined to fail. I hated the characters in this shocking story. The best are unlikable, the worst are despicable, with one exception, but the story and its themes are excellent.
Herman Koch brings out the worst in these weak and hateful characters and asks important moral questions about violence and social responsibility. It’s a commentary on marriage, secrets and family dynamics and the huge impact of selfish decisions, anger and violent behavior on society.
The Dinner is deliberately dark and negative. I don’t think Koch wants you to like the story. He wants you to think about it.
There’s a lot to talk about. Check back tomorrow for a more detailed review.
Warning: tomorrow’s review will contain spoilers!
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