The Dinner by Herman Koch
Synopsis: Two brothers and their wives meet at a fancy restaurant in Amsterdam. It is clear there is tension between the couples, which is amplified when the true point of the meeting comes up. They begin to discuss the matter at hand – the fact that their sons may or may not have been involved in a pretty horrific homicide – and repressed feelings soon bubble up to the surface.
Thoughts: That book was dumb. And just know that I would love to stop my review there, but I won’t because I owe you good people more than that.
I could tell almost from the get-go that Koch was trying to set up something shocking – almost like a combo of Defending Jacob and Gone Girl (two books that I totally dug). But just as soon as I realized where the story was going, I realized it just wasn’t actually going to get there. The characters – good god, those characters were awful. Each was more annoying and less believable than the last. I don’t know who was worse: the seemingly normal mom who ends up going bonkers, or the wishy-washy dad who makes absolutely no progress throughout the book. Oh wait, no, it was probably the weak yet psychopathic unremorseful weirdo son.
And paired with those dashing characters was a not-quite-so-terrible-but-still-pretty-bad plot line. Cons – most everything in the book. Pros – I struggled through this one so you wouldn’t have to!
Overall Grade: D
Up Next: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell