The Dinner by Herman Koch


(Hogart, 2013)

Reviewed by Glenn

The Dinner has sold over 1 million copies throughout Europe! That being said, the Europeans must be lacking for entertainment these days..

I made this selection after quickly perusing a blurb by Christos Tsiolkas on the back cover.  It said satire .. humour .. so very funny..   Lies – all of them.  In all honesty I recall two instances that elicited laughter … not the long lasting kind either, departing as quickly as it came.

Koch does spin his novel a unique way by centring the dialogue around dinner at a fine restaurant.  The 15 year old sons of the two couples (dining) find themselves responsible for the death of a vagrant after a night on the town. The revelation of who knows what unfolds as the night passes.  Really, how can it be said that a humorous novel be built upon this?  But perhaps I’m reviewing the back cover blurb more so that the book itself.  Even then, while the story kept my interest, it’s not one that I am able to rave about .. which I sorely wish I could do.

Koch is an award winning European writer; still I would like to see his publisher select back cover blurbs more carefully. Five out of ten for the clear marketing faux pas.

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