Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Dinner

by Herman Koch

An enjoyable* and quick read about two couples having dinner and deciding what to do about an unfortunate situation involving their two sons.

*I hesitate to use the word "enjoyable" because this book has layers of creepiness that peel away to reveal worsening layers of sociopathy. The narrator initially presents himself as a good guy with an insufferable older brother. Soon you begin to realize he may be an unreliable narrator... and the dread keeps building until you realize he's not even the only monster in this story.

So maybe "compelling" is a better word. The writing is good enough to stimulate the suspense and feeling of sick fascination that propels the reader to the end, despite the realization that perhaps none of the characters are redeemable. But what wouldn't you do to protect those you love most?

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