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Dark,
Interesting,
Slow

48 reviews

The Dinner
by Herman Koch

Published: 2013-10-29
Paperback : 320 pages
79 members reading this now
193 clubs reading this now
62 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 30 of 48 members
Now a major motion picture starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Steve Coogan, Rebecca Hall, and Chloë Sevigny

"A European Gone Girl." —The Wall Street Journal

An internationally bestselling phenomenon, the darkly suspenseful, highly controversial tale of two families struggling to make ...
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Introduction

Now a major motion picture starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Steve Coogan, Rebecca Hall, and Chloë Sevigny

"A European Gone Girl." —The Wall Street Journal

An internationally bestselling phenomenon, the darkly suspenseful, highly controversial tale of two families struggling to make the hardest decision of their lives—all over the course of one meal.

It's a summer's evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened.

Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.

Skewering everything from parenting values to pretentious menus to political convictions, this novel reveals the dark side of genteel society and asks what each of us would do in the face of unimaginable tragedy.

Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

How far would you go to protect your child ?
by youngsuz (see profile) 06/20/15

Who tells the biggest lies?
by lizblair (see profile) 09/30/14

n/a
by McFarR56 (see profile) 02/04/14

what part does genetics play in the book?
nature or nurture?
Which character has the strongest moral compass?
by brendacl (see profile) 08/29/13

Is Serge a good father and a good man? Or i
Is Claire's response maternal, only natural - or do her actions reveal her to beviolently anti-social?
What would you do if Michel was your son?
by Anita1 (see profile) 02/17/13

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by agilgreco (see profile) 01/17/20

 
by [email protected] (see profile) 11/04/19

We gave this a B

 
by [email protected] (see profile) 02/12/19

I really appreciated the author’s interesting writing techniques, which kept the novel suspenseful. Although the narrator bothered me at times, it made the book come full circle.

 
by barblibrarian (see profile) 11/21/18

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