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The Dinner by Herman Koch
 
Book Club Recommended
Dark, Interesting, Slow
The Dinner

This is not an easy book to review without spoiling it for others.
How far will we follow our instincts or do our duty when it comes to the welfare of our children and the good of society?
This book is at times mordantly funny in its observations of the way we live now, but it loses its way a bit when it becomes time for Herman Koch to bring the threads of the plot together for the conclusion.
There are suggestions in places that the translation into English from the Dutch was a bit rough and ready. Overall, however, the central idea is interesting and the book is worth reading.

The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
 
Book Club Recommended
Graphic, Interesting, Insightful
The Slap

This is a wonderful book. Confronting, to say the least. It's one of those books that pushes us to look at ourselves and our beliefs and assumptions. People who aren't interested in doing that will find the book too confronting.
How good to enjoy something substantial, when most non-literary novels are bland and textureless, while self-indulgent readers demand to be able to "like" or "identify with" characters, as if reading should be like eating junk food.

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