304 pages, 8.54 × 5.9 × 1.05 in
February 12, 2013
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0770437850
ISBN - 13: 9780770437855
About the Book
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.
From the Publisher
"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 polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse -- the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. 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.
Tautly written, incredibly gripping, and told by an unforgettable narrator, The Dinner promises to be the topic of countless dinner party debates. 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.
About the Author
HERMAN KOCH is the author of seven novels and three collections of short stories. The Dinner, his sixth novel, has been published in 25 countries, and was the winner of the Publieksprijs Prize in 2009. He currently lives in Amsterdam.
“A European Gone Girl…The Dinner, a sly psychological thriller that hinges on a horrific crime and its consequences for two families, has become one of spring’s most anticipated suspense novels.” – The Wall Street Journal“Poised to shake up American publishing…Koch tells a story that could very well take away your appetite.” —USA Today.com“[A] deliciously Mr. Ripley-esque drama.” —O, The Oprah Magazine “You’ll eat it up, with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” —Entertainment Weekly “Koch’s ability to toy with the reader’s alliances while using one family’s distress to consider greater societal ills gives the novel a vital punch.” —Daily Beast “A tart main course that explores how quickly the facade of civility can crumble. It's hard to digest at times, but with a thought-provoking taste that lingers.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer “The novel has been called the Gone Girl of the Continent, and not without cause: Like Gillian Flynn’s bestseller, it’s a tale told by an unreliable narrator, full of twists and skillfully executed revelations, ultimately registering as a black parable about the deceptively civilized surface of cosmopolitan, middle-class lives…What Koch achieves with his prose—plain but undergirded by breathtaking angles, like a beautiful face scrubbed free of makeup — is a brilliantly engineered and (for the thoughtful reader) chastening mindfuck. The novel is designed to make you think twice, then thrice, not only about what goes on within its pages, but also the nex
An acclaimed international bestseller, The Dinner is the provocative, darkly suspenseful tale of a seemingly ordinary meal at a posh Amsterdam restaurant, where two couples must confront a dangerous secret. In a story line that will have all parents wondering how well they really know their children—and how far parents should go to protect their family—master of suspense Herman Koch introduces us to brothers Paul and Serge Lohman and the frightful truths they share.
Each with a fifteen-year-old son, the Lohmans haven’t always approved of each other’s parenting styles. Now their boys have triggered a police investigation that threatens everything their families cherish. As Paul narrates the night in gripping, finely honed scenes, we are served a glimpse of the dark side of genteel society and the startling ease with which ordinary people can do extraordinarily horrific things.
This guide is designed to enrich your discussion of The Dinner. We hope that the following questions will make your reading group’s experience delectable.
Guide written by Amy Clements