Book Review: The Dinner

The DinnerThe Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

While most people were introduced to Herman Koch through his novel The Dinner, I read  Summer House with Swimming Pool first and really liked it.  Most psychological thrillers usually involve a psychopath who really can’t function in society as a whole, Koch’s psychopaths are particularly high-functioning and that is what is so enthralling and alarming about his novels.

Koch got the idea for The Dinner while having dinner out on New Year’s Eve in Barcelona in 2005.  While observing everyone at the dinner table (a party of sixteen) he came up with the first two sentences and decided right then and there to write the book in five sections, Apertif, Appetizer, Main Course, Dessert, Digestif.  I found this fascinating in and of itself.  You can read more about Kock’s writing process in his essay entitled  The First Sentence.  The essay is at the back of the book and is as much a must read as The Dinner.

Koch’s novel moves quickly and is a fast-paced and easy read.  At 292 pages, it is extremely well-plotted.  Regular readers of this blog know that I have great disdain for mysteries and thrillers that I figure out the ending for before I get there.  No worries with this one.  The ending is spectacular and will blow you away at the genius of it.

2016 is off to a great start with The Dinner and  The Travelers by Chris Pavone.  This looks to be a great year for reading.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Details:  Published by Hogarth (October 29, 2013), 320 Pages, ISBN:  978-0385346856.