The Dinner – Herman Koch (English Translation 2012)

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The Dinner by Dutch author Herman Koch is an intricate dark tale about two brothers and their families and the event that will undo them. Paul Lohman is a former teacher, his brother Serge is a famous politician, and they each have sons that have committed a crime, and they meet for dinner to discuss it. Told as though the story was occurring, it is sorted into sections such as aperitif, appetizer, main course, and digestif. These courses serve to interrupt Paul’s narrative, much as courses being brought to a table interrupt conversation during dinner. It is not until the very last that the reader succeeds in discovering all that has occurred. The tension builds slowly, keeping the reader engrossed, and completely unsure of what is to happen next. Grimly funny and patient, I believe that suspense fans and literary minimalist fans will enjoy The Dinner. (292 pages) 

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