The Dinner by Herman Koch

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.

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    Very well written, but a bit disturbing in areas. I think the flashback sections added an important stimulating element to the book that probably would not have been available had the entire focus be on the meal.

    1 · May 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great discussion and so nice to meet people interested in Intellectual knowledge.

    1 · May 22, 2013

  • Dina

    Very good conversation about a very good book. Much to discuss!

    1 · May 21, 2013

  • Chisoo K.

    I was so looking forward to this, but just realized that I double-booked myself for that night. :( Next time!

    May 17, 2013

  • Marissa

    I was not able to get the book on time, so have to pass on the meeting. Is there a reason we can't have selections chosen one or two months in advance? I don't particularly want to purchase every book so use the library.

    May 17, 2013

  • Jason

    Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to make this one. See you next time.

    May 15, 2013

  • kathy

    Looking forward to the next meeting. Maybe this time I won't get lost!!

    2 · May 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    will definitely attend, if I am not out of state.

    1 · April 29, 2013

16 went

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Create your own Meetup Group

Get started Learn more
Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy