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Herman Koch - Het Diner [Mar. 19th, 2012|08:50 pm]



Title: Het Diner (The Dinner*)
Author: Herman Koch
Genre: Novel
Publisher: Anthos, 2009
Pages: Hardcover, 300
Language: Dutch
Rating: 8.5/10
Summary: Two brothers and their wives have dinner in a fancy restaurant. Their conversations are stilted, because they are trying to avoid talking about their teenage sons. Those boys have done something that could seriously harm everybody's future. Not in the least that of one of them, who's trying to become the new prime minister of the Netherlands.

Author Herman Koch is well known in the Netherlands as part of a satirical comedy group and I didn't know what to expect when I tried this bestselling book (I mostly based my decision to buy on the cool cover;). I was treated to an excellent suspense story!
In between courses, the parents have secret phone-conversations with their children, so slowly we find out what happened and what's going on. What the kids did is surely a hideous thing and the book raises the question if the parents are (partly) responsible for their kids' behavior.
What I loved most about the book were the awkward conversations; it was delicious to experience one of those uncomfortable, 'let's keep things nice, don't cause a scene' situations from an outsider point of view. Even if I couldn't relate to the actual events, the relationships between the parents and their children, and between all the grown ups were awesomely recognizable.

I bought another book of Koch as soon as I finished this one (it also has a cool cover;)

*The Dinner will be available in English in August 2012! (It's already available in German (Angerichtet), Spanish (El sopar), Italian (La cena) and French (Le dîner).
Get it! And then tell me if it's as awesome in translation:)