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Description

A summer's evening in Amsterdam and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant. 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 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, and as civility and friendship disintegrates, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.

©2009 Herman Koch (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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Notations

Global

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Histoire

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Trier par :
  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars

sympathique développement sur la paternité

pas une oeuvre d'art mais agréable à lire pour passer une bonne soirée!
personnage de la mère très intéressant!

Trier par :
  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ilinca
  • 10/12/2013

excellent novel, excellent narration

The Dinner is a spectacular book about family and society, among other things as well. This is not a cute book. It's heavy because it's about heavy things, and because it doesn't take heavy things lightly.

I liked the progression from bland dinner table conversation, pigmented with hints of a couple of mysterious incidents (something found in the phone of Paul's teenage son; Paul's sister-in-law arriving for dinner with traces of tears in her eyes), to the unfolding of the drama behind the dinner. The drama that started years before with instances of personal drama and of parenting; the drama that spikes in a horrific incident, then again in discussing it at home, then again at the dinner table.

The fact that this is a Dutch novel is extremely relevant, since Dutch society struggles with a very tolerant front which sometimes comes up to kick itself in the teeth. It is amazing what torments hide behind the blandness of equality and tolerance - not that they always turn violent, but that fear of speaking up against indiscriminate equality becomes oppressive in itself.

"The Dinner" is a painful analysis of society and family, delivered not from a high moral standpoint, but with a subtle understanding of nuances, of small things that make up or break up lives and relationships.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 02/03/2013

The problem is...it's all highly improbable

Any additional comments?

The publisher''s summary describes the set up well. While the story centres around a dinner at a restaurant one evening between two couples, what is revealed slowly over the course of the story are the events that have has preceded this night and the real reason as to why the couples have come together for this dinner. That is fine as it goes and I found it intriguing.

The real problem with the story, however, is that what is described as having occurred prior to the dinner is reasonably improbable. I just found it hard to believe. The couples' reaction to it I found equally unlikely in a normal world and what comes after the dinner is also hard to swallow. This is really unfortunate as the author spends quite a bit of time making insightful observations about dinners and about restaurants generally which will resonate with a lot of readers and is quite amusing. But in the end, what should have been a work that could have been drawn from real life just turned into more or less a bit of a fantasy tale.

Other commentators have remarked on the slowness of the reveal and the pace of the book. I did not find that a problem at all as the whole basis of the story is the slow reveal. The little pieces that you put together one by one as the story unfolds. It is just that all the pieces do not, in the end, add up to very much.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • C. Whigham
  • 23/12/2012

disappointing

Would you try another book from Herman Koch and/or Clive Mantle?

the narrator was ok i would think about listening to him but the story was boring, i did not enjoy it i wouldnt read him again

What could Herman Koch have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

better story faster moving

What three words best describe Clive Mantle’s voice?

clear, steady, understandable

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • SANDRINE
  • 04/09/2012

Captivating with a surprising twist at the end!

If you could sum up The Dinner in three words, what would they be?

Tasteful, spicy and bitter!

Who was your favorite character and why?

The wife of the narrator because she is the synthesis of all the other characters.

Any additional comments?

I strongly recommend this book, the story has a very good suspense, nothing is what it seems to be, the setting of a family dinner in a high class restaurant is perfect to dramatize a fantastic satire of our society.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Saranit Vongkiatkajorn
  • 17/09/2016

Disturbing twist

Rambles on quite a bit, but toward the very end gets really interesting. Definitely awesome for conveying an unreliable narrator who you can both be annoyed at and at the same time feel sympathy for.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ruban K
  • 27/07/2015

Exceptional!

The story was brilliant and the reader was extremely brilliant! I definitely strongly recommend this book.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Felix
  • 14/01/2015

great intonation, special story.<br />

I loved the speakers voice and how he made me experience the story.

the story itself is nice and has some unexpected plot twists which I loved. though the book is quite long because of the numerous descriptions.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Remco
  • 23/11/2013

Slow Cooking Goodness

Any additional comments?

Story of The Dinner unfolds as slowly as the dinner seems to move. Somehow it keeps one captivated and the reader gets more and more into the mind of the narrater. One who, in turn, becomes slowly less and less sympathetic.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Daniela
  • 29/09/2012

A well-told and disturbing story, amazing reader.

In the peaceful Netherlands two well-off couples in a first class restaurant travel from Aperitif to Digestive and Coffee. During their journey there is plenty to discover, and unfortunately it is not very pleasant.
A very good book, with a great reader.
I recommend it, especially for parents of teenage kids.

Trier par :
  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • pikale
  • 21/12/2014

Mal etwas ganz anderes

Auf den Autor (Holländer) und das Buch wurde ich durch einen BBC-Bookclub Podcast aufmerksam.
Aufgrund des deutschen Titels "Angerichtet" habe ich es vorgezogen, mir die englische Version anzuhören. Ein wirklich sehr gutes Buch in dem trotz des ernsten Themas immer wieder auch Humor durchkommt.