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Koch: The Dinner

Updated on January 30, 2013

The Dinner by Herman Koch

Herman Koch The Dinner will be released in English in North America on February 12. First published as Het Diner in Dutch in 2009, it became an immediate best seller and editions followed quickly in 17 countries.

Brothers Paul and Serge meet for dinner to plan how to face the grisly crime their fifteen-year-old sons have committed. Old jealousies, loyalties, anger and blame lie below the surface of the conversation, as the two fathers weigh protecting their sons against preserving their social position and political aspirations. Serge, who does do-it-yourself home improvement projects on his summer home in France and sips too much local red wine of the Dordogne, is running for election as premier of the Netherlands in the next election, while Paul, a retired teacher, has always resented his brother's popularity and apparently easy success.

The Dinner: Family History Flavoured with Fear

In Herman KochThe Dinner, Dutch brothers meet to dissect the family scandal course by course.
In Herman KochThe Dinner, Dutch brothers meet to dissect the family scandal course by course. | Source

Herman Koch

A Dutch television producer who now lives in Spain, Koch took an idea for his novel in part from a news report of Spanish teens who abused and torched a homeless woman. Koch tells in an August, 2012 interview with Mark Reynolds how the facts behind the television report become fiction for Koch. The Dinner explores the family dysfunction and personal accountability of the characters as it paints a dark picture of family life, violence, and keeping up appearances.

Filming is currently underway in Holland under the direction of Menno Meyjes, who wrote the screenplay for Steven Spielberg's film of The Colour Purple, based on the novel by Alice Walker. The movie of The dinner is scheduled for release in early fall, 2013.


Herman Koch The Dinner


Its dry, cynical tone, quick pace, complex family dynamics and superb plotting make this book a riveting read. Here's a good excuse to set aside the bathroom makeover and the football game this weekend, pour a glass of your favorite beverage, and get lost in a book.

Have You Read It? Rate and Comment

4 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Herman Koch The Dinner

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    • Janis Goad profile imageAUTHOR

      Janis Goad 

      5 years ago

      Great to hear from you, Ruchira. I hope you will come back after you have read it, and comment and rate.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 

      5 years ago from United States

      I have not read this book and your review was awesome.

      Will try to get hold of it...thanks Janis.

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