Netherlands

The Dinner by Herman Koch

I don’t really get why this book had to take place at a dinner. It feels a little gimmicky, if you ask me. All the dinner backdrop really serves to do is (1) break up the progression of the book into digestible portions (aperitif, appetizer, main course, dessert, digestif), and (2) underscore the problematic nature of this family (going out to dinner at a seen-and-be-seen restaurant to discuss a crime committed by their children seems like they’re not taking the crime seriously)–both of which could be just as skillfully done without a waiter interrupting every so often. But alright.

Despite the gimmick, The Dinner is a fun read highlighting the power of the unreliable narrator. I know I litter all my entries with dozens of spoilers (they’re reflections after all)–but let me just say this: that family is psychotic.

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