Here’s the best advice I can give you when you start reading The Dinner by Herman Koch: Open the cover and then immediately turn to page 100. Because you will be bored for awhile if you start at the beginning.
Here, I’ll help you skip ahead. The first 100 pages are as follows: couple A and couple B meet in a restaurant. Flashbacks ensue, describing how the couples met, how they’re related (brothers!) and how many children they have (couple A: one; couple B: two. One is adopted. This comes into play.)
We learn there’s a secret the husband A has been keeping from wifey A. Or at least thinks he’s keeping.
Boom! The first 100 pages. Done. You’re welcome.
That said, the next 200 pages are pretty fucking good. There are surprises and twists, emotional outbursts and tears when they’re least expected. Koch touches upon a variety of topics: class warfare, racism, politics. And he does so with subtlety and a bit of humor. Well played, Herms.
Look, I don’t want to spoil the rest for you, and going into much more detail would do that, as it’s really a fairly short book. But one that I recommend.
Bitch Rating: 2.5 out of 4 bitches — very engaging with a satisfying conclusion. Cheers!
Title: The Dinner
Author: Herman Koch
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Length: 304 pages (hardcover)