With a review from Gillian Flynn (the author of Gone Girl, if for some reason you have been living under a rock and didn’t already know that) on the cover saying “Chilling, nasty, smart, shocking, and unputdownable”, I knew I had to read The Dinner by Herman Koch!
How far would you go for someone you love? Is blood really thicker than water? And would you allow your own flesh and blood to be turned over to the police, or would you try to save them?
This book gets you thinking about the extreme… hence the multiple Trader Joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups I consumed while reading this book :) Hey, I needed some brain fuel with all those tough questions to answer!
This book contained violence (a whole bunch), plot twists, family feuds, psychopaths, murder, and a plethora of backstabbing, but sadly only gets a 3 out of 5 star rating in my book (pun intended).
Why, you may ask? It was called the “European Gone Girl”! How could the “European Gone Girl” only get 3 stars?
*Caution: This review alludes to spoilers!*
I was kept entertained and I flew through the story, but for some reason, since I couldn’t relate to any of the characters (I actually found Serge the most “normal” out of them all) it was hard to really feel for any of them.
There were also a few things (a lot of things) I came across that just weren’t believable…
Red Flag #1: Who goes to a fancy restaurant to discuss such personal matters? They were screaming, crying, getting up and down from the table… clearly they drew attention to themselves.
Red Flag #2: There is no way Paul could have been a teacher with his mental issues. And how was he not in jail for almost killing a principal?
Red Flag #3: How on earth did Claire not go to jail for assaulting someone with a wine glass to the face?
Just a few too many far fetched things happened to make me really like it. It did get you thinking “how far would I go for family”, but I knew after chapter two that I wouldn’t go as far as any person in that book did (not even half as far)!
Would I recommend this? Probably not. It was a page turner, but just lacked the actual “hook” a book needs (I think it could have had the hook, but the writing wasn’t suspenseful enough).
But if someone wanted to read it, I wouldn’t stop them (like I always do when someone mentions this book).
I do want to know how much Herman paid Gillian Flynn to write that raving review though… hey, it got me to buy the book. Well worth the investment, Herman!
What did you think of The Dinner? Did you find it as far-fetched as me?
Now, I better get reading my bookclub book… the clock is ticking!