THE DINNER | Herman Koch’s “European Gone Girl”

The Dinner a European Gone Girl

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!*

The Dinner by Herman Koch

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!

8 thoughts on “THE DINNER | Herman Koch’s “European Gone Girl”

  1. kelsnsher September 14, 2015 / 8:33 am

    Oh my goodness I loved Gone Girl so i’m definitely gonna add this one to my list!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amanda Brooks September 14, 2015 / 1:42 pm

      No No! My review was misleading haha I bumped up my rating of 3 out of 5 before the “read more”. Everyone said it was like Gone Girl, but I didn’t think it was at all! haha


  2. Nena September 14, 2015 / 12:19 pm

    I heard about this book! I didn’t read the review because I didn’t want any spoilers, but just the intro motivated me to read it:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amanda Brooks September 14, 2015 / 1:41 pm

      Ahh! I bumped up my rating of 3 out of 5 before the spoilers warning now! Everyone said it was like Gone Girl, but I didn’t think it was at all :( Sorry that was misleading

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nena September 14, 2015 / 1:51 pm

        No problem:) Thanks for that and I like that you warned about possible spoilers:) It still sounds like an interesting read. I especially like that it’s something different from other reads.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The Lilac Press September 14, 2015 / 11:16 pm

    I’m such a sucker for spoilers! But I appreciate your honest opinion on this one. I’ll have to skip it for now.


  4. SamanthaWho September 15, 2015 / 12:25 am

    I totally agree! I had high hopes for this one, but thought it feel pretty flat and that the main character was unlikeable..

    Liked by 1 person

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