CARDIFF, United Kingdom
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  • The Dinner

  • By: Herman Koch
  • Narrated by: Clive Mantle
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 167
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 106
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 106

A summer's evening in Amsterdam and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse - the banality of work, the triviality of holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened. Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A wonderfully dark modern parable.

  • By M on 19-10-14

Ho hum, Herman

3 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-07-13

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend an abridged version of this audiobook. It is an interesting premise with thoroughly despicable (but eminently entertaining) characters that is hampered by unnecessary prose, such as Paul's Lohman's interminable speculation.

Would you be willing to try another book from Herman Koch? Why or why not?


What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Much of the main protagonist's thoughts did little more than extend the book by as much as 10,000 words. Was there a word limit imposed by the publisher...

Do you think The Dinner needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. This is a self-contained story that deals with a series of events. Although the book deals with a hereditary and escalating pattern of behaviour anything further would simply be gratuitous. That said, there may be many readers thirsty for the Lohman's comeuppance.

Any additional comments?

Worth a listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful