My mum told me about Herman Koch’s The Dinner ages ago, and I started reading it and didn’t like it (after 20 pages or so) and so quit. So when it was picked for book club I was big shrug meh about reading it. And finishing it I’m still big shrug meh.
It’s hard to say much without spoiling it for you (though to be fair I’m not exactly urging you to read it… you might go see the movie though), so I’ll just say a few things. A mystery of sorts underpins a dinner party. We gather with our reluctant – and ultimately untrustworthy – narrator and his three dinner companions. Over the course of the meal we learn their respective back stories, how they are connected, and what will happen after the dinner. The book explores what we are willing to sacrifice for our children, but explores this question superficially. It also asks some questions about genetic determinism, and how accountable we ought to be for our actions if we accept this view. Mostly its narrator is annoying and I wasn’t invested enough to care about the reveal.
Unrelated to the book, this is the first novel I’ve read on my cellphone. I couldn’t get it in time for a trip to Vancouver, so I bought the ebook version. It’ll be no surprise to learn I won’t be reading more books on my phone if I can avoid it. I like being able to flip ahead and flip back and hold the book and that’s just that. To be fair it was fantastic to be able to hold the book in one hand while juggling all the other things on a flight. As if you care about my thoughts on ebooks. Ha.