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Book Review: The Dinner

Book Review: The Dinner
2013/10/29 Better Blueprint

The Dinner by Herman Koch

This book, The Dinner, was utterly disturbing but lead me down several divergent pathways.

I started out by going to my family and a few close friends to ask a thought provoking question (in as neutral a tone as possible). The results were exactly as expected.

But I stopped because I wanted to think and share what was most riveting about this book for me - and that was how we got to such a depraved ending.

Four seemingly normal individuals with their own set of issues that are highlighted but not fully expounded upon. A pair of brothers who have a specific kind of love and appreciation for one another. Two husband-wife pairs that, on the surface, relate to each other the same but underneath have a kindred likeness that is almost unnatural.

But I digress....

The real is how do outward appearances affect our perception of individuals, and how we see their public personas? That's the real question to answer....and I'm almost ashamed to say the answer but, we create personas of individuals based on exactly what they give us and, sometimes, on what they don't. It's an amalgamation of little data points throughout our interactions and we build an image - Is it right? Have we considered enough of one aspect or too much of another?

The book made me stop to ask if what I see is really what is....and while I never believed the answer was "yes", this book leaves little doubt. I build up an image of someone based on their actions and words, and sometimes based on other little things I perceive. What about you? I put this book down, (after reading it) and think that I am grateful for my powers of discernment.

Here are several other reviews for the book....

back book cover for The Dinner

Disclosure: this post was inspired by The Dinner, a novel by Herman Koch. Two brothers and their wives sit down for a tension filled dinner to discuss a tragedy that can change both families’ lives forever. Join From Left to Write on October 29 as we discuss The Dinner.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


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