Friday, January 20, 2017

THE DINNER BY HERMAN KOCH - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, The Dinner by Herman Koch.


*My apologies in advance, this isn't the most coherent review I've ever written, but this book just was so difficult to write about.*

I don't really know how I feel about this book. There were some parts I really liked, and others I wasn't a fan of.

Firstly, the premise. The whole book is told from one man's POV at a restaurant dinner table. In theory, this sounds really interesting. There were some moments I really liked, the introduction of each course, the claustrophobic setting of the table, and the fact that the characters were kind of stuck at one location. I didn't love when there were flashbacks and scenes that took place outside of the restaurant, I felt that even though it gave background info, it took away from the flow of the story.

I can't really talk too much about the plot or synopsis because I'm not sure what to say. The main element is the two couples going to dinner, but there is more to it than that. However, the deeper meaning brings about spoilers.

This book deals a lot with the idea of fighting for the ones you love and standing up for them no matter what. I think while the sentiment is there, the characters in this book took that idea a little too far, showing what happens at that extreme. I think Claire especially embodies this sentiment, but I think she also has the best explanation, her mother-bear instincts kicking in strong.

I really don't know how I feel about this book. I think it isn't great, there are some memorable moments and it definitely had potential, but it wasn't anything that I loved. I waffled between 2 and 3 stars, but because if how much I liked the restaurant aspect, I am going with 3 stars.

The whole thing with Paul, him having some sort of illness, but it never being fully explained and the possible hereditability of it just seemed a bit much for me. And the fact that Claire was okay, even preferred the 'old' Paul (read: unmedicated/unstable) rubbed me the wrong way.

There was also some parts that felt tedious and unnecessary.

This review is all over the place because this book is all over the place. I feel like I have no idea what this book was trying to say, and I really don't know how I feel about it.

BAH.