I hated this book, hated the characters, hated the story, hated the horrific act two teen boys did!!! I finally gave up, closed the book and hope I never see it again! My reading time is precious and I don't like wasting my time! Blah....
Most depressing book I've ever read; not entertaining or enlightening in any way. Only reason I continued to the end was because of our Book Club. Do not recommend unless your Club is focused on dark minds / events.
In Amsterdam, two brothers and their wives meet for a dinner loaded with undercurrents. It's difficult to say which brother is more self-absorbed and pompous - Serge, the politician or Paul, the former high school history teacher forced into an involuntary "sabbatical" due to mental health issues. Their sons have been involved in a crime of unimaginable cruelty, which they are attempting to justify and absolve. The early background leads quickly to the understanding that Paul's son, Michael, has learned at a very young age that his father will protect him from taking responsibility for any wrongdoing. There is a pervasive sense in this book that once the superficial veneer of "a happy family" collapses, nothing is left but the harsh knowledge of their dysfunction as parents and worthwhile people. For those of us who believe that there are consequences for our actions and for those of our children, this is a difficult book to read.
Probably the worst book I have read in terms of its literary quality. I understand that it is translated from another language and in many cases that can come off as choppy, but this is just horrible. The plot and storyline have so much potential but the writing is not there. Thankfully it is a very quick read, so you do not waste a great deal of time, but it is not worth it.
I wouldn't care to read a book like this one every day, but I found "The Dinner" to be a very worthwhile read. It's a really scathing and dark satire and yes, the characters are thoroughly unsympathetic. Their closed ranks and self-centeredness, not to mention their actions, are taken to horrifying extremes;the result is a brutal book you won't soon forget.