Wednesday, March 01, 2017
Posted by JaneGS
I really enjoy the TuesdayBookTalk Group at GoodReads--it's a small group but I learn about and read books with this group that I wouldn't normally either know about or prioritize, and I've really found some gems this way.
Our February genre was thriller and the book we read was The Dinner, by Herman Koch, translated from Dutch by Sam Garrett.
Two couples, consisting of two brothers and their wives, get together over dinner at an Amsterdam restaurant, to discuss how to handle the serious trouble that their teenage sons are in. In the course of the meal, the narrator, Paul, provides the backstory, not only to the crime that the sons have committed, but to his own mental health, as well as the relationships between himself, his wife and son, and his politician brother and his family.
Doesn't sound much like a thriller? Think again. I found my heart racing every bit as much as when I read Girl on the Train as the horror beneath this "happy family" slowly but inexorably surfaced.
In the end, I found this story to be more about the nature of evil and the exploitation of the mentally ill than I about anything else. Yes, the story touches on parenting and protecting those we love as well as superficiality, pretension, and ambition, but all that seemed trivial when all was revealed at the end of the story. Truly chilling...and well-written, well-crafted, and very tight. A good book.