Sunday, April 14, 2013

Review: The Dinner by Herman Koch

The DinnerThe Dinner by Herman Koch
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This one just didn't do it for me. Perhaps it was the comparisons to Gone Girl that did it, perhaps its just that the novel never truly grabbed my attention. I'm not sure. It was just OK. I can't say I liked it at all - the characters were not in any way engaging but that is kind of the point of the novel, honestly. I think the premise had a lot of potential but it just never lived up to that potential. The writing was choppy for me, I just didn't find the pacing to be well done. I almost put it down as a 'do not finish' book at least 3 times but stuck with it because I kept hearing these Gone Girl comparisons and was worried I'd miss the thing that made it great if I put it down. Um, no need to worry. It never got better. It never came close to Gone Girl's punch.

If you get nothing else from this review, here is my message: DO NOT BUY INTO THE COMPARISONS TO GONE GIRL!!! This novel has none of the inventiveness or fun that Gone Girl brought to the table. Although we have some of the same ingredients (unreliable narrator, secretive plot points, sociopath behavior, etc.), the resulting novel is completely different. I'm frankly BAFFLED by all of the positive reviews. I just cannot understand it. It didn't work out for me and, unfortunately, I cannot recommend it. If you want to read something dark & twisty, with dark characters, etc., just grab Gone Girl which does all of that so much better.

I'm really bummed about my experience of this book because I was hoping this one would resonated with me and wow me in the way that Gone Girl did! I rarely say truly negative things about a book that I've read but this one was certainly a disappointment and has me honestly baffled. I just don't get the hype around this one. If you decide to read it, I hope your experience is better. For me, this one was as dud.

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