Herman Koch’s International Bestseller The Dinner

Read It Forward favorite Gillian Flynn describes Herman Koch’s bestselling novel The Dinner like this: “It begins with drinks and dark satire, and goes stealthily and hauntingly from there. It’s chilling, nasty, smart, shocking and unputdownable. Read the novel in one big gulp, and then make plans with friends – you’ll be desperate to debate this book over cocktails, appetizers, entrees, dessert . . . and then you still won’t be done talking about it.”

The Dinner is an internationally bestselling phenomenon: the darkly suspenseful, highly controversial tale of two families struggling to make the hardest decision of their lives – all over the course of one meal.

It’s a summer’s evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse – the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened.

Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.

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Tautly written, incredibly gripping, and told by an unforgettable narrator, The Dinner promises to be the topic of countless dinner party debates. Skewering everything from parenting values to pretentious menus to political convictions, this novel reveals the dark side of genteel society and asks what each of us would do in the face of unimaginable tragedy.

HERMAN KOCH is the author of seven novels and three collections of short stories. The Dinner, his sixth novel, has been published in 25 countries, and was the winner of the Publieksprijs Prize in 2009. He currently lives in Amsterdam.

About Kira Walton

Kira Walton

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life as a college English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, and editor.

  • Angela

    I REALLY hope I win this one. I don’t know if I can wait until it comes out in February!

  • Chris

    The Dinner by Herman Kock sounds like a book I would really enjoy reading. I’m sure it would keep my attention well.

  • Barb March

    Sounds great. Fingers crossed!

  • Linda Plank

    I love to read!

  • Pat

    Sounds like a good read!

  • Gayle

    Would love to read this!

  • Karen

    Sounds great. I would love to read it.

  • techeditor

    I just received an email about this. Is the contest over already? If not, where do I enter?

  • sharon

    my thoughts exactly.. no way to enter with the link.. help!

  • kristen

    looks like a good book.

  • jackie morris

    would like to enter The Dinner with Herman Koch!! love new books!!

  • Trisha McKee

    I would love to read this! Not sure where to enter.

  • Carolyn Berg

    sounds like a good book. I want to read it.

  • susan smoaks

    i would love to check this out!

  • Katharine Adams

    gotta read!

  • Susan C

    How do you enter this contest?

  • Joyce Gibson

    Sounds exciting, would love to read

  • Tammy Bontoft

    Please enter me to win this book!

  • Tarah

    This sounds like an amazing book!

  • Sue Ziegler

    I would like to request this title also. I somehow found a link (after several rounds) on Friday — filled out the form, and then could not Submit. Thanks for considering.

  • Claudette Newhall

    Wow! Really want to read this one.

  • Marci Rinehart

    Where’s the link to enter??

  • Greta Moore

    I would love to read this book. I hope after 2 years I can maybe win, I have my fingers crossed.

  • Sharon

    Sounds like just my style! And I love the cover.

  • Shelley C.

    I am just leaving a message since I don’t see a link either??

  • Jennifer Peaslee

    man I want to win this too, sounds like a great book and I love suspense! Wish there was a link or directions for us…

  • Geri Bilotta

    I have an audience for this type of lit, thanks, GB

  • Geri Bilotta

    Thanks for the heads-up, I have an audience for this type of literature, Geraldinesbookshelves

  • vicky turner

    sounds like a good book can’t wait to read it

  • Teri

    Sounds like a page turner – cant wait to read!

  • Kelli Neal

    This sounds like a great read! I would love to have a copy!

  • Charlotte Padgett

    Please add me to the ones who are wanting desperately to enter for a chance to win this. It sounds so interesting.

  • Diana Marlow

    Sounds interesting!

  • Diana Marlow

    Look forward to reading & enjoying this bookl].

  • sheryl Jeffries

    Sounds awesome, but were do we enter 🙂

  • tammy morse

    Sounds that a awesome book

  • tammy morse

    Sounds awesome, book how can i enter this contest”?

  • J. B. Matias

    I’ve love to read this so I hope comments count as contest entries.

  • Marcia

    I want to know what the dark side of the two families is
    all about……sounds like there are secrets. It sounds interesting to read.

  • Candi Smith

    Make me a winner!!

  • Alison Smith

    I would love to win a copy of this book. It sounds wonderful!

  • Denise l.

    This sounds interesting; would make a great discussion.

  • shirley zolenski

    Awesome. Thanks

  • tina mccarthy

    Sounds like it would be a fantastic book..Where is the form to enter?

  • allison roussel

    I am confused – I got my email, I clicked “enter to win a book” – but no where do I see where I can actually enter to win a book…………..is something different than it used to be? Is the link hiding someplace new? Am I a dummy and it is right in front of my face? PLEASE HELP!!

  • yahme

    Sounds like a good read!

  • crystal

    How do I enter? Sounds very interesting!!

  • Paige Carpenter

    It sounds like a great read!

  • Lita Turner

    This sounds very interesting!

  • calvin kuhn

    Love this premise but where is the sign up page?

  • Sue Maisel

    Looks good.

  • Debbie Sintic

    Realy want my name in the pot for this one . It sounds like a must read. As a parent I can relate to doing most anything to protect our children.


    I would love to read this book. I am always looking for new Authors to add to my collection. I find print copies to be near and dear to my heart. Electronic equipment fail and loose data. Paper lasts and is reliable alot longer. May I please have a copy?

  • Connie

    Sounds like my kind of read!

  • LINDA Sheehan

    Add me to the growing list of people who would love to win this book!

  • Lisa Morse

    Looking forward to reading it!

  • Vincent Rullo

    Would love to read this. I’ve really been in the mood for a good suspenseful story lately.

  • Carol B

    This could be an interesting book.

  • rose mortimer

    would love to win this

  • pradeep urankar

    love to win this books thanks

  • Anna Hjortsberg

    Please enter me in the contest, can’t find link to do so.

  • Teresa Turner

    Would love to read this book !!

  • Karen Mwins

    Would LOVE to win this! Please sign me up (or just send me a copy!) 🙂

  • Angee Bartlett

    I would enjoy winning this book.

  • Leah

    Sounds like a gripping read!

  • Amber Rairdan

    Would love to read.

  • Betty

    sounds like an interesting setting for a difficult situation at best. Intrigued by where the plot line will go with exploring the extremes of ‘protect your children’

  • Karen

    Looking forward to reading this book!!

  • Daphne

    Dinner and debate over a tragic story. Sounds great – would love to read Herman Koch’s novel!

  • Patricia

    Wow! I can’t wait to figure out what the mystery is!

  • Aimee

    Sounds like a great upcoming vacation read!

  • Jack Ripple

    Please accept this comment as my entry -thank you!

  • Sharon

    My comment is still awaiting moderation? I hope I’m entered to win!

  • Kathren M

    Add me to the list of people that would love to be entered to get to read this one! Sounds like an amazing read!

  • Kristina Cinato

    would like to read this. How do we enter to win a copy?

  • Alissa Hanes

    I would love to win this book too. Please enter my name as well. Love a suspense.

  • Christy

    Sounds like a great read!!

  • Heather

    What an interesting idea for a novel! I love to read books based in a foreign country. No matter where we live we all have the same trials and tribulations.

  • Margaret W

    Sounds like it would be a good read.

  • Susan Coster

    My son just returned from Amsterdam and said the food was amazing. I would love to win this for him!

  • Kris

    I love satire, I love dark, I love suspense. This one’s on my list for sure!

  • Mary

    Please accept this comment as my entry -thank you!

  • Mona

    Looks great!

  • Joslyn K.

    This sounds fantastic, I would love to get the chance to read it!

  • Christine A.

    Would love to read, sounds awesome! Thanks.

  • Tori Marmol

    Enter me…..sounds really good

  • Lisa Richardson

    This story sounds intriguing!!

  • Nancy B from Many LA

    Sounds really good!

  • Mary Ann

    Love this idea and would like to win/read this one. Like everyone else…how do you enter?

  • Kathleen Smith

    Sounds like a great read. This is something that could happen in real life.

  • PM

    I want to find out just how far these parents will go to protect the ones they love…

  • Eva Ochap

    Oh my I cannot wait to read this book. It is so suspenseful!!

  • Rosa

    I need to check out this one!

  • Sandra

    This is the type of book I love. Looking forward to reading it.

  • Jen Webb

    Ooooo! Sounds SO GOOD! I’d love to read this one!

  • Alexandria rivera

    I would love to read this book sounds great.

  • patrice gottfried

    Want to know what these fifteen-year-olds did!

  • Carol Ann

    I’d love to read this book. Are you still having the giveaway drawings?

  • Sharon Elliott-Fox

    Intriguing concept. Mystery and parenting? Suspense!

  • Ellen Sepnafski

    Sounds like a book I’d love to read and review!

  • Robin

    I would love to sit down and curl up with this book!

  • Yasmeen Newkirk

    Sounds like a Great Boook!

  • Barbara Sanchez

    Can’t wait to red this very intriguing tale

  • Heather Bridenstine

    Very interested in reading this!

  • Lori

    I could go for a book I can’t put down!

  • Pablo

    That’s a book that my daughters loved! They read it sraeevl years ago for school but this past winter I found it in the bathroom near our school area! It’s become “bathroom reading” so it must be a favorite!!

  • Julie Schultz

    Sounds like a great read!

  • Linda

    Sounds like a great read!!

  • Crysta;

    Sounds great – would love to read.

  • Suzanne Hunt

    I would love to read this!

  • sandi ward

    This book sounds exciting – would love to read a copy.

  • Theresa Jaquess

    Sounds really good, would love to win a copy!!

  • sandi

    Sounds like a plot that is right down my alley. I would love to read and review this book. Thank you.

  • Sunnymay

    This looks scary good and I would be on the edge of my seat and not just for dinner.

  • Liz

    This Book sounds so interesting. Would love to read it.

  • carole

    Really interested in reading this! I could love to win a copy.

  • Nadia Archuleta

    A well-done satire is so rare — I’d love to check this one out!

  • Arlene Marrinan

    Sounds gripping!

  • Rizwana

    I am reading this book and loving it! A very well written book, suspenseful and very well laid out story!

  • The House of Night Series is intriguing, confusing, entertaining, sad, happy and totally addictive!

  • Amy M

    Thought this was a really compelling book. There’s something so interesting about reading novels in translation, too… I always have this sense of suspension, like the writer and the translator and playing ping pong, and I”m the ball. Highly recommend.

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