Atlantic Books, £7.99
The Dinner, By Herman Koch
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books 2013, and the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014.
Friday 26 April 2013
This slick Dutch bestseller, translated by Sam Garrett, takes place over a single dinner in a high-end restaurant, during which the psychological interplay between couples rises to sinister levels.
Two brothers and their wives meet to talk about a secret act of criminality committed by their teenage sons and caught on CCTV in a vicious, satirical and ultimately baroque set-piece reminiscent of God of Carnage in its mix of satire and middle-class angst. It is worth it just for its fantastic black humour on fine dining.
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