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, and is currently judging the Aesthetica Magazine new writing prize.
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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