The weeks, and the prompts, are starting to fly by! Being October already, I was a little pressed for finding a book to qualify if I was to be strict with how it was written. This would have been much easier earlier in the year, but we are following them in order. Unfortunately, the book I really wanted wasn’t even in the library system (for the second time now), so I got what I could.
A book becoming a movie in 2017- The Dinner by Herman Koch
Paul Lohman and his wife are meeting his locally famous brother, Serge Lohman, and his wife at a high end restaurant for dinner. The two couples have something important to discuss, but none of them want to get to it too quickly. As the meal progresses from apertif to dessert, the conversation waxes and wanes until it inevitably lands on the real reason for the gathering.
What they have to discuss will impact several lives, but are they all on the same page? As they begin to finally broach the matter at hand, it becomes apparent that maybe they aren’t.
The entire novel is written in the first person from Paul Lohman’s point of view. I found this perspective to be interesting as it layered on the mystery as to what everyone was doing there and what everyone else knew.
That was just about the only interesting thing I found with the novel which was disappointing since the premise led me to believe that I would really like this book. Paul Lohman is a very negative, petty man and while at first this was mildly endearing, his internal thoughts on paying ten euros for the house apertif was quite amusing, after 130+ pages listening to him complain about every little thing it got grating. Maybe that was what the author wanted.
The actual plot of the book finally came to light at around page 135 or so and that is when the book finally got interesting and kept my attention. The two Lohman couples broach the topic that brought them all together during the main course and it becomes apparent quickly that the two families are not on the same side. Paul and his wife are cut throat, mean spirited and small minded parents who would, and will, do anything to protect their 15 year old son from his own evil actions. Serge, on the other hand, wants to force their own son, and his cousin by default, to turn himself in to authorities and take the punishment he rightfully deserves for beating and murdering a homeless woman in an ATM vestibule. The conversation gets more heated as the families discuss the future of their sons.
While I typically avoid watching movies after I’ve read the book, this one has me intrigued. Since the vast majority of the book is written inside the inner thoughts of Paul’s mind, I wonder how that will be portrayed on the screen and if the screenplay will shorten the time between beginning and exposing the plot.
The book was pretty good after page 130, so I’ll give it a 3/5.