Friday, May 31, 2013

The Dinner Discussion

Hey everyone.  It’s Lisa from Lisa’s Yarns!  I’m taking a turn at coming up with some questions for our latest book club read, “The Dinner” by Herman Koch.  This book had actually been recommended to me by a co-worker so I had already bought it on my nook before it was selected for our book club.  I read it in the span of days, which says a lot these days since I am pretty busy between work and studying.


Without further adieu, here are some discussion questions!


  1. How did you experience the book? Were you engaged immediately, or did it take you a while to "get into it"? How did you feel reading it—amused, sad, disturbed, confused, bored?


  1. Do the main characters change by the end of the book? Do they grow, or come to learn something about themselves and how the world works?


  1. Let’s talk about the book’s structure.  The author jumped around from present day to past time and back again quite a bit and the flashbacks at times seemed superfluous.  Did you like the structure of the books?  Or did it confuse or distract you?


  1. The characters in the book, for the most part, are not very likeable.  Do you need to like the characters in order to like the book?  Or can you like a book despite not liking the characters?


  1. Were you surprised by how far the parents were willing to go to protect their children?


  1. What were your overall thoughts on the book?  Is it something you would recommend to others?


Here are my responses!


  1. I was engaged early on and had a hard time putting this down as I wanted to find out what happened next.  It was disturbing to read at times.
  2. The characters don’t change, but our opinion about them does as we learn more and more about them (they became less and less likeable for me).
  3. I liked the structure of the book.  Sometimes I wondered where the author was going with these stories, but I think by moving back and forth in time, and sometimes sharing what seemed like insignificant or weird details, the author was showing us what the mind of the main narrator was like.
  4. Typically, my answer to this is no.  But I enjoyed this book and “Gone Girl,” both of which had characters that I did not like at all.  It used to ruin the book for me if I didn’t like the characters, though!
  5. I don’t have children so I don’t know how I would feel…  but I can’t imagine that I would overlook a horrible crime, or try to justify it as they did in this book.
  6. Overall, I really liked the book and it was an engaging read.  But it was rather dark and disturbing, so I would be hesitant to recommend it broadly as I think it takes a certain reader to enjoy it.

Thanks Lisa!! I really enjoyed this book too and when I started reading I read it quite quickly as well.  I would read another book by this author. ;)

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