I’ve finally gotten a chance to sit down and look over my notes to write a review on this wonderful book. Herman Koch is one of my favorite authors. I will read more by him. Was it better than The Dinner? In some ways, yes and in others no. Both are terrific.
Marc Schlosser, is a Dutch doctor, a General Practitioner who has some high-profile patients. He is a mediocre doctor who simply gives lip service to his patients. The sight of naked bodies repulses him. Marc’s wife is Caroline. He has two daughters, Lisa and Julia.
One of these high-profile patients is Ralph Meier, a well-known stage actor who has been recently tapped for a television series to be shot in California. He has a wife, Judith and two sons. Ralph is overweight and a braggart. Obnoxious to the nth degree.
Marc and Caroline become socially connected to Ralph and Judith. Ralph extends an invitation for them to stay in a summer house that he has rented. He makes sure to let them know it does have a swimming pool. Caroline does not want to go, however Marc without conferring with her, heads out to a place very close to the house Ralph is renting. Caroline is not happy.
Since they did not take Ralph up on his invitation to stay at the summer house, he invited another couple instead, film director Stanley Forbes and his much younger girlfriend, Emmanuelle. Marc, Caroline and the girls end up pitching a tent in Ralph’s yard and staying there.
At this point, things start happening. Not all of them good. The characters, all unlikable to me, play a part in the drama that unfolds.
From this point on, I will not reveal a lot. Let it suffice to say that much transpires over the summer and this book kept me turning pages, laughing during parts of it and horrified during other parts.
The ending was very sad in my eyes. I believe that the attitude expressed in the book is one that is commonplace in America today.
In a nutshell, as in The Dinner, I really disliked all the characters in this book. I did, however, give it five ***** as it well deserves it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Herman Koch is a Dutch writer and actor. He has written short stories, novels, and columns. His best-selling novel The Dinner has been translated into 21 languages. He has acted for radio, television, and film. He co-created the long-running TV series Jiskefet.
Want to hear a fascinating interview with Mr. Koch about this best-selling book? You can catch it on YouTube?
This is another interesting webpage I found talking about Herman Koch. He is one of my favorite authors, which is pretty strange, in that I really hate all of his characters. Brilliant in my opinion.