Posts Tagged ‘ the Dinner ’

2 Hot Books Reviewed: ‘The Dinner’ by Herman Koch and ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

I owe you a story about Audible. I can’t recommend audio books highly enough. I listen to the most amazing new releases while I run to Costco, the bank, the dry cleaner and while doing dishes and laundry. At the expense of my poor, ignored husband, I can easily blow through a few books a week. Which I just did, so I’m writing these reviews.

Here are my quick, no-nonsense reasons why you should read The Dinner by Herman Koch and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

The Dinner
Who would like it: Anyone who likes dark, twisted, psychological messiness would be fascinated by Herman Koch’s messed up, train wreck of a brilliant book.
What it’s about: On a nice summer evening in Amsterdam, Paul Lohman and his wife meet Paul’s brother Serge and his clearly upset spouse for dinner. The story unfolds over the many courses of the evening weaving back story and front story together as the wine glasses and dishes arrive at their table. Paul’s description of the food is manic–he really has a beef with olives–which sets the tone for what’s to come. The point of the book–the big reveal–doesn’t come until halfway through, but the journey is a lively and accurate–if disturbing–depiction of cultural norms and society. What you need to know is that each brother has a 15-year-old boy–and they share one big secret. Grotesqueness unfolds. I loved how I cringed and how I got disgusted and how I compared my wonderful family to his totally screwed up one.
Why you should read it: This is a book for people who don’t need a happy ending and but need a lot of food for thought.

Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes
Who would like it: Readers who dig offbeat love stories and don’t mind a good weep.
What it’s about: Lou Clark is a working class, sensible girl who is content living at home taking care of her parents, sister and grandfather. She has a lackluster boyfriend and future ahead of her. When she loses her job at a cafe, she takes a position caring for the insufferable quadriplegic Will Traynor. All of a sudden, her life gets deep. Will doesn’t want to live, and she realizes that his mother hired her to get him to change his mind.
Why you should read it: Lou is so relatable, and you’ll enjoy seeing how her character transforms and unfolds. I just can’t give away any more than that. This book delivers on the issues of class struggles, tragedy, heartbreak and love. I dare you to get through this book without a tissue.

Just this week, I listened to The Still Point of the Turning World by Emily Rapp and With or Without You by Domenica Ruta as well. Again, be on the lookout for more blog posts about those ASAP.

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