Now a major motion picture starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Steve Coogan, Rebecca Hall and ChloÃ« Sevigny.
Paul Lohman and his wife Claire are going out to dinner with Paul's brother Serge, a charismatic and ambitious politician, and his wife Babette. Paul knows the evening will not be fun. The restaurant will be over-priced and pretentious, the head waiter will bore on about the organically certified free-range this and artisan-fed that, and almost everything about Serge, especially his success, will infuriate Paul.
But as the evening wears on it becomes clear that tonight's dinner will be even more difficult than usual. There is something the two couples have to discuss. It's about their teenage sons and the very bad things they have been doing.
And it's about how far two sets of parents will go to save their children from the consequences of their actions.
Herman Koch was born in 1953. He is a successful actor, screenwriter and columnist in the Netherlands, and has written a number of satirical novels including The Dinner and Summerhouse with Swimming Pool.
'A heartstopping thriller, in which no one is innocent. Koch is brilliant at not letting the reader off the hook.' Niccolo Ammaniti
'Are family values good? The Dinner will have you wondering. By the end, when all has become truly chilling, you'll have to rethink everything, including who you are and what you believe. This is a book you won't forget.' David Vann
'Herman Koch's The Dinner is a riveting, compelling and a deliciously uncomfortable read. Like all great satire it is both lacerating and so very funny. The Dinner got under my skin and punctured all my safe liberal smugness and pieties. Intelligent and complex, this novel is both a punch to the guts and also a tonic. It clears the air. A wonderful book.' Christos Tsiolkas
'In this exploration of how two families deal with an explosive event, The Dinner is reminiscent of Christos Tsiolkas's blockbuster The Slap.' Stephen Romei, Australian
'As much as The Dinner is a suspenseful story about teenage cousins Michel and Rick, it is equally the rich portrayal of the characters and their individual views that pin the reader to the page.' Courier Mail
'Koch's uncomfortable tale is a wonderful thriller, where the reader's sympathies are forced to switch again and again, and where you race to a final outcome that is anything but what you might expect. Blackly funny, full of sharp edges and hot issues, and compulsively readable. Verdict: feast on this.' Herald Sun
'The Dinner is a masterful, disturbing piece of theatre.' Age/SMH
'Little wonder this literary degustation is an international best-seller...a cult movie in the making.' Australian Women's Weekly
'You'll need a cast-iron stomach to cope with the horrific details, but this meditation on middle-class dilemmas makes compulsive reading.' North and South
'Sharpen the knives and batten down the tableware!...Herman Koch's The Dinner is a biting, blackly funny story of the lengths to which parents will go to protect their offspring.' Vogue
'I'm confidently predicting that The Dinner will become this summer's literary talk of the town.' Evening Standard
'Proves how powerful fiction can be in illuminating the modern world...The best beach read of the season.' Economist
'Shivers kept shooting up my backbone as I became engrossed in Koch's darkly disturbing tale of family life...As the dinner disintegrates into mayhem, we discover just how far the middle classes will go to protect their monstrous offspring.' Daily Mail (UK)
'Rather like The Slap it is set to become a contentious must-read. It may thrill, chill or cheat, but it is undeniably riveting.' Independent