‘Sometimes I think things … Then I don’t know whether you’re really allowed to think things like that,’ comments Michel Lohman, one of two teenage boys at the centre of Herman Koch’s The Dinner. He’s confiding in his father, Paul, the narrator of a novel that takes a special delight in thinking the unthinkable. The boys, two cousins, have committed an unprovoked act of violence, made notorious from its media exposure, and their parents – Paul, his brother Serge, and their wives – are meeting in a slick restaurant in Amsterdam. But as Paul attempts to comprehend and respond to the crime, as yet unpunished, the novel raises the troubling notion that some victims are more innocent than others. Or as Koch puts it, ‘that which falls is weak, that which lies on the ground is prey’.
Follow Literary Review on Twitter
Though 'the hotel had a reputation as the area’s best, its staff were not used to looking after world leaders, so the arrival of Cuba’s new strongman, Fidel Castro, came as something of a shock.'
@dcsandbrook on @simonhallwriter's 'Ten Days in Harlem'.
'After all, who knows what anybody is really like, or what they really think? The biographer – same as a painter of portraits – cannot help but reproduce himself to some degree.'
From the archive: Beryl Bainbridge talks to Sebastian Shakespeare.
"fascinating piece of writing ...unexpectedly gripping read...The #RedCircleMinis are a really wonderful initiative; every one I’ve read has been so different and so good... #OneLoveChigusa is an excellent addition to the series! “Thank you @kaggsy59 🙂 https://bit.ly/2ZIdeqL