Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dear Great Book Guru,  I was at a lovely Easter dinner party in Sea Cliff- delicious food and wonderful company- when the conversation turned to books. One of the guests mentioned having read an exciting novel that she said reminded her of the literary thriller bestseller GONE GIRL but it involved a gourmet meal.  Any thoughts?   Seeker of Literary Thrills

Dear Seeker,  We too had a great Easter and, in addition to delicious food and wonderful company, we enjoyed a spectacular production of "The Country Bunny and the Golden Shoes" in which Ethan, Lara, Jenna, Justin, Alexis, Daniel and Dan DiPietro starred. But back to the book you are asking about- THE DINNER  by Herman Koch. A bestseller in Europe, it was translated from the original Dutch and released here last month where it is already on everyone's must read list.  Set in a preciously pretentious Dutch restaurant, the novel opens with aperitifs and ends with digestives; in between we listen to two brothers and their wives discuss the holidays, real estate holdings,  their children.  The narrator is a  retired school teacher with serious sibling rivalry problems. His brother is a charismatic politician- think Bill Clinton- who is about to become prime minister if  only the two couples can find a way out of a horrific situation not of their making….or is it?  As we move from one course to the next,  our narrator reveals more and more about himself and his dinner companions until the final moment when we realize  that all evening we have been in the presence of pure evil.   Highly recommended !

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