The Dinner by Herman Koch.
The main character, Paul and his wife, Claire are going out to dinner with Pauls brother, Serge, the next prime minister of the netherlands and serge's wife, Babette at one of those places you have to book "3 months, 6 months, maybe 8 months in advance" except for pauls brother who can get a table the night he wants as he is going to be prime minister. unfortunately the reason behind their dinner has more sinister reason than a social gathering and that their sons are in trouble. what sort of trouble, i won't say. told in a series of mostly what occurs on the night but with periodic flashbacks to various incidents. the periodic incidents tend to have something in common, the lengths that paul is willingly to go to protect his and claires son. how far will he go in this, how far will claire go, how far will serge & babette go? where is the line?
its not a comedy but you will laugh out loud and get funny looks from your work colleagues at lunch time for doing so but it is a good book.
There are te formalities involved in having dinner and idle chat before hand i.e. discussing woddy allen movie (funnily, they mention that the film has scarlett johannson in it, designed to confuse as to the dating of the conversation as i see ms johannson has been in 3 woddy allen film)
It is a read while uncomfortable at times, it is a good read.
Review of Dear Mr. M by Herman Koch, translated by Sam Garrett
Dear Mr. M is about a novellst by the name of M and his stalker. His main objection to M being the topic of his big seller, payback which had been about 2 students who murders their teacher. The stalker of M is annoyed about details M missed or left out.
Honestly I found the novel to be quite dull and boring, very hard going and a bit disappointing read. There are some flourishes that occur, the interview of M. was one but overall, just a chore of a novel. It is a pity as I really liked The Dinner (also translated by Sam Garrett).