This book... was not so good. It wasn't the most disappointing book, but I couldn't help but feeling like the author just wanted a platform to spew his opinions on everything from race, capital punishment, sexual orientation, and the Dutch restaurant industry. Not that he relates either of those things topics to another, he just seems to make the main character "think" or reminisce about all those topics at random and many more subjects, as well.
I have to admit towards the end my mind drifted off, I didn't even care anymore about the story. I'd tune back in and it'd still be the pompous, yet mindless chatter and thoughts of the self-important main character. I feel like pretty much right at the halfway mark the author could have ended the book and the story would have felt more complete. Instead he just seems to drag the story along so that he can continue his social commentary.
I did like how the story was laid out in meal courses. I thought the layout and the story was unique. Two brothers and their wives meeting for dinner at an upscale Dutch restaurant, to discuss a crime their sons have committed. One brother is running for Prime Minister, while the other is unemployed. The crime which was committed, will affect both families in different ways. The crime was recorded on video and later posted on YouTube, the video is shown on the evening news and the authorities don't know who the perpetrators are, so the media asks the viewers to alert authorities if they have any information. The decision to be made is, should they tattle on their own sons?
The book had so much potential with a story line like that, but sadly the author used it as his own platform for social commentary and took the story in so many strange directions. I'm giving The Dinner 2 out of 5 stars, because it didn't quite meet my expectations. I also found the narrative to be a bit crude and crass at times, to the point where it just seemed like it was meant for shock value.