“The Dinner” was made instantly enjoyable because of Paul, the narrator. I liked the novel immediately due to his sarcastic and witty observations, and realistic voice. When Paul and his wife meet Paul’s brother and his wife for dinner to talk about their teenage children, the reader is whisked not only through the multiple courses of dinner, but on a dark journey of how quickly events can turn deadly. Chaos slowly ensues over the meal because no one knows how much the others know, or what lies in store for their future, or their children’s future.
Paul’s observations about common complaints in restaurants such as obnoxious waiters, over priced food, and hard to understand specials, made his dining experience humorous. I laughed at his criticisms of polite conversations with other couples because they were so true! The author organized the book in sections which coincided with an actual meal, which I thought was clever. Though some readers compared this to “Gone Girl”, I didn’t believe it quite measured up. But Paul’s quest to be a good father to his son and help him through a potentially criminal situation did remind me of “Defending Jacob.” I was entertained and impressed with the layers that the book contained. The plot was so well thought out, that each of Paul’s flashbacks helps the reader understand the depth of the characters, who are each complex in their own way.
This is one of those books where too much information about the plot would ruin the novel for a future reader, but it was a thrilling and insightful look into who people truly are and what others will do to rescue their loved ones from themselves. If you are in need of an intelligent thriller, this would be perfect!