Two brothers and their wives gather for dinner at an exclusive restaurant in Amsterdam. On the surface, all is calm, but beneath the veneer is discord: sibling rivalry and a terrible act committed by their two sons.

Herman Koch’s The Dinner pokes fun at the Dutch middle-class while putting their principles to the test. An interesting if not exactly upbeat read that has evoked comparisons with (the rather more grisly) We Need to Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver  or  suburban drama The Slap by Australian writer Christos Tsiolkas.