Author

Herman Koch

Herman Koch (b. 1953) is a widely acclaimed bestselling author. His international break through novel The Dinner (2009) has been published in 55 countries, which is unprecedented for any Dutch novel. It has also been adapted into several international stage plays and no less than three movies. The US adaptation, starring Richard Gere and Steve Coogan, will be released in 2017. Koch’s subsequent novels Summer House with Swimming Pool (2011, long-listed for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award) and Dear Mr M. (2014) were also international bestsellers. His latest novel, De Greppel (The Ditch), has been warmly received and declared ‘vintage Koch’.

Odessa Star

Odessa Star

(Ambo Anthos, 2003, 304 pages)

It’s a standard literary trope: an unremark­able man starts to fantasise about the gangster lifestyle, gets in with the wrong crowd and plunges himself into ruin. But in his fourth novel, Herman Koch presents his own twisted take on this familiar plotline: his protagonist Fred Moorman, stranded in a meaningless job and a joyless marriage is anything but a pitiful victim.

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Thinking of Bruce Kennedy

Thinking of Bruce Kennedy

(Ambo Anthos, 2006, 192 pages)

When it comes to protagonists, Herman Koch delights in dishing up men who have at least one screw loose. Thinking of Bruce Kennedy is different: the novel that directly preceded The Dinner centres on a female character who, in many respects, is perfectly normal.

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The Dinner

The Dinner

(Ambo Anthos, 2009, 301 pages)

Four people. One dinner. An unavoidable decision. The blurb for Herman Koch’s new novel sounds like a film trailer and the reader is not disappointed. The story of a father wanting the best for his child unfolds like a tightly directed family drama with black edges, in which at every turn a little more of the underlying reality is revealed. How far will the father go to protect his son after he finds out what terrible thing the boy has done? Far, is the answer.

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Summerhouse with Swimming Pool

Summerhouse with Swimming Pool

(Ambo Anthos, 2011, 381 pages)

Doctors are unassailable. Their patients, with all their secrets, are delivered up to them body and soul. Marc Schlosser, the central character in Herman Koch’s Summerhouse with Swimming Pool, is a family doctor to the rich and famous, and behind his mask of solicitude a heartless cynic.

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Dear Mr M.

Dear Mr M.

(Ambo Anthos, 2014, 430 pages)

Following his ruthless dissections of the hypocrisy of the moneyed classes and corruption in the medical profession, Herman Koch turns his dystopian gaze on the literary world. In his new novel, Dear Mr M. he tells the tale of a fading writer held grimly to account by a neighbour with a score to settle. Did Reckoning, the novel that cemented Mr M’s literary success all those years ago, culpably distort the facts of a mysterious missing persons case?

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The Ditch

The Ditch

(Ambo Anthos, 2016, 319 pages)

Herman Koch’s latest novel revolves around Robert Walter, the Mayor of Amsterdam, a man faced with a wide array of responsibilities and interests. As always in Koch’s novels, his lead character’s reliability soon begins to reveal its first flaws.

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