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The Ditch
The Ditch | Herman Koch
5 posts | 4 read | 4 to read
When Robert Walter, popular mayor of Amsterdam, sees his wife toss her head back in laughter while chatting to one of his aldermen at a New Years reception, he immediately suspects the worst. Despite their long and happy marriage, Robert is convinced that Sylvia is cheating on himand with the straitlaced alderman, no less, who is committed to the environment and wants to spoil the capitals skyline with wind turbines. Soon afterwards, a journalist produces a photograph of a police officer being beaten up by three protesters during a demonstration against the Vietnam War. She claims that the mayor is one of the protesters. Then, out of the blue, Roberts 94-year-old father turns up on the steps of the city hall, desperate to speak to him. He and his wife want to die together. They do not want to burden their son with their deteriorating health, so why not end their own lives when the time is right? The Ditch shows a seemingly stable man rapidly becoming entangled in his own fears and suspicions. Or is everything not what it seems, and is Robert Walter actually seeing things clearly for the very first time? Herman Koch is rapidly becoming one of my favourite writers. His three novels, taken together, are like a killer EP where every track kicks ass. Stephen King Chilling, nasty, smart, shocking and unputdownable. Gillian Flynn on The Dinner The Dinner is a riveting, compelling and deliciously uncomfortable read... both a punch to the guts and...a tonic. It clears the air. A wonderful book. Christos Tsiolkas Blackly funny, full of sharp edges and hot issues, and compulsively readable. Verdict: feast on this. Herald Sun on The Dinner The Dinner is a masterful, disturbing piece of theatre. Age/SMH
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review
Abailliekaras
The Ditch | Herman Koch
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Mehso-so

Very engaging and I liked some of the humour and his exploration of human behaviour - what would you do if you suspected your partner of having an affair? Robert is unlikeable but Koch makes you sympathise with him in part (not always). His parents also talk about ending their lives, & his old friend enters the story - I didn‘t see the point of these elements, & the ending felt far-fetched & unsatisfactory. Coming up on Books On The Go 🎧.

erzascarletbookgasm I still want to read this. There‘s something irresistibly loathsome about the characters in his books. 😄 6d
Simona I have read two books by him so far, and I agree with you @erzascarletbookgasm He is very good in writing about very bad people. 6d
Abailliekaras @erzascarletbookgasm ha ha, I think you‘ll like this one then! 6d
cathysaid I really liked The Dinner but couldn‘t get into this one and bailed. Perhaps I‘ll give it another try in the future. 6d
Abailliekaras @cathysaid I don‘t think he‘s the author for me. 😬 5d
36 likes1 stack add5 comments
review
scowler1
The Ditch | Herman Koch
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Pickpick

This guy is such a good writer, burrows so deep inside the characters mind it gets uncomfortable. Ordinariness happens but it's so interesting and the Dutch perspective is fascinating to me. How can cultures be so unique when we're all exactly the same?

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scowler1
The Ditch | Herman Koch
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Didn't even know Koch had a new book. Love surprises at the library!

7 likes1 stack add
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arubabookwoman
The Ditch | Herman Koch
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Just wondering if that‘s how the Dutch see the royal family? @BarbaraBB

BarbaraBB I don‘t think they do, generally. Most people I know don‘t really care about the royal family, but we are not opposed to it either. Maxima created a lot of goodwill (being cool and ambitious) while Willem Alexander behaved a bit like in the quote while he was in college, but weren‘t we all at the time?! I think Koch is provocating - as usual 😉 2mo
23 likes1 comment
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TorieStorieS
The Ditch | Herman Koch
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Mehso-so

This is the third book of Koch‘s that I‘ve read, but, unfortunately it‘s probably my least favorite. The mayor of Amsterdam narrates here, but he‘s an odd man... and convinced that his non-Dutch wife is cheating on him. There are lengthy side tangents, odd subplots and an ending that‘s too vague to be satisfying. But, I think discussion groups will find this to provide a lot of fodder! Thanks, #NetGalley!

erzascarletbookgasm I‘ve read two of his books and liked them. Always provide lots of debate with unlikeable characters. Curious about this one. 3mo
TorieStorieS @erzascarletbookgasm I loved Dear Mr. M- but this one will definitely be another good conversation starter! 3mo
50 likes2 comments