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Herman Koch Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Dinner (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Summer House with Swimming Pool (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dear Mr. M (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

A Dutch writer with a number of novels, as well as collections of short-stories, in his backlog, the author Herman Koch has a long and illustrious writing career behind him, along with a worldwide following that’s been built steadily upon throughout the years. Along with that, he has also made a name for himself as a screenwriter of much repute, with a vast collection of works for film, television and the radio. Not just writing for the screen either, he has also spent some time acting, as well as creating his own television series, ‘Jiskefet’, which first came out in 1990 and ran all the way to 2005.

Early and Personal Life

Born in 1953 on the 5th of September, the Dutch author to be Herman Koch was raised in Amsterdam from the age of two. Initially born in the area of Arnhem in the Netherlands, he soon went with his family to live in Holland, where he grew up. It was during this time that he’d also start to formulate his writing career to be, building upon his ideas and his material.

With a strong streak of independence from an early age, he would attend the Montessori Lyceum Amsterdam from which he was later expelled. This wouldn’t prevent him from harnessing his initial passion, which lay in both reading and writing, as he always had a strong passion for the written word. Taking the time to seek inspiration for his material, he would constantly work on honing and refining his voice over the years to follow.

Showing a keen interest in comedy, he would soon embark on an acting career, which started in television with the Dutch show ‘Borat’, lasting from 1984 to 1989. Taking his acting career on-wards, he’d later go on to star in his own TV comedy sketch show, the aforementioned ‘Jiskefet’. This would all allow him to expand upon his voice as a writer, becoming more versatile for both the screen and the page in the process.

Still writing to this very day, he continues to produce and publish his work both under his own name, and his pen-name of Menno Voorhof. Living happily with his wife Amalia Rodriguez in Holland, they both have a son called Pablo since the year of 1994. With a lot more novels planned on the horizon, it appears that he’s not stopping any time soon either, as his writing career grows from strength-to-strength.

Writing Career

Releasing an early novel in 1985 through the Meulenhoff publishing label, he made a fairly quiet début with ‘De voorbijganger’. This allowed him to make a substantial impact on the literary scene whilst still acting and working within the television industry. For any devotees of his work it’s a must, though, despite it remaining untranslated as of yet, as it shows him in the early stages of his development as a writer.

Whilst not maintaining any ongoing literary franchises, Koch opts for novels that work from a perspective of social-commentary. Known for having an extremely astute eye when it comes to human interaction, he’s been able to observe the foibles of human nature. This has all made for a style that’s extremely easy to relate to, something which audience’s worldwide have reacted to.

Winning numerous awards and nominations for his works, he’s gained the recognition of the critical community, as well as that of the general public. With the NS Audience Award under his belt in 2009, he was well on his way towards becoming an important figure in the industry. Translated into twenty-one languages and counting, he’s become an international sensation, with his books reaching a global audience.

Gaining readers on both a national and an international scale, he’s managed to garner a huge amount of worldwide success. A best-selling, he’s achieved a huge amount of commercial success, especially for his 2009 novel, ‘The Dinner’. The book proved to be so popular that it went onto become a play in 2012, and was optioned as a film to be directed by Cate Blanchett in 2013.

With a lot more to come yet, Herman Koch continues to write, whether it’s under his pseudonym Menno Voorhof, as mentioned before, or his own name. Still creating for television as well, he is currently now more productive than ever, with a number of different projects running. This is something that will carry on for some time to come, as he continues writing on into the foreseeable future.

Summer House With Swimming Pool

Initially published in 2011 on the 26th of January, this was another stand-alone title from Herman Koch, one which showed all his usual wit and intelligence. Arriving later on in his writing career as well, it manages to capture a lot of the elements that has managed to make his material work throughout the years. It is also accessible for any newcomers to his work, allowing them an easy point of access into his material, as it provides something for both his fans and newcomers alike.

When one of Dr. Marc Schlosser’s famous actor clients, Ralph Meier, ends up dead following a botched medical procedure, it appears that Schlosser’s practice is in jeopardy. If news gets out that this happened then he’s effectively ruined along with his reputation, so he goes about trying to cover it all up and hide the evidence. Not only that, but it appears that there’s a lot of reasons for Marc wanting Ralph dead, largely due to the less than savory nature of the now deceased actor. Will Marc be able to hide the evidence and his guilt from the medical board? Can he get away with it? What will become of the swimming house with swimming pool?

The Dinner

Originally released through the Hogarth publishing label in 2009 in January, this was to be another stand-alone novel from the author Herman Koch. Perhaps being one of his best known titles to date, it is also currently being adapted for the big-screen by the director Oren Moverman, with an all-star Hollywood cast. This is also one of the titles that provides the best entry point into Koch’s unique brand of storytelling, especially with its high quality translation from Sam Garrett.

Coming together over a seemingly polite and cordial meal in Amsterdam one calm summer’s evening, two couple meet-up at a trendy restaurant to exchange pleasantries and conversation. With a secret in both of their families, though, it would appear that neither party is being entirely truthful, as the night gives way to underlying set of highly unpleasant secrets. It soon transpires that their sons, both fifteen years of age, have done something terrible together, and now the parents feel they must do whatever it takes to ensure that secret remains hidden. Will they be able to hide the truth? Can they both prevent each other from telling their secrets? What exactly is the truth behind the dinner?

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