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Monday, 29 April 2013

Dark Deeds over Dinner - Novel set in Amsterdam

From the world of the Golden Age of Dutch painting we have been inspired to commission a sketch - in the traditional format of Dutch 17th century art but with a modern twist (note the trainers and the lobster) - inspired by the story of The Dinner by Herman Koch, set of course in Amsterdam. We were largely driven for this particular blogpost by our interest in why the cover for The Dinner changed from a lobster on a blue background in the original edition to a pair of adolescent trainers with just a hint of blood, also on a blue background in the current edition.... so we posed the question to Atlantic, the publishers:

“The cover of The Dinner by Herman Koch has changed from a red lobster on a blue background to a pair of battered shoes, again against a blue background in the current edition. Can you take us through the thinking behind the changes?”


"The lobster jacket came from the original Dutch publication which was a huge bestseller in Europe. It is a strong, striking, unusual image that we wanted to use on the first outing for recognition and acknowledgement of the European success. It proved to be quite a ‘marmite’ cover with some people loving its originality and others being put off by a book with an ‘overpriced crustacean’ on the front. And many eagle-eyed readers noticed there was no lobster on the menu…

So after much discussion in house we decided to make the paperback cover more accessible, more pertinent to the story and more serviceable for the ‘literary thriller’ market. The moral dilemma of the story is the element that has got so many people intrigued by this book and the teenage trainers, with a disturbing hint of blood, seemed to sum up the point in the story when everything starts to unravel (not wanting to give anything away!) We also wanted to allow a lot of space in the design for the amazing reviews the book received. You’ll see on the print edition they cover the inside front and back too. Our Art Director showed us some fantastic options, but we felt that this slightly provocative design with it’s notable absence of people, contrast between title and image and strong, almost single colour, would appeal to readers who might have been put off by the lobster, but who relish good books with a dark side. We hope you like it!"

Click on the current cover featuring the trainers to find out more and purchase your own copy. Visit the other contributors
on this tour which marks the publication of this fantastically dark novel by clicking on the following links:

@wordsofmercury  @stujallen

(A piece of interesting info: Herman Koch's surname means "cook" in German...can we read anything into that, I wonder?).

Thank you for visiting today from Tina and the TripFiction Team.

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