Book Review: Dinner at the Center of the Earth by Nathan Englander

May 19, 2022

About:

Dinner at the Center of the Earth by Nathan Englander tells of a prisoner in an Israeli black site, the guard who watches over him, an Italian waitress, and a General on his deathbed. Mr. Englander is an award-winning, critically acclaimed writer.

  • 272 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Vintage
  • Language ‏ : English
  •  ISBN-10 ‏ : 0525434046

Book Review: Dinner at the Center of the Earth by Nathan Englander
My rating for How to Dinner at the Center of the Earth5

Buy Dinner at the Center of the Earth from Amazon.com*
More Books by Nathan Englander*

Thoughts:

The title caught my eye when it was recommended by Thomas C. Foster, in his book How to Read Like a Literature Professor. I’ve never heard of this book before, but the title, author, and short synopsis caught my attention.

Dinner at the Center of the Earth by Nathan Englander seems like a simple story, but it’s actually a complex, and smart story. The story of Dinner at the Center of the Earth by Nathan Englander weaves in and out of places and times but is never confusing.

The author was attempting to write several love stories, with different definitions of love. Traditional love between a couple, love for one’s country, love for one’s leader, love for one who is in your care, as well as the love between a mother and son. Most of those, are hopeless at best.
The theme is hidden in an over-simplistic story about the Israel / Palestine conflict. The conflict, of course, can fill hundreds of books, but it goes to show the gray moral ambiguity of all the characters.

While the subject of this book is a spy, I did not think that this qualifies as an espionage novel. The spying is more of a vehicle to put the prisoner in his current state of being, a somewhat plausible explanation for the story to take place.

I had a lot of fun reading this novel, as well as making the connections. The narrative is not in linear form, but it always made sense, and I didn’t feel lost in any part of the book

Synopsis:

An ex-Mossad agent, now on an Israeli black site recounts how his life turned around, for the worst. He is at the mercy of an Israeli General (obviously based on Ariel Sharon), who is in a coma and is not expected to ever wake up again.

A Palestinian businessman in Berlin becomes friends with an odd, but wealthy, Canadian import/export businessman. Together the two plan to enrich themselves and bring used technology to Palestine.
The prisoner’s guard is attempting to brighten up his ward’s lonely existence. While his mother, who is the assistant to the dying General, keeps vigil over him.

Buy Dinner at the Center of the Earth from Amazon.com*
More Books by Nathan Englander*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I bought book this book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Dinner at the Center of the Earth by Nathan Englander
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Dinner at the Center of the Earth by Nathan Englander

Wrap Up

Dinner at the Center of the Earth by Nathan Englander

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