Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Submarine” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  5,040 ratings  ·  413 reviews
The dryly precocious, soon-to-be-fifteen-year-old hero of this engagingly offbeat debut novel, Oliver Tate lives in the seaside town of Swansea, Wales. At once a self-styled social scientist, a spy in the baffling adult world surrounding him, and a budding, hormone-driven emotional explorer, Oliver is stealthily (and perhaps a bit more nervously than he’d ever admit) nosin ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 25th 2008 by Random House (first published January 1st 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Submarine, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Submarine

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerMagic America by C.E. MedfordSubmarine by Joe DunthorneIt's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
4th out of 76 books — 84 voters
Twilight by Stephenie MeyerEclipse by Stephenie MeyerNew Moon by Stephenie MeyerBreaking Dawn by Stephenie MeyerPrep by Curtis Sittenfeld
Books with Deceptively Awesome Covers
31st out of 148 books — 235 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Ever wondered what it would be like if Wes Anderson got drunk on vodka and watched the entire box set of The Inbetweeners in one night?

Reader meet Submarine. Submarine meet reader.

Aah, and herein lies the conundrum.
For I really dislike The Inbetweeners (I know, I know… I have received many a horrified glare when I have divulged this information. I just don’t find it funny because I’m a horrible, stuffy prude) but I adore Wes Anderson.
This could have gone either way and I think I knew this risk b
Oct 14, 2014 Algernon rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Algernon by: saw the movie
Shelves: 2014

Things I've learned from Submarine (I planned to list 100, but I got tired of the game rather fast):

- you are a triskaidekaphobic if you are afraid of the number thirteen

- it's OK to spy on your parents in order to find out things about yourself ( I recently discovered that my mother has been typing the names of as-yet-uninvented mental conditions into Yahoo's search engine: 'delusion syndrome teenage', 'over-active imagination problem', 'holistic behavioural stabilizers'

- a nepenthe is somethi
Maybe it's just me but doesn't everything get compared to The Catcher in the Rye? A modern day version, a version crossed with Godzilla, Holden Caulfield on speed, best thing since sliced Salinger? I choose to discount these comparisons for three reasons: hyperbole, im always disappointed and most importantly, I distinctly remember finally reading it and wondering what all the fuss was about.

Joe Dunthorne's debut novel about teenage angst, alienation and rebellion in Swansea in the late 1990's w
Oliver Tate is a Welsh teenager with a penchant for theatrics and complicated words. He is our narrator.

Our author, Joe Dunthorne, punctuates his book with clever turns of phrases, keeps his sentences succinct and uses natural phrases that flow together well. His writing is fantastic. He gives Oliver such a unique voice, making this entertaining and easy to read.

But there's an errant sadness that runs through this book. Oliver is coming of age and realizing that he cannot control his life--tha
Aug 22, 2013 Hossain rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes the coming of age tales and have a offbeat sense of humour
Recommended to Hossain by: The Great movie
In most cases books usually outshines their movie counterparts. At least, it seems to me. I thought I would never watch a movie that is arguably better than its source material. I have to say for this cases movie was better. But first I have to admit that I have watched the movie first and I was mind blown by it, especially in the “hiding tonight” song scene and in the ending. And obviously the soundtrack by Alex Turner was superb.
So first the complaints—
1. I basically didn’t get the title. The
Jun 27, 2011 Charlie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: boys aged around 15, teenagers who don't always fit in with their peers
I picked this up in a bookstore because it was at a discounted price and the first few pages really caught my attention. Oliver Tate as a smart albeit eccentric teenager struck a chord with me, and at first I felt I could relate to the character. I enjoyed the character's analytical view of the world around him and the humour that comes with it, but that's about where it ends.

Oliver Tate does things which most teenagers may threaten to do after an argument, but would never dream of doing in real
I picked this up because I ADORED the film version. There are some pretty gaping differences b/w the two the biggest being that in the book, Oliver just kind of annoys me. In the film, he is much more sympathetic (though not relatable to me) and I do think the right scenes were left out of the film version.
The style was hilarious and I'm pleased at how very Welsh it all seemed. By that I mean I really got a sense of Oliver's place in his world and the place where he lives. I recommend you see th
Jorge Luis Castanos
Hay libros buenos que están mal escritos y libros malos que están bien escritos… Me atrevería a situar a Submarine en la última parte.
Aunque, siendo sincero, estaría exagerando tildando como ‘mala’ per se la obra de Joe Duntharne.

Originalmente publicado como un relato corto en una página de Internet, la gran cantidad de seguidores y comentarios positivos que generó el cuento motivó al autor a expandirlo y publicarlo como una novela. Más tarde, Richard Ayoade adapta el libro a a la pantalla grand
I was in was in the mood for something that would make me laugh and for the most part, this read did the trick. Joe Dunthorne’s SUBMARINE is not the usual coming of age tale. To one extent Oliver Tate, of South Wales, is intelligent, awkward, funny, weird and quirky which is kind of typical of an adolescent protagonist character; but on the other hand he was so much more… I don’t know, off maybe? In fact quite unexpectedly, Oliver was a bit intense for someone his age, an over thinker and actual ...more
Dec 24, 2008 Ciara rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: stalk-y teenage boys, people who loathe dogs, teenagers obsessed with losing their virginities
Shelves: read-in-2008
i found this book tremdeously disappointing. it caught my eye at the bookstore, i guess because of the dust jacket. i'm a sucker for design, seriously. a jacket can make or break a book for me (see my review of ruined by reading for another example). however, i was smart & i exercised restraint. i left the book sitting on the shelf & got a copy from the library instead. thank god! it's the story if a disaffected welsh teenager, a boy. he suspects that his parents are having marital troub ...more
Review from Badelynge
Maybe if Joe Dunthorne's Submarine had clothed its covers with far fewer off the mark testimonials, I would have been a little more forgiving in my judgment of this book. But for the sake of balance alone somebody has to pooh-pooh all the best thing since Catcher in the Rye statements. To live up to such statements Oliver Tate (our narrator) would have to seem like a real character - but he never does. Maybe he was never meant to. Submarine sort of lives in a skewed reality
Andrew Woods
I was introduced to the novel through Ayoade's magnificent film adaptation. But the book met my fairly high expectations! I laughed throughout. Dunthorne has a talent for description and similes. The protagonist, Oliver, is an introspective, intelligent 16 year old who struggles to understand the motives and desires of others. He consistently fails in his attempts of psychologically adjusting his parents and girlfriend to how he feels the world should be arranged.
Oliver is a submarine that want

Este libro gira mucho entorno a los problemas de los padres de Tate, Oliver Tate, que son Lloyd y Jill, también en cómo Oliver trata de arreglar el matrimonio de ellos.

Una de las cosas que me gustaron de este libro fue la manera muy diferente de narrar, el vocabulario y a cómo se referían a cosas simples como beso: ósculo, y entre otras palabras... también en la manera en que se expresa, y en su humor.

También cómo Oliver buscaba hasta lo profundo de una persona sus cualidades, personalidad
Miss Abernathy
Cuando he terminado de leer Submarine mi primer pensamiento ha sido:
¿Qué m̶i̶e̶r̶d̶a̶ acabo de leer?

La lectura de este libro ha sido en varios momentos divertida, ya que los pensamientos del protagonista en algunas situaciones son bastantes particulares, pese a ello lo veo como un libro carente de emociones.

Es ligero de leer, aunque pienso que pudo haber sido mucho mejor, ya que los tramas y los personajes se podrían haber desarrollado mucho más. No he conectado con este libro, me he decepcionad
I'd like to think of this book as a McFlurry and French Fries. Some may hate it, while others, like myself, absolutely love that god-sent creation.

Now, did I read this book based on the fact that the film is one of my favourites ever? Yes. Do I occasionally imagine myself meeting Richard Ayode and telling him how much I bloody adore him for making a film out of this novel? Hell yes. This being said, I did begin reading with quite a lot of apprehension. I already knew about the vulgar language a
Meghan Schuyler
(4.5 stars) This was a superb piece of literature. It was just the right dose of quirky without being pretentious, and it was hilarious without exploiting that factor. I was extremely amused during this entire novel, and though not a lot occurred it was compelling nonetheless. I have seen a few reviews that mentioned this, and have to agree that it is resemblant of The Catcher in the Rye with it's witty, troubled, male protagonist and somewhat lacking, yet gripping, plot. I will additionally app ...more
Výborná knížka. Vřele doporučuju.
Airiz C
Precocious doesn’t begin to cover fifteen-year-old Welsh boy Oliver Tate, protagonist of this offbeat coming-of-age novel by Joe Dunthorne. But even with his booming IQ, Oliver isn’t exempted from toiling to trudge the dangerously rocky roads of adulthood. He naturally dons the confidence of a self-styled social scientist and arms himself with a cautiousness that being an explorer of an emotional landscape requires. With these in hand, plus a couple of printouts from various instructional websit ...more
John Blunden
I could leave it at that but I feel I must add something more to this review to justify that statement, and then explain why I only gave it four stars.
*Skips plot overview, as that’s the part I rarely read myself. There are blurbs on books, have you noticed?*
Basically I’ve seen a mixed reaction to Submarine. Some have stated that the quote ‘The next Catcher in The Rye’ is quite a lofty estimation of this book. But so what? I have a feeling that anyone connecting with The Catcher in th
hello i read this book whilst doing bad concentration
when you cannot sleep it is like a comic book is playing in your head for eight hours
it is a book
i like the cover that is not the 'film edition'
i like some of it and not all of it.
i had not read this book before but i had seen the screencaps and felt off about reading it but i did like it mainly at the beginning
after a while it got a bit weird and then i did double fast scrolling
(what i wrote before re submarine)
i think that i like t
Saw, and quite enjoyed, a reading by this bloke at a Bookslam event in Clapham, but thought the book was a little bit pretentious. I tend to judge books by the following yardstick: could I, with enough time and mental energy, write something which could, at a push, be confused with this author over a sustained period of time? In the case of this book, the answer wasn't quite 'yes', but it wasn't fully 'no'; perhaps it's best to say that while Dunthorne achieves the basic but not insubstantial ar ...more
Moira Fogarty
A bizarre peek inside the mind of a teenaged Welsh boy; a twisted nod to classic YA. It's like Sue Townsend's 'Adrian Mole Diaries' meets Maurice Sendak's 'Where the Wild Things Are' meets Dylan Thomas's 'Under Milk Wood' but with NO HOLDS BARRED.

Yes, this book is powerfully awkward at times. It's rude. Impolite. Horny. Unabashed. Mildly autistic. You will cringe. Your insides will shrivel at graphic descriptions of teen cruelty and bad seductions.

HOWEVER! The writing is brilliant. Clever, brav
Oliver Tate might look like just your average boy from the outside, but inside his mind is reeling. Oliver Tate spies on his parents so that he can make sure they are happy and stay together. Oliver Tate wants a girlfriend and doesn't mind the hot and cold Jordana. Oliver Tate isn't really quite sure how to act and what to do with all his feelings. Oliver a bit strange.

Really enjoyed this book. It's almost like a pervy Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Oliver has a really
Savannah S
Oliver Tate is the most interesting character that I've ever read. Hands down.

I loved the way he thought in words. I loved his "words of the day". I smiled whenever I knew what one of the words meant, and it was nice to learn a new word when I didn't. I loved the British school boy humor and language.

I loved his way of thinking, even if it was extremely twisted at times. I love how he said everything that came across his mind, and it was so truly narrated. It was so nice to read a book where y
Allan Azulbotón
En la parte de los agradecimientos el autor menciona que concibió la historia originalmente como un relato breve, publicándolo en internet. No fue hasta recibir una entusiasta acogida que decide convertirla en novela, trabajando en ello durante un curso de Escritura Creativa. Una vez leída, es inevitable notar que se trata de la primera novela de un autor joven (actualmente de 31 años). Es entusiasta, actual, divertida, tristealegre. Lamentablemente, hacia el final, desvaría y el sabor final no ...more
Suad Shamma
I was very impressed with this novel. To start with, I only bought it (and heard of it) because I had heard that a film-adaptation has been released, and I didn't want to watch the film until I had read the book. Boy, am I glad I did that, as I was sorely disappointed with the film and would not have read the book otherwise.

When I started reading this book, I found myself a little intimidated by this character, Oliver. He is very intelligent, quirky, sarcastic, but also a bit of a bully. He has
I watched the movie first and fell in love with it, and had really high expectations for the novel, and obviously these expectations were not made. The plot was bland and messy, unclear with what is happening. The characters were faceless to me throughout the book, none of them really developed except Zoe, and she developed into something worse. Oliver was nice at first, seemed academically clever yet socially clueless, and a bit of a people watcher, but as I read on, it got really boring and ir ...more
it started off really well then got kind of boring in the middle and never really picked up again

there's comparisons to adrian mole literally within the book itself but it is definitely worthy of a mention. the whole intelligence thing, observing his parents in the detached way, just the way he talks about everything.

sally hawkins is in the film so i might watch it
Jun 09, 2012 Sheli rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sheli by: Gareth
Shelves: 2012, wales, mental-health
This book is a coming of age story centred around Oliver Tate, a 15 year old boy from Swansea. I spotted this book when a friend was reading it and was glad I gave it a go as I really enjoyed it.

It is told from Oliver's point of view and therefore is very self centred, moody and in some ways innocent. A typical teenager. Even though Oliver was sometimes infuriating he was very likeable and I enjoyed reading about his exploits, even though some of them (particularly in relation to girls!) made me
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Meg Randich, book review #1 1 14 Sep 27, 2012 11:58AM  
  • Grow Up
  • Brave New Girl
  • Teen Angst? Naaah...
  • Alaska
  • Apples
  • The Book of Ralph: A Novel
  • Saving Daisy
  • Young and Revolting: The Continental Journals of Nick Twisp
  • Jasmine Skies
  • Spud (Spud, #1)
  • Girl (Girl, #1)
  • Losing it
  • What We Remember, What We Forget: The Best Young Writers and Artists in America
  • The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, Vol. 2
  • The New Ghost
  • My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary (Rae Earl, #1)
  • Sons of the 613
  • All Fall Down
Joe Dunthorne was born and brought up in Swansea, and is a graduate of the University of East Anglia's Creative Writing MA, where he was awarded the Curtis Brown prize.

His poetry has been published in magazines and anthologies and has featured on Channel 4, and BBC Radio 3 and 4. A pamphlet collection, Joe Dunthorne: Faber New Poets 5 was published in 2010.

His first novel, Submarine, the story of
More about Joe Dunthorne...
Wild Abandon Faber New Poets 5 Generation Txt Mount London: Ascents in the Vertical City Submarino

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“I love you more than words. And I am a big fan of words.” 172 likes
“Exercise II.

Write a diary, imagining that you are trying to make an old person jealous. I have written an example to get you started:

Dear Diary,
I spent the morning admiring my skin elasticity.
God alive, I feel supple.”
More quotes…