Submarine
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Submarine

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  4,471 ratings  ·  380 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
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Community Reviews

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Jo
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...more
Tfitoby
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...more
Beatrice
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...more
Hossain
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...more
Charlie
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...more
Cristy
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
Michael
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...more
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...more
Allison
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...more
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
Petr
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
Excellent.
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...more
Ciara
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
Kate
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
submarine
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...more
Mike
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...more
Brittany
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 Tate...is 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...more
Eidalis Vaquedano
For me, Submarine was a very enjoyable read. It was filled with witty humor, believable emotions, and detailed characters. First off, Submarine was filled with enjoyable and witty humor. The author, Joe Dunthorne, had great timing with the humor. It wasn’t overly funny, but it also wasn’t boring. He had a very nice balance. Secondly, Joe Dunthorne was able to create a relatable story with characters who had real emotions. The main character, Oliver Tate, was a fifteen year old dealing with pare...more
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...more
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...more
Zoe
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
Sheli
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...more
Ian Hrabe
An excellent book about 16 year olds that will undoubtedly be praised for the spectacular voice of the novel's protagonist Oliver Tate. The film adaptation was my favorite film of 2011, so there was that. The novel is much weirder, despite the adaptation being absolutely spot on. Oliver is much less likable, which is a wonderful thing because it really toes that fine line of protagonist likability and often casts Oliver into anti-hero territory. But he's still kind of noble, what with his endeav...more
Yvette
Umm...

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...more
Laura
Odd to describe as it manages to be both well written and immensely dull. The characters are both sympathetically written and unappealing. Got to the end and it felt a bit like a waste of time.
Chris
I was very disappointed with this book to say the least, I gave up soon after starting being unable to get on with the writing style or the bizarre antics of the main character.

I was lead to believe it was a fairly typical comedy story of a teenage boy coming to terms with his parents divorcing. What I got was an unconvinving portryal of what appears to be a very strange, disturbed boy whose freakish behaviour had me wondering if the author thinks all teenage boys behave like this. By way of exa...more
Leesmenu
Mensen zijn sowieso vreemde dieren, maar als er één soort mens het merkwaardigst van allemaal is, dan is het wel de tiener. We kunnen er nu eenmaal niet omheen: een kind is in essentie een niet-volwassene, een volwassene een niet-kind en daar is alles nog eenvoudig, maar een tiener is geen van beide en toch een beetje van beide en spreekt misschien daarom wel zo tot de verbeelding.

Het literaire resultaat van die verbeelding? Het coming-of-age genre, oftewel romans die focussen op het intrigerend...more
Amanda
This book was pervy and teeny and good. Oliver can really grab onto his own reality and run with it. He dates Jordana. She likes setting things on fire, so he buys her her favorite long stem matches as a gift. It's hare for him to get past what he believes because that inquires vomitting. Oh. He's also a wordsmith. Each chapter has a good definition of an interesting word or more. I feel like I have read a lot of those kinds of word exploring books. John Green? Yea.
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Meg Randich, book review #1 1 13 Sep 27, 2012 11:58AM  
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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
More about Joe Dunthorne...
Wild Abandon Faber New Poets 5 Submarine (Unabridged Audiobook) Generation Txt Het feest is voorbij

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“I love you more than words. And I am a big fan of words.” 152 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.”
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