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3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  6,734 Ratings  ·  512 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)
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RunawayFromHell I read it when I was 13 but I agree it is more appropriate for 15+ as the film adaption is a 15
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerWood, Talc and Mr. J by Chris   RoseSubmarine by Joe DunthorneMagic America by C.E. Medford
4th out of 123 books — 124 voters
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Best Typography on a Book Cover
50th out of 395 books — 167 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 29, 2012 Jo rated it really liked it
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
Raeleen Lemay
Mar 19, 2015 Raeleen Lemay rated it really liked it
This was such a strange, wonderful book.
Oct 14, 2014 Algernon rated it liked it  ·  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
Jun 02, 2012 Tfitoby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit
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
Aug 19, 2012 Beatrice rated it really liked it
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
Sep 27, 2016 Camilla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book #3 in #BookTubeAThon2015.

(Read an author who shares the same first letter of your last name.)
Jun 27, 2011 Charlie rated it it was ok
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
Aug 22, 2013 Hossain rated it really liked it
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
Mar 01, 2016 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite frankly this was amazing.
Sep 03, 2015 Sub_zero rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reto-2015
Submarino es una de esas novelas que contienen todos los ingredientes para salir bien parada de una cita conmigo: referencias extraordinarias; un protagonista adolescente, curioso, excéntrico, inteligente pero socialmente inepto, que intenta asumir el control sobre sus hormonas mientras cree contemplar cómo se desmorona el núcleo familiar sin que él pueda hacer nada por evitarlo; además, una prosa aguda y desenfadada que deja entrever como quien no quiere la cosa sorprendentes reflexiones sobre ...more
Dec 24, 2008 Ciara rated it it was ok
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
Jun 20, 2011 Allison rated it liked it
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
Miss Abernathy
Apr 12, 2015 Miss Abernathy rated it did not like it
Shelves: disappointing
Cuando he terminado de leer Submarine mi primer pensamiento ha sido:
¿Qué mierda 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 decepcionado con
Jorge 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
Rachel Louise Atkin
My experience of this book was too personal to write a review, but I loved it.
Meghan Schuyler
Mar 30, 2014 Meghan Schuyler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
(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
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
Apr 06, 2010 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2010, review
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
Savannah S
Jun 25, 2011 Savannah S rated it it was amazing
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
Andrew Woods
Jan 09, 2013 Andrew Woods rated it really liked it
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
Mónica Carde
Este libro me ha dejado con una sensación extraña. Un vació pero a la vez una felicidad.
Reí y casi llore con este libro. Simplemente una montaña rusa de emociones. Oliver Tate se ha convertido en uno de mis personajes favoritos por su sarcasmo, su ingenio y sus extraños pensamientos.
El final fue muy abrupto para mi. cambie la pagina y en vez de estar el siguiente capitulo estaban los agradecimientos, pero me doy cuenta al ser un final que no esperaba el libro me ha gustado mas.
Pensare en ver
Jordan McCartney
This book met my expectations. As most would know it's a coming-of-age story about a precocious and eccentric boy, Oliver Tate. The book explores the struggles of his attempts to save his parents marriage whilst juggling a relationship and GCSEs.

I thought the author did an excellent job in setting the scenes throughout the story whereby Oliver Tate, the protagonist would thoroughly describe his surroundings and develop anecdotes about certain objects and people. Most anecdotes being quite humoro
Lucy B.
Aug 30, 2016 Lucy B. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Al haber visto primero la película, tenía una idea bien formada acerca de este libro pero terminó siendo, obviamente, mejor y otra cosa de lo que el filme muestra.
Oliver Tate es un personaje muy único y particular. Algunas veces tiene ideas bastante retorcidas, es excéntrico y muy inteligente pero esto hace que lleve a cabo acciones un poco infantiles. Se ve que quiere arreglar cualquier cosa para que su familia no se desmorone. También hace chistes que quizás no encajan en determinadas si
Ashley Curcuru
Sep 11, 2015 Ashley Curcuru rated it really liked it
I'm not going to lie, I totally saw the film first.
However, I enjoyed it so much that I decided to read the book as well. For some reason, I thought the story was going to be relatively different from the movie, but it was surprisingly the same. The overall tones and concepts were incredibly distinct (as in the film). Oliver Tate is a lot more intelligent/intellectual than the majority of his peers, but also very relatable as a teenager. Something I really liked were the risks that Joe Dunthorne
Alejandra Arévalo
De verdad, hace tanto tiempo que no tardaba tanto en terminar un libro. Lo llamaré el libro más "Meh" que me he topado hasta el día de hoy. El personaje de Oliver es increíblemente falso, no sé si sea una cosa de adolescentes galeces pero, de verdad, es un adolescente muy extraño.
Maia Robinson
Sep 29, 2015 Maia Robinson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2015-books
you'll love this book if you're into:
- homophobia
- sexism
- racism
- fatphobia
- abuse (gender violence) apology
- abuse (bullying) apology
- rape apology
- pedophilia-related jokes
- religion-related jokes
Natàlia Peris
Jun 03, 2015 Natàlia Peris rated it did not like it
Shelves: novels
Stay away from this book if you're a feminist. When you're reading the novel, it feels like you're reading what the author wrote, not the actual diary of a teenager. Dunthorne tries so hard to be hilarious that he fails. However, the worst part of the book is what happens in it. The main character is unbearable. Within the first three chapters, he makes fun of pansexual people and describes and makes fun of how he and some of his friends bullied "the fat and weak girl from school". As if it wasn ...more
Sep 01, 2014 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
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.
Jun 16, 2016 Rachel rated it really liked it
An instant favourite. Would be four and a half stars, but for me the ending lacked an undefinable spark of something in comparison to the rest of the book. Absolutely loved it all the same.
Apr 19, 2013 Petr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Výborná knížka. Vřele doporučuju.
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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 about Joe Dunthorne...

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“I love you more than words. And I am a big fan of words.” 213 likes
“I took a photo of us, mid-embrace. When I am old and alone I will remember that I once held something truly beautiful.” 87 likes
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