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Submarine

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  5,564 ratings  ·  440 reviews
At once a self-styled social scientist, a spy in the baffling adult world, and a budding, hormone-driven emotional explorer, Oliver Tate is stealthily nosing his way forward through the murky and uniquely perilous waters of adolescence. His objectives? Uncovering the secrets behind his parents’ teetering marriage, unraveling the mystery that is his alluring and equally qui ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 24th 2011 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Algernon
Oct 14, 2014 Algernon rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
...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
Charlie
Jun 27, 2011 Charlie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Hossain
Aug 22, 2013 Hossain rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Ciara
Dec 24, 2008 Ciara rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Miss Abernathy
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
...more
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
...more
Mónica
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
...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
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
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
...more
Natàlia Peris
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
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.
Petr
Výborná knížka. Vřele doporučuju.
Katie Huxtable
Before I begin my review of Submarine, I should probably say that yes, I did watch the film before I read the book- I know, what a crime on my behalf! I was introduced to the novel through friends recommendations of Richard Ayoade's magnificent film adaptation.

Submarine is the story of Oliver Tate, our narrator, a soon to be fifteen-year-old Welsh teenager who is awkward, intelligent, quirky, overthinks everything and a large fan of complicated words. This book tells the story of Oliver giving h
...more
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
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
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
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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
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“I love you more than words. And I am a big fan of words.” 187 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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