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The Adulterants

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  772 ratings  ·  126 reviews
Ray Morris is a tech journalist with a forgettable face, a tiresome manner, a small but dedicated group of friends, and a wife, Garthene, who is pregnant. He is a man who has never been punched above the neck. He has never committed adultery with his actual body. He has never been caught up in a riot, nor arrested, nor tagged by the state, nor become an international hate- ...more
Hardcover, 150 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Tin House Books
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3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  772 ratings  ·  126 reviews


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Dannii Elle
It pains me to give a book such a low rating when there were no inherent flaws to it, this was simply just not for me. There was nothing to bond me to these morally grey characters and little, therefore, to make me care about their middle-aged concerns and crises.
Janelle • She Reads with Cats
THE ADULTERANTS by Joe Dunthorne - Thank you to Tin House for providing my free copy - all opinions are my own.

This small, little, off putting book is about thirty something year olds that can’t seem to grow up. The story is centered around the main character, Ray Morris, his pregnant wife, Garthene, and a close knit group of friends. I would describe this as dark satire. There are a few ‘laugh out loud’ moments and some great quotes but I couldn’t get invested in the storyline. I found some of
...more
Melissa
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: to-review
Lord, grant me the self-confidence of a mediocre white dude.

I think this novel is supposed to be satirical, but it really just comes off as the narrative of some sad-sack idiot who isn’t even as remotely woke as he thinks he is. He kind of deserves everything that happens.

Thanks Tin House Galley Club for the ARC
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is funny, a quick read about a "manchild" whose life falls apart (but it was probably doomed already.)

I found Tin House's promotional campaign to be the best part of all of it!

I received a review copy from the publisher through Edelweiss. The book came out March 6, 2018. Tin House does great work!
Gumble's Yard
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
A short, uninvolving and lightweight story – which (not inaccurately) describes itself on the flyleaf as dissecting the urban millennial psyche of a man too old to be an actual millennial” with “wry affection.

Ray, the first person protagonist, is a tech writer, churning out pay-per-word reviews of electronic products for websites, married to a heavily pregnant ICU nurse, the two of them part of Generation Rent and searching with success for a small house they can afford – being outbid on the las
...more
Doug
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I rarely find a book that I will literally 'laugh out loud' reading, but this one did the trick more often than not. The jacket blurb calls Dunthorne a 'British Dave Eggers', but I'd say the more apt comparison is to Tom Perrotta - and this bears more than a little in common with 'Little Children' in its dissection of screwed-up (and screwing around) suburban young marrieds. The book never quite went where I was expecting, and that teeter-totter quality certainly added to my enjoyment. I COULD h ...more
Vivek Tejuja
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ray as we are told is not a bad guy. He has just cheated on his pregnant wife a couple of times. He isn’t popular among his friends. On most days, he doesn’t like them either. His job is that of a freelance tech journalist and he doesn’t do much when it comes to that as well. Everything in his life is at a languid pace – nothing happens and nothing is expected to till a string of events take place, only to make him see that he has a knack to just make things spiral downward and perhaps affect li ...more
Stephen
this novel in parts are quite funny and can see the breakdown of a person who no matter what he does is wrong. enjoyed this book and was an easy going read in language used and the flow
Mitch Karunaratne
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
Oh man! So- this was a Bookclub choice, under 200 pages and set in my neighbourhood. That’s all the good bits! As for the rest - I really couldn’t take any enjoyment from spending time with any of the characters. I didn’t care for Ray the manchild who is emotionally stunted, irresponsible and self centred and the caste of characters around him didn’t fair too well either! Not sure who this book would appeal to - definitely not one I’ll be recommending- even though I’m now walking down my street ...more
Danny Caine
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A hilarious and cutting novel of grownups behaving badly, The Adulterants is a comedy of bad manners that brings to mind Rick Moody, Chris Bachelder, and perhaps a bit of Roddy Doyle's razor sharp dialogue. A novel with a great mix of pathos and cringeworthy laughs.
Rachel Louise Atkin
This was really, really funny. Joe Dunthorne is amazing at writing books about people that make you laugh. It's a light read but really worth it because I think he's really underrated as a British author.
Janet
Dec 02, 2017 rated it liked it
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher -
Ray Morris is a tech journalist with a forgettable face, a tiresome manner, a small but dedicated group of friends, and a wife, Garthene, who is pregnant. He is a man who has never been punched above the neck. He has never committed adultery with his actual body. He has never been caught up in a riot, nor arrested, nor tagged by the state, nor become an international hate-
...more
Katie Khan
I picked this up on a total whim in my local bookshop today, ostensibly because I liked the cover and I remembered Submarine had been quite darkly funny. I read the first page there in the shop and laughed so much I had to buy it. Three hours later, I’d read the whole thing. I found The Adulterants absolutely bloody hilarious! It skewers east London, freelance internet jobs, the London property market, men in their thirties AND millennials, and uses this bathos to explore a real fear of fatherho ...more
Amy
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I knew I would love this book before I even purchased it because I love Joe Dunthorne he is such an amazing writer.
This book is marketed as a coming of age story for 30 somethings and I couldn't agree more. We need more stories like this.
The Adulterants is funny and also a really moving story. The writing technique is so clever and it is a really well-put together novel.
Submarine was hilarious and the same type of humour continues in this. You relate to Ray the protagonist but you also cannot
...more
Scott Wilson
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I guess this is the year I read all the new comic novels by British men. I'm up to three books centered on relationship-challenged fuckups, and I've liked them all. This one is the funniest but also the most bittersweet. For many years I haven't returned to my old hardcover of High Fidelity, which I found so edifying in 1995, for fear that it would disappoint older me. The Adulterants hits a lot of the same sweet spots as early Hornby, and not in a way that makes me feel nostalgic or guilty. It' ...more
Startinmerc
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ripped through that, didn't I? What a cracker. Completely hit the spot. Perfect 4.
Kate
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Julie and Jessica
Recommended to Kate by: Tin House Books
Shelves: mundial, novellas
I walked alongside the Lea, one of the country’s most polluted and slow-moving rivers, full of stringy weeds that stretched out beneath the surface like the hair of drowned children. Children who had drowned, I decided, because they’d grown up in rented top-floor flats with no outside space, faux-uncles watching pornography in their play zone during daylight hours, and so they’d ended up down here by the river, depressed, and look, now they were dead.

I pulled down the blackout blanket and watche
...more
b talbot
this book perplexed me, and i will try to explain why.

my first reaction to this book was, "lord, why am i reading about (mostly) white, working class millennial brits doing (mostly) white, working class millennial things: drinking too much, flirting inappropriately, shaming and being shamed online, trying to buy a house in an overpriced market, blah blah blah."

but the story got engaging in part three* and so i finished the book. but what i wanted from the book was not what it gave me. i wanted m
...more
Ian Mapp
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour
Small, 175 page book that is laugh out loud funny in a way that literature so rarely is. As good as Tom Perrotta, John O Farrell and so on.

Especially the first half of the book.

Told from the POV of a London nearly hipster in his 30s - his girlfiend is pregnant - as the blurb on the cover says, he more or less manages to stay faithful.

In a wickedly hilarious opening 100 pages, we have a party, where our hero attends without his wife. Things get out of hand and he has his good looking mate move in
...more
Ditchface
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is short, sharp and hilarious novel. “If you’ve never been the bus’s unusual person you’re missing out”, happens to be the very line that made me cackle loudly on public transport.
The humour cuts through in some unfortunate but mostly just petty situations, and Dunthorne does a great job of wryly satirising modern young parents without completely abandoning them emotionally. I liked this book a lot. It’s so good to laugh.
Jessica // Starjessreads
A solid three stars. Thank you to Tin House for the free book. All opinions are mine. A quick, easy read that sometimes felt like a dark comedy. All of the characters were pretty unlikable, but I still found myself rooting for them (mostly). It was entertaining, but I’m glad it’s over. It was clever, but sometimes far-fetched. Amusing, but ultimately depressing. Confused? So am I. I guess you’ll have to read it and decide for yourself.
Matthew Bisgrove
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Joe Dunthorne has done what he does best; take the seemingly monotonous and obvious parts of life and adds a satirical melodrama to it that brings it to life. His phrasing and description of emotions and so on in this book hit home perfectly and carry a break-your-little-heartedness about it.

You’ll be laughing and crying in equal measures. Splendid book.
Christine Røde
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I live near Lower Clapton Road, so I picked this up mostly out of curiosity for a novel set in my own neighborhood. I read it in one sitting and I enjoyed it. The writing is good, the observations funny and the plot unexpected. I see the comparisons to Dave Eggers, especially in all the ways people hate Dave Eggers, but A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is one of my favorite books, so I guess I have a high tolerance for witty, self-involved and unlikeable men. I found there is comfort in ...more
Dave
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is genuinely lol funny the whole way.
Katy
Apr 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedic-fiction
Definitely not hilarious, I only laughed at a few bits. I did really like the narrators voice but the story didn’t really go anywhere. It is a realistic look at the state of modern relationships and the London property ladder. It’s very British, lots of dry humour and faintly depressing. Overall a quick read and faintly humorous.
Matylda
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lovely writing, easing into the hipster London world where superficiality takes hold and turns our main overly self conscious protagonist into darker places.
Kim
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Found this hard to relate to. What a mess of childish relationships for people in their mid to late 30s.

I did feel a bit bad for Ray, he certainly got the short end of the stick here. Not a bad read but not a good read either.

My copy was provided by NetGalley but my opinion is my own.
Corinne Bennett
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Amusing, candid, and kind of dark. The Adulterants is a classic coming-of-age story, except for the fact that main character Ray is in his mid-thirties. If you don't mind unlikable characters or if you are drawn to books with a strong antihero, this book is for you.

Ray Morris is a tech journalist who lives a pretty dull life, just trying to get by. He observes his friends more interesting lives through a looking glass, as he fails to see his own life falling apart. He is completely unmoved by t
...more
Valentine Frenett
Cleverly written story about vacuous thirty-somethings in London. Uses the backdrop of a riot as a canvas for self-indulgent, narcissistic behaviour. There was not one character I empathised with or liked. That said, the writing kept me wading through their sad existences, the work of a true poet.
Tomq
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's short, about 170 pages, easy to read in just a few days. It starts out hilariously funny. However, the humour of the narrator and main character (this is one of these books with unlikeable narrators) acquires a depressing after-taste as we progress through the novel. Not because the jokes are different, but because we begin to understand why the narrator keeps making them.

The story is told by Ray, a 30-something who is catastrophically lacking in emotional maturity. Everything he says or th
...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