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


3.77  ·  Rating details ·  8,070 ratings  ·  596 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)
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.
Popular Answered Questions
RunawayFromHell I read it when I was 13 but I agree it is more appropriate for 15+ as the film adaption is a 15

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
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
Aug 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This was such a strange, wonderful book.
Rebecca McNutt
One of those few cases where the film is much better than the book. :-(

Don't get me wrong, I loved the 2010 film Submarine, it was an amazing experience to watch. But the book? Well, I'm not much of a fan of pervy sex jokes or fart jokes, and at least the film spares viewers of those for the most part. The book had a number of lines that made absolutely no sense, trying so hard to be obscure and intelligent that it failed to get to any sort of point. It has its moments of true humor and good wri
Aug 31, 2014 rated it liked it
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
May 30, 2012 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
Jun 25, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  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
Apr 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: unhauled-read, 2015
Book #3 in #BookTubeAThon2015.

(Read an author who shares the same first letter of your last name.)
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Sep 23, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  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
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this in a matter of days, closed up in my stink hole (sink hole) of a room, coughing violently and slathering vaseline on my peeling lips. It comes at no surprise that this book reminded me of first love ended and turned into old love, parents, and dead dogs. This book is also a movie. I saw the movie roughly a year ago and received the book as a gift soon after that. I've been listening to the movie soundtrack ever since. It is one of the few constants in my life. Who am I kidding? Most ...more
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
Nov 18, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: decepcionantes
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
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite frankly this was amazing.
Dec 26, 2012 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
Noah Taylor ... Lloyd Tate

Paddy Considine ... Graham Purvis

Craig Roberts ... Oliver Tate

Yasmin Paige ... Jordana Bevan
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uno-2018
I wanted to like this, but I really couldn't get into it that well. It felt like the story wasn't really progressing that much and sometimes I would actually forget what I was even reading, because it all seemed so random and messy. Didn't live up to my expectations!
Mar 27, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, fiction, 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
Maia Robinson
Aug 12, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books, fiction
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
Rachel Louise Atkin
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
My experience of this book was too personal to write a review, but I loved it.
Jan 11, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Esse livro tem gordofobia aos montes, um adolescente mimadinho que se acha o incrível apesar de ser menos do que mediano, piadas idiotas. A única parte boa é a narrativa, que é bem gostosinha, porque de resto...
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, read-in-english
I was bored out of my mind by this book. I guess it's a keen observation on how a teenage boy's mind works; but either I'm too tired of boys' coming-of-age stories, or this particular boy was just not that interesting (and mildly disturbing, too). And all the long, whatever-exam-they-need-to-study-them-for words in-between the curt, dull sentences became really annoying really fast.
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
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting book, which is very funny and relatable. I think it's definitely something I will read again in the future!
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
Savannah S
Mar 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Meghan Schuyler
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Andrew Woods
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
U ovom slučaju mi je zapravo predivno što se knjiga i film dosta razlikuju. Submarine će mi zauvek biti jedan od najlepših i najdražih filmova. Knjiga naravno ima dosta momenata koji nisu završili u filmu, ali i obrnuto; i tu se vidi ta lepota shvatanja i prenošenja umetnosti. Džordana mi je simpatičnija u knjizi, dok je Oliver veća budala, ali i dalje ga obožavam (on je osoba koja je u stanju da kaže za font da je romantičan). Sad samo nisam sigurna da li da žalim što nisam bila u prilici da pr ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Zoe 1 6 Mar 11, 2016 11:51PM  
All Booked Up: March! 1 5 Mar 01, 2015 01:18AM  
Meg Randich, book review #1 1 16 Sep 27, 2012 11:58AM  
  • Grow Up
  • Brave New Girl
  • Exhibitionism
  • Instruction Manual for Swallowing
  • Young and Revolting: The Continental Journals of Nick Twisp
  • Mother, Brother, Lover: Selected Lyrics
  • Teen Angst? Naaah...
  • What We Remember, What We Forget: The Best Young Writers and Artists in America
  • The Lazy Intellectual: Maximum Knowledge, Minimal Effort
  • My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary (Rae Earl, #1)
  • A Kind of Intimacy
  • Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma
  • Losing it
  • Rape of the Fair Country
  • Being Billy
  • Spud (Spud, #1)
  • Tales of the Madman Underground
  • Powder
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
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“I love you more than words. And I am a big fan of words.” 227 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.” 102 likes
More quotes…