Submarine by Joe Dunthorne


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, brave, packed with wordplay and humor. There are moments that ring brutally true; you’ll deny that you’ve ever had the shameful audacity to think up anything as inappropriate as thoughts that pass through Oliver’s brain… but we all know you’re lying.

Brace yourself: there’s going to be sex with fat girls, attempted pet murder, underage drinking, underage sex, unsexy acts between old people, vandalism, Nazis, tumours and all sorts of other shit that might make you want to close the book and deny you ever opened it in the first place.

For those who are made of hardier stuff than the average lily-livered reader, there’s gold to be found amongst the wreckage of Oliver’s life. New words, new perspectives, and a walk on the wild side.

Don’t be a wanker, just pick it up and read it. If you’re not sure you can handle the raw, uncut all-access pass to the inside of Oliver’s brain known as the book, you can try the movie directed by our dearly beloved Richard Ayoade (better known as Moss from “The I.T. Crowd”), which will keep you at a safe distance, outside the teen fluid splash zone.

More books that explore the shitty, powerless, hormonal world of teenagers…

1) The classic. Sue Townsend’s ‘The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4′

2) Haunting 1980s childhood. David Mitchell’s ‘Black Swan Green’

3) The REAL classic. Charles Dickens’s ‘David Copperfield’

4) Retro 1980s, futuristic childhood. Ernest Cline’s ‘Ready Player One’

4 of 5 stars / bookshelves: read, comedy, 320 pages, Publisher: Random House (2008)
Read from July 06 to 18, 2012

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