Book Review – Submarine by Joe Dunthorne

This is a quick review of the book Submarine by Joe Dunthorne.


Submarine has been around for a while, having first been published in 2008, though it only has 44 reviews on (of which twenty one are 5 star, and twelve are 4 star).

It’s a kind of coming of age story for 15 year old Oliver Tate, who’s parents are drifting ever further apart and who’s girlfriend (Jordana – they aren’t a couple at the start or end of the book) seems quite keen on him but then goes off him rather quickly.

His mother has a brief ‘thing’ with an ex, and then his parents seem to rekindle a little after staring separation in the face (more implied than actually laid out).

This was a strange read for me as I saw the film first (review to follow) and the book and film are different. Some of it is the same, but the script writer clearly took a bit of poetic licence with some parts as they are very different in places (for example, in the book Oliver’s mum goes off to a retreat with Graham, but in the film he is running seminars that she attends).

I get the impression Oliver Tate is written to be a kind of geeky almost misfit. He has traits that would mark him out as such, but in truth he is probably a pretty standard 15 year old boy. He thinks he might be different, but he isn’t really.

Overall it was an enjoyable read, marred slightly by my love for the film, but putting that aside the book is well written and entertaining.

SCORE: 3 out of 5


Joe Dunthorne has his own website that you can check out by visiting it here.