Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Book Review: Submarine by Joe Duntorn

Starting October with the Horror of Pretentious Teenage Boys.

Meet Oliver Tate, fifteen years old. Convinced that his father is depressed ('Depression comes in bouts. Like boxing. Dad is in the blue corner') and his mother is having an affair with her capoeira teacher ('a hippy-looking twonk'), he embarks on a hilariously misguided campaign to bring the family back together. Meanwhile, he is also trying to lose his virginity - before he turns sixteen - to his pyromaniac girlfriend Jordana. Will Oliver succeed in either aim? Submerge yourself in Submarine and find out . . .

No, I never did find out why this book is called submarine.  This opens greatly and has a lot of good one liners, especially towards the start but after page 200 (the edition I read was 290 pages) I was done with Oliver. Especially, as all of the plot stuff that this novel has was completely resolved (or as much as it gets in this novel). If I liked Oliver as a person or character, then maybe those 90 pages of pointlessness would have been fun. 

Oliver is realistic teenage boy, the sort I personally would hated even as a teenager. His actions make him so unlikable and never learns from his actions. He's really immature for a fifteen, he comes across as thirteen. Sure, they are people like that, but I don't want to read about them. Though, I still want to watch the movie. Less about this book, more to do with who was involved in making it. 

This book has mental illness, relationships in trouble and the teen hormones that lead to what that usually does. It's just there. If you want a glimpse into the life of really annoying person. 

The writing style is meant to be a diary but also obviously breaks that format a lot. Oliver is pretentious so there's some attempt at depth and Dunton manages to capture that pretentious voice of a 15 year old boy that needs to grow up.

Overall, I give this book 2/5 stars for shoe stealing. I don't the main character so I didn't like the book, that's the risk with character driven characters. I didn't anything from this. I don't know who this book is for, teenage boys you want to throw off a bus?

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