Thursday 22 January 2015

Submarine by Joe Dunthorne // Review

This year I'm doing a book challenge; a list of around 50 books, which aren't specific but all come under different 'headings', if you will - and I'm starting with a book you own but have never read, and for me that comes in the form of Submarine by Joe Dunthorpe. You can find the rest of the list on my blog HERE. It's not going too well so far, but I'm pushing on!

In sixth form my English Language class went to watch Submarine at the cinema (I thought we would then study some aspects of the book, but we didn't, which was entirely bizarre...) and everyone thought it was a really weird film, but I literally fell in love and bought the book straight away. But as always, life happened and I didn't get around to reading it until now.

First off I'll just say, if you haven't read this, DO. It's a rollercoaster of emotions: one of those 'coming of age' style books (last week I learnt there is a specific word for this genre: Bildungsroman. I'm not lying), which documents all of those random things that do or don't happen during your school years, in a way that is 100% relatable and 100% ridiculous at the same time. I won't give the plot away, but as the blurb states, Oliver "embarks on a hilariously misguided campaign to bring the family back together" whilst also "trying to lose his virginity ... to his pyromaniac girlfriend."

The book, as is the case 99% of the time, is almost entirely different to the film. Of course, the basic story line follows the same route, and there are some wonderful book quotes which have been transferred to the film; however, there are multiple parts of the book that don't appear in the film and these are some of the best moments during the novel. In a way that is difficult to explain, Joe Dunthorne delivers a collection of anecdotes from the point of view of the protagonist, Oliver - and it makes you feel as though these things have happened to you.

As a character, Oliver is - to me at least - completely relatable, which is one of the things I love in a book. The story is one of those that makes me reflect on my school years, which decidedly weren't as horrific as they could have been. It also makes me wish I had been more spontaneous, which is something I am definitely aiming to do this year!

The novel is full of facts - both useless and useful - and multiple words that made me feel as though just reading the book was expanding my knowledge and vocabulary, but in a way that doesn't even make you realise that you're learning anything. Like I said, it's a rollercoaster of emotions, and delves into subject areas such as mental illness and unfaithfulness, although not in a preachy way. Everything, to me, is just delivered perfectly.

I honestly feel as though I am terrible at book reviews, because I don't want to give away any plot spoilers. But basically, I love this book and I think you should read it. 5/5 stars from me. This is the first book from my 2015 Book Challenge so stay tuned if you want to see what else I'm reading/reviewing this year! You can follow me on Twitter & Instagram too: @katygilroyblog

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  1. I haven't read the book but the film is amazing. When I have time, I will definitely give it a read!

    1. I love the film, it's one of those I never get tired of watching! Yeah you definitely should read it when you have a chance :)

  2. I didn't really understand much of the film but I had missed quite a bit of to! Haha I like the idea of having a book challenge :) I have read one going on two books so far and I can't wait to get more :) x

    1. Haha the film is quite hard to follow, my mum and dad didn't get it at all! I'm hoping I don't completely fail the book challenge :P x

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