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Click for availability and more information Submarine, by Joe Dunthorne

This debut novel is the next in line on the long list of great novels about adolescence. 15 year-old Oliver Tate has a lot on his mind; he's convinced his parent's marriage is on the rocks, which causes him to undertake devious methods of monitoring their sex life. He's got a new girlfriend named Jordana; she's a handful. Plus, there are the usual high school dramas to contend with. What's a boy to do? In Oliver's case he makes a series of grand misjudgments and poor decisions, some comical and others downright foolish. He is both an unreliable narrator and cheeky hero. He's both full of himself and frequently clueless...but at least he's trying. Although veering rather closely to Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole series, which covers similar ground and shares the diary form Dunthorne uses in this book, Submarine strikes a more realistic tone. Life in the Welsh coastal city of Swansea is like life anywhere else, it seems. Dunthorne also manages to rise above the sappiness that can often surface in novels about teenagers. Oliver Tate imagines he has quite a bit to overcome. Once his psychic victory is at hand, it's put forth by Dunthorne with a calm and gently funny scene featuring Oliver and family, at least for the time being.

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This page contains a single entry published on December 18, 2008 4:37 PM.

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