Hamish Hamilton 7 February 2008 h/b
‘Hello, I’m Oliver Tate, the protagonist. I’m likely to use words like protagonist and, moments later, words like twonk. My ambitions are as follows: to find out why my father sometimes stays in bed for days at a time; to find out why my mother’s getting surfing lessons – and probably more – from a hippy-looking twonk; and to lose my virginity before it becomes legal – in just over a year. I am monitoring my parents’ intimacy via the dimmer switch in their bedroom. My parents have not had sex in two months which, my research suggests, points towards impending marital breakdown. There are other, lesser characters in the book: Jordana, who is my love interest, despite her eczema; Zoe, whose only real schoolfriend is a dinner lady. I feel sorry for Zoe which, in turn, makes me feel better about my own life. Then there’s my friend Chips, an outstanding bully. This book might not change my life. But there is no telling how you will react.’
Joe Dunthorne was born and brought up in Swansea. His poetry has been featured on Channel 4 and Radio 3 and he has performed at festivals including Hay-on-Wye and Latitude. Now twenty-five, Joe lives in London. Submarine is his first novel.
“This is a brilliant first novel, by a young man of ferocious comic talent – Oliver is the finest teenage narrator since Adrian Mole.” The Times