Hello. I'm Oliver Tate, the protagonist. I am 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. There are other, lesser characters in the book: Jordana, who is my love interest, despite her eczema. Zoe, whose only real school friend 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. He made our Religious Education teacher cry. This book might not change my life. But there is no telling how you will react...
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- Mr D Jarman
Knowing, witty and absurd
If you enjoyed the film, I'd be very surprised if you didn't engage with this. My guess is that it will land more successfully with a British reader, as lots of the references are quite culturally specific, I could be wrong though. I laughed a lot while listening to this and am disappointed Joe Dunthorne hasn't written more for me to get through. Craig Roberts is excellent, he performs the book as well as he does in the film adaptation and I think anyone else reading it would not have been the same.
In contrast to another user's review, I do not think this is a book for teenagers. It's a book for people who have been a teenager (everyone) ...and have suffered from social awkwardness and come to bizzare conclusions about love and members of the opposite sex. Oliver Tate's twisted logic and rationale borders on the psychopathic but he's somehow still likeable.
I think your sense of humour will be the determining factor here, to whether this book is for you. If you enjoy Roald Dahl's adult short stories I think you'll enjoy this!