Wild Abandon by Joe Dunthorne
Wild Abandon is Joe Dunthorne’s follow up novel to his indie hit debut, Submarine. The same Submarine that was propelled to fame by the critically acclaimed and award-winning movie of the same name.
Dunthorne’s second novel is based around an eco-friendly community, located in Wales and the central family that created it. The father, Don is the main leader of the commune, a man who loves the sound of his own voice, with a heart in the right place but the habit of putting the communities image over his families needs. The mother, Freya, who’s in need of a change and then there are the two children. The stories first part revolves around the seventeen-year-old daughter Kate. With University at her fingertips, a new boyfriend from a ‘normal’ background she’s starting to drift away from the beliefs of the commune and is on a path of self-discovery…or maybe self-destruction. The youngest, 11-year-old Albert is a whirlwind of energy, excitement and open-mindedness. When another member of the commune plants the idea of the imminent end of the world, Albert feels it all makes sense and is on a mission to educate and prepare for the impending doom.
This novel is brilliantly fun, non-judgemental and has some beautifully dark and sarcastic humour. The actual plot itself is a tad slow-paced to start but due to the characters being so quirky and well crafted, you don’t really notice. With sentences such as ‘…her cheeks like apples that, to those who fantasized about such things, would have been the best bits, if she were to be cooked,’ it’s hard not to read this book while having a smile on your face.
This book is worth indulging in just for the characters alone but once the humour and the twist at the end are mixed together, it becomes a complete must-read.
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