Wild Abandon by Joe Dunthorne: Review

Wild Abandon by Joe Dunthorn

Wild Abandon by Joe Dunthorne


Today I’m reviewing Wild Abandon by Joe Dunthorne – his follow up novel to the indie debut, Submarine. After being critically acclaimed, Submarine was that adapted into an award-winning film by Richard Ayoade.


Joe Dunthorne’s second novel is based around an eco-friendly community located in Wales and the family that founded it. The father, Don, is the head of the commune; a man who loves the sound of his own voice, with his heart in the right place but a habit of putting the communities image over his families needs. The mother, Freya, is in desperate need of a change, and then there are their two children. The first part of the story revolves around the seventeen-year-old daughter Kate. With university on the horizon and a new boyfriend on the scene, she’s starting to drift away from the beliefs of the commune. She’s on a path of self-discovery…or maybe self-destruction. Eleven-year-old Albert is a whirlwind of energy, excitement and open-mindedness but when another member of the commune plants the idea that the world might be coming to an end, Albert thinks it all makes sense, so he begins a mission to educate people and prepare for the impending doom.



This novel is brilliantly fun, non-judgemental and has some beautifully dark and sarcastic humour. The 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 to read this book without a smile on your face.


This book is worth indulging in for the characters alone but once the humour and the twist at the end are all mixed together, it becomes an absolute must-read.


If you like Wild Abandon by Joe Dunthorne, you’ll love The Humorist by Russel Kane.

Buy Wild Abandon by Joe Dunthorne



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