Ten years after his brilliant first novel Submarine, Joe Dunthorne brings us The Adulterants, a dark and funny comedy about modern relationships. Rising house prices and rising tensions amid the London riots in 2011 are our backdrop, but the tussles and rangling between Ray, aged 34, and his wife Garthene, echo many Generation Y and Millennial relationships. Their metropolitan lives are instantly recognisable to anyone who has lived in the city, and through first person narration is intimately conveyed, with lots of hints of irony. It’s a tale of knowing and observation, capturing the anxieties of adulthood, becoming an adult, and not quite being an adult. Despite touching on everyman thmes, the characters are richly enough drawn to be people in their own right, and sympathetic enough to be people who the reader cares about. With brilliant banter and witty interior reportage, Dunthorne brings to life a cast of people working their hardest to navigate life, and making mistakes along the way.
Published on Penguin, 2018.