The Adulterants by Joe Dunthorne

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews

The Adulterants, from its punning title onwards, is brilliantly knowing about its knowingness. It knows the only way we’ll tolerate a narrator as annoying as Ray is to punish him for the very virtues that make him a good narrator – nosiness and eloquence.
-Guardian

Synopsis

For readers of Roddy Doyle, Nick Hornby, and Mark Haddon, The Adulterants is a piercingly funny―and cringingly poignant―take on how hard it is to grow up and how hard it is when you don’t. 

Ray Morris is a tech journalist with a forgettable face, a tiresome manner, a small but dedicated group of friends, and a wife, Garthene, who is pregnant. He is a man who has never been punched above the neck. He has never committed adultery with his actual body. He has never been caught up in a riot, nor arrested, nor tagged by the state, nor become an international hate-figure. Not until the summer of 2011, when discontent is rising on the streets and within his marriage. Ray has noticed none of this. Not yet.

The Adulterants 
would be a coming-of-age story if its protagonist could only forget that he is thirty-three years old. Throughout a series of escalating catastrophes, our deadpan antihero keeps up a merciless mental commentary on the foibles and failings of those around him, and the vicissitudes of modern urban life: internet trolls, buy-to-let landlords, open marriages, and the threat posed by more sensitive men. But the wonder of The Adulterants is how we feel ourselves rooting for Ray even as we acknowledge that he deserves everything he gets.
 

About Joe Dunthorne

See more books from this Author
 
Published March 6, 2018 by Tin House Books. 150 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The Adulterants
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

Star Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by Malcolm Forbes on Mar 30 2018

A novel that gets off to a faltering start tracking shallow lives and superficial feelings quickly tightens its grip, and its focus, and turns into a riveting read led by a character we care about and believe in.

Read Full Review of The Adulterants | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Natasha Tripney on Feb 04 2018

There are several snort-through-your-nose moments, including Ray’s encounter with a policewoman, when his every word exacerbates his predicament. But throughout, the novel’s comedy is always balanced by insight and poignancy.

Read Full Review of The Adulterants | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Toby Litt on Feb 02 2018

The Adulterants, from its punning title onwards, is brilliantly knowing about its knowingness. It knows the only way we’ll tolerate a narrator as annoying as Ray is to punish him for the very virtues that make him a good narrator – nosiness and eloquence.

Read Full Review of The Adulterants | See more reviews from Guardian

Rate this book!

Add Review
×