Wild Abandon by JOE DUNTHORNE
A Novel

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Synopsis

At a once vibrant communal-living property in the British countryside, back-to-basics fervor has given way to a vague discontent. A place that once buzzed with activity, from the polytunnels to the pottery shed, now functions with a skeleton crew. Founder Don Riley surveys his domain with the grim focus of someone who knows what’s best for everyone—and isn’t afraid to let them know. Especially when those people are related to him.

Don’s wife, Freya, can’t quite decide whether not liking someone anymore is enough reason to end a twenty-year marriage. So she decamps to a mud yurt in the woods to mull it over. Their seventeen-year-old daughter, Kate, enrolls in school for the first time in her life: the exotic new world of fellow teenagers and surprisingly tasty cafeteria food beckons, and she is quickly lured into the arms of a “meathead” classmate. In his sister’s absence, eleven-year-old Albert falls under the spell of an outlandish new visitor to the community who fills his head with strange notions of the impending end of the world.

Faced with the task of rescuing his son from apocalyptic fantasies, his daughter from the clutches of suburbia, and his wife from her increasingly apparent desire to leave him, Don convinces himself that the only way to save the world he’s created is . . . to throw the biggest party of his life. Will anyone show up?

From the acclaimed young author of Submarine, Wild Abandon is a strange and wonderful look at love—familial and romantic, returned and rebuffed—and the people and places we choose to call home.
 

About JOE DUNTHORNE

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Joe Dunthorne's first novel, Submarine, has been translated into ten languages and made into a feature film. His debut poetry collection was published in 2010. He lives in London.
 
Published January 3, 2012 by Random House. 337 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Wild Abandon

Kirkus Reviews

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The consequences of being raised by hippie parents in a commune begin to loom large for two siblings.

Dec 20 2011 | Read Full Review of Wild Abandon: A Novel

The Guardian

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When Joe Dunthorne's first novel, Submarine, appeared in 2008, hardly a reviewer managed to avoid making comparisons with Adrian Mole and Holden Caulfield.

Jul 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Wild Abandon: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

Dunthorne's novel — about the implosion of a British commune — doesn't break much news about human nature.

Jan 04 2012 | Read Full Review of Wild Abandon: A Novel

The Telegraph

The essential gift book for any pet lover - real-life tales of devoted dogs, .

Aug 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Wild Abandon: A Novel

The Daily Beast

Even as a child she was able to make the connections between the myths that inspired her and their modern manifestation in the bombers that were devastating her country: “At night, in her blacked-out bedroom, the thin child heard sounds in the sky, a distant whine, a churning of propellers, thund...

Mar 06 2012 | Read Full Review of Wild Abandon: A Novel

Scotsman.com

Dunthorne's fictional community, Blaen-y-llyn, is headed by Don, a paunchy ideologue with a "thick castaway's beard" and a passion for lo-tech invention.

Aug 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Wild Abandon: A Novel

London Evening Standard

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Jul 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Wild Abandon: A Novel

Curious Book Fans

Wild Abandon is the second novel by Joe Dunthorne, after the very successful (and funny) Submarine, which was also made into a good independent film.

Jul 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Wild Abandon: A Novel

Time Out New York

As they know no other home, the siblings react in an extreme manner: Kate abandons the commune in favor of suburbia, while Albert latches onto end-of-days theories to keep him afloat.Through its two, well-drawn central characters, Wild Abandon does its best to demonstrate how people deal with ent...

Jan 17 2012 | Read Full Review of Wild Abandon: A Novel

Full Stop

After Patrick’s accident further disrupts the community, Kate moves off the commune and in with her boyfriend’s family, abruptly cutting off her close relationship with her younger brother.

Feb 08 2012 | Read Full Review of Wild Abandon: A Novel

https://litreactor.com

After the success of Submarine as both a book and a movie, Welsh author Joe Dunthorne continues to carve out a niche for himself in whimsical relationship comedy with his sophomore effort, Wild Abandon.

Jan 10 2012 | Read Full Review of Wild Abandon: A Novel

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