I just finished reading ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Age 13 and 3/4’ By Sue Townsend.
This is a hilariously funny book! I started reading this after watching ‘The Book Club’ on ABC last week and it was a fabulous read after last weeks shocker.
The book is a chronicle of character Adrian Moles life. It spans over one year and one quarter and depicts his every day life in a series of diary entries.
Adrian Mole is an quirky kind of character but also an archetype of a teenager. He fancies himself an intellectual but also quite often misinterprets events that happen around him.
The plot line of the book is unusual in the sense that there isn’t a climax to the book. It tends to amble long the same way life does.
There are a series of events that happen throughout the book, that correspond to events that typically happen in youth.
Such as a first love- for Adrian this is Pandora. Typical of a teenager it’s very over the top and child like. Adrian writes things like “Pandora and I are in love! It is official! She told Claire Nelson, who told Nigel, who told me.”
Also, pimples. Or as Adrian calls them ‘spots’. I never thought pimples could be so funny, but Adrian’s constant worry makes them so. So far as to think Pandora has lost interest in him over them.
One particularly funny issue Adrian faced was a very, very expensive phone bill. He couldn’t tell his father about it because he would be quote ‘dead mad’. In the end the phone got disconnected and it ended up costing even more to reconnect it.
There are many universal problems that Adrian faces which are presented in a really quirky and funny manner. I think you can’t help but enjoy and laugh simply because we’ve all been in a similar situation.
Other events are not to universal. Like his parents splitting up, revolutions starting from wearing red socks, rejection letters from the BBC, and super gluing your nose to a model airplane.
This novel is written in the 1982 and often makes references to historical and social events of the time, like the Royal wedding, the Falkland war, women’s liberation and Margret Thatcher. Thatcher herself inspired Adrian to become a radical; he decided to be ‘against nearly everything’.
One of the other great things about this story is the other characters. We get a great sense of the other characters personalities and quirks through Adrian’s own writings. Some like Pandora, his Father and Mother, and Baxter (an old veteran Adrian befriends) we get to know in depth. However, I felt every character was developed well. Even the dog who features frequently throughout and is quite humorous.
At 30 years old, its definitely stood the test of time. I think no matter your age this is definitely worth the read and I highly recommend it. I was positively in tears at some points; I couldn’t even see the page through wet eyes!
Just because I loved it- some favorite quotes:
“We exchanged our first really passionate kiss. I felt like doing a French kiss but I don’t know how it’s done so I had to settle for an ordinary English one”
“…I went to Woolworth’s to buy Pandora’s Chanel No.5. They hadn’t got any so I bought her an underarm deodorant instead.”
(Ha!! Such a guy thing to do!)
“I am an intellectual but at the same time I am not very clever.”
“I found my father watching Play School and pretending to be an acorn growing into an oak. Went to bed too shocked to speak.”
“I am a committed radical. I am against nearly everything.”
I thought I would try something different so if you want to watch me speak about Adrian Mole instead of reading this here is the link…
What do you think? are videos more convenient?
[…My video-talking skills need serious work!]