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The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾

Sue Townsend

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Puffin

Published : 2002

Copyright : Sue Townsend 1982

ISBN-10 : PB 0-14-131598-9
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-14-131598-0

Publisher's Write-Up

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ is an unabashed, pimples-and-all glimpse into the troubled life of an adolescent. Writing candidly about his parents' marital troubles, the dog, his life as a tortured poet and 'misunderstood intellectual', teenager Adrian Mole's painfully honest diary makes hilarious and compelling reading.

Wednesday June 10th
Pandora and I are in love! It is official! She told Claire Nelson, who told Nigel, who told me. I told Nigel to tell Claire to tell Pandora that I return her love. I am over the moon with joy. I can overlook the fact that Pandora smokes five Benson and Hedges a day and has her own lighter. When you are in love such things cease to matter.

'Townsend's wit is razor-sharp.'

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Amina Malik (090809) Rating (9/10)

Review by Amina Malik
Rating 9/10
Without a doubt, this is one of the funniest books I've read in a long time, containing a unique brand of hilarity that would appeal to both adults and children.

It is clear, that although this book is designed to entertain, Townsend uses it as a vehicle for social commentary, to highlight flaws in society. Themes include feminism, the breakdowns of typical roles e.g. gender roles, politics, parenthood, childhood, and adult morality. If you think this means a preaching, didactic lecture, guess again, as it is all cleverly expressed through humour.

Through the diary format - enabling Adrian to indulge in cathartic purging - and through a good deal of irony via self-betrayal, we experience teenage anxiety with Adrian. We take pleasure in Adrian's ineptitude as a poet; "Pandora! I adore ya!" his idiosyncratic expressions; "Just my luck!" and most of all his neurotic immaturity and insecurities; "I think I am turning into an intellectual, it must be all the worry."

In the book, we see Adrian join the Good Samaritans group where he forms a bond with Bert Baxter, an old-age pensioner. Adrian is obviously aiming to be the ideal Samaritan, and so eagerly joins the club - and of course because he gets to "miss maths on Monday afternoons." Adrian's relationship with Bert Baxter is often touching and serves its purpose of conveying a social comment on the relationship between youth and age, but it also imparts a great deal of humour. Be this from Adrian's childish observations "you smell I don't" or his many laborious tasks to aid Bert "He told me when I was helping him into the toilet."

Although Townsend has utilised comedy to portray these two characters, creating various scenes of mirth, she is also expressing her indignation at the poor treatment of the elderly. This is just one example of how the book attacks society and works on many plateaus, if you care to look for them. If you're not: sit back, relax and enjoy the comedy.
Amina Malik (9th August 2009)

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