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Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years [Hardcover]

Sue Townsend
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)

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Book Description

14 Oct 1999
An accidental celebrity, with a spreading bald patch, despairing of family values, Mole is still worrying: Is Viagra cheating? Why won't the BBC produce "The White Van", his serial killer comedy? Mole, aged 30 1/4, chronicles the closing years of the 20th century with slanderous abandon.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 391 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph; Sixth Impression edition (14 Oct 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718143671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718143671
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 14.6 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 233,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Leicester in 1946, Sue left school at 15 years of age. She married at 18, and by 23 was a single parent with three children. She worked in a variety of jobs including factory worker, shop assistant, and as a youth worker on adventure playgrounds. She wrote in secret for twenty years, eventually joining a writers' group at the Phoenix Theatre, Leicester in her thirties.

At the age of 35, she won the Thames Television Playwright Award for her first play, Womberang, and started her writing career. Other plays followed including The Great Celestial Cow (1984), Ten Tiny Fingers, Nine Tiny Toes (1990), and most recently You, me and Wii (2010), but she became most famous for her series of books about Adrian Mole, which she originally began writing in 1975.

The first of these, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 ¾ was published in 1982 and was followed by The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (1984). These two books made her the best-selling novelist of the 1980s. They have been followed by several more in the same series including Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years (1993); Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction (2004); and most recently Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years (2009). The books have been adapted for radio, television and theatre; the first being broadcast on radio in 1982. Townsend also wrote the screenplays for television adaptations of the first and second books and Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years (published 1998, BBC television adaptation 2001).

Several of her books have been adapted for the stage, including The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 ¾: The Play (1985) and The Queen and I: a Play with Songs (1994), which was performed by the Out of Joint Touring Company at the Vaudeville Theatre and toured Australia. The latter is based on another of her books, in which the Royal Family become deposed and take up residence on a council estate in Leicester. Other books include Rebuilding Coventry (1988), Ghost Children (1997) and Queen Camilla (2006).

She was an honorary MA of Leicester University, and in 2008 she was made a Distinguished Honorary Fellow, the highest award the University can give. She was an Honorary Doctor of Letters at Loughborough University, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her other awards include the James Joyce Award of the Literary and Historical Society of University College Dublin, and the Frink Award at the Women of the Year Awards. In 2009 she was given the Honorary Freedom of Leicester.

Her most recent novel, The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year, was published in 2012 by Michael Joseph and was a giant success, selling over half a million copies to date in the UK alone.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Adrian Mole is balding, he's bitter and he's back, this time aged 30¼. Working at the Hoi Polloy restaurant, Soho, where a typical menu includes:
Heinz Tomato Soup,
(with white bread floaters)

Grey Lamb Chops
Boiled Cabbage avec Dan Quayle Potatoes
Dark Brown onion gravy

Spotted Dick à la Clinton
Bird's Eye Custard

Cheddar Cheese, Cream Crackers
After Eight Mint

he is spotted by a cable TV producer and ends up starring in a celebrity chef show celebrating offal. Though he may be older he is certainly no wiser, still passing his time by dreaming of Pandora (now a shining star in Tony Blair's New Government) after his marriage to a Nigerian beauty ends in tatters. But underneath the layers of experience and sophistication, fans of the Mole family will find the same dysfunctional mess that made Adrian's Secret Diary an instant bestseller--his young son is being brought up by his mother in Ashby-de-la- Zouch, his 16-year-old sister leaves home to live with her multiply pierced boyfriend and his father is bed- bound with manic depression. Adrian still makes constant lists of juvenile neuroses and concentrates on his penis activity to an unhealthy extent (it is when it reaches 0/10 he realises something has to be done).

Townsend's trademark acerbic wit is still much in evidence;

Zippo kissed my mother's hand and complimented her on the shirt she was wearing. 'Is it Vivienne Westwood?' he murmered.
'No', she muttered back. 'It's BhS'.
'You clever thing', he crooned.
it is only the frames of reference that have changed. Occasionally verging on the corny ("I arrived at the Brent Cross shopping centre car-park, to find that my car had been towed away five days ago and was in a police compound somewhere in Purley. A £25 cab ride took me to the Purley gates …") true Mole fanatics will forgive Townsend her occasional excesses for the numerous laugh-out-loud moments that punctuate Adrian's existence as he blunders on towards middle age.

Accessible, amusing and appealing, The Cappuccino Years see an Adrian who has survived the Growing Pains; thought better of True Confessions; is out of the Wilderness Years and is facing the only really important question that remains: Is Viagra cheating? --Lucie Naylor

About the Author

Sue Townsend became Britain's bestselling author of the 1980s with her Adrian Mole diaries. She is the author of 7 other novels, including The Queen and I and Number Ten. She is also well known as a playwright, and lives in Leicester. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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First Sentence
I take up my pen once again to record a momentous time in the affairs of men (and, thank God, because this is intended to be a secret diary, I am not required to add 'and women'). Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adrian Mole is a national treasure 22 Oct 1999
By A Customer
Someone should slap an English Heritage plaque on the cover of The Cappuccino Years. Because not only is this one of the funniest, most bittersweet books I have read for ages, and a more than worthy successor to the other Mole books, Sue Townsend has written about Britain in the late 90s more accurately than any other recent writer I can remember. It takes a brilliantly satirical look at Blair's Britain, the spin doctors, the Cool Britannia tag, the over-priced restaurants, the decline of the nuclear family, and so on. She has said that the new Labour government is like a cappuccino - all froth and very little substance. Well, this book is all substance, but with loads of froth to make you genuinely laugh out loud. Her comic timing and sense of wit is as great as ever. This isn't just a comic masterpiece, it's quite simply a stunningly good look at what life is like in our country today. Adrian ends the book with two sons, no home and no job, and I can't wait to see where he's at when he's forty. More please!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Is it me? 13 Mar 2002
By A Customer
I'm sorry, but I can't agree with any of the previous reviews. I tried hard to get into this book, as I loved the original Adrian Mole's Diary (Aged 13 3/4), but I just didn't find it funny! The only bit that I giggled at, was the thought of the 'New Dog' perched on top of the cushion that was too big for it's basket! I'm beginning to wonder if it's just my sense of humour that's failing. If that's the case, I apologise again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blair and Cherie seen from Ashby-on-Pandora 23 Feb 2001
Sue Townsend is a marvelous writer. With this character, Adrian Mole, that she has been following since his puberty, we have a funny, and satirical, yet very kind vision of England over the last thirty years. In this volume Adrian Mole suffers a loss of profession, a debut on Cable TV, a debut, with a ghost writer, in publishing, a divorce, a case of DNA-decided new son, and many other adventures, including the burning of his brand-new gift house. But the naivete and the apparent silliness of the character covers a deeper vision of society. The vision is this time very satirical, even if most of the time at a third or fourth level. He witnesses the arrival of Tony Blair and the first year or so of this new English politician. The man is new, the party is not, the solutions are not, just the man and the language, including a certain dimension of sexual innuendo to capture attention and obedience. Through the many pages of this diary, all kinds of typical English traits are presented, always defended, or nearly, but in such a way that we know there must be at least five tongues in ten cheeks. And that is probably the best aspect of this book. It is the tone of Laurence Sterne and his Sentimental Journey, though in this latter case France was at stake. But we have the same style and the same treatment of the matter. Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, Paris Universities II and IX.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bigger, Better, Vintage Mole! 14 Jan 2001
By A Customer
Fabulous! Everything said. The way that Sue Townsend portrays a thirty-something Capuccino aged person is marvellous. Brilliant storylines include the Great Mole-Braithwaite Partner Swop, his long lost son Glenn, to name but a few. Adrian still fits perfectly into his niche-long live Mr Mole. I can only hope the next book, A comic Novel is a sharply funny, mature and fantastic as Capuccino years is. Adrian may still be thirteen at heart, but he certainly appeals to a much wider audience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT 30 Jun 2000
Format:Audio Cassette
This was one of the best(if not the best),books in the whole series.Adrian is every bit as humourous as he has ever been.This book is guaranteed to have you howling with laughter within minutes.I was so gripped,i had to read the whole thing straight through from start to finish.Once i'd started it was impossible to put down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
hello. I am a 13 year old boy living in Australia. Last year, a cousin of mine (we were both 12 at the time) introduced me to the Adrian Mole diaries. I instantly became wrapped up in it, and when I finally got my hands on the Cappuccino Years, I discovered it was the best Adrian Mole book yet.It's not a particulary long book in my opinion (I read it in two days) but it is still, in my opinion, the greatest book ever. I am absolutly praying that another Adrian Mole book is released in Australia. Adrian's employer is hilarious, as is Adrian's severe jealousy of Barry Kent, the skinhead poet. I have read the book 3 times, and I still laugh each time
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adrian still rules supreme 28 Feb 2000
By A Customer
I loved all the early ones, and couldn't wait for this one. While still hilariously funny, I found it much more insightful, and indeed touching. Looking through the other reviews, I noticed that somebody had classed Adrian as 'not a nice guy.'All you have to do is read about the relationship he develops with his sons, and you'll realise just what a caring, affectionate, cool kinda a guy he his. I would like to quote the ending few lines, but I don't want to give it away. I think it's fair to say, though, that despite his 'weird' exteriour, Adrian turns out to be a DAMN nice guy. Funny, thought inducing, touching-another Mole classic!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best One Since the Original 9 Nov 1999
By A Customer
I received this book in the mail today, and finished it just a few minutes ago, having read it straight through. It was that good! I have been a lifelong fan of the Adrian Mole series ever since I read the first volume while living in the UK about 15 years ago, and have ordered The Cappucino Years through Amazon UK as this volume is unavailable in the states. Although I was intially disappointed that about 4 years were skipped over from when The Wilderness Years ended, during which time Adrian was married, witnessed the birth of his son William, and subsequently divorced, Townsend adequately covered these via Adrian's introspection. In a sense, the book was set at an appropriate time, being framed during a rather tumultuous time in English history, what with the death of Princess Diana and the rise of the New Labour government. By having these events play in the background, Townsend makes the book more current, allowing the reader to more closely associate with the characters, while allowing Adrian and those he loves to reflect attitudes, fears, and hopes of the English people during this time. Although I agree with previous reviews that had hoped for more character development from Adrian, especially considering the hopeful ending of The Wilderness Years, Adrian has changed in many profound ways, as seen by the relationship he has with his two sons. From these relationships, what one suspects from previous volumes is confirmed: that despite Adrian's delusions of grandeur and sometimes incredibly selfish and anal behavior, he is generally a good, solid, and dependable guy. Great book! I advise all to order it, especially fellow Americans who haven't heard of the Adrian Mole diaries and want to try something different!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another fun read Adrian mole
Published 12 days ago by Teresa Boylan
4.0 out of 5 stars Good!
The coffee stain could have been cleaned off the book but apart from that I'm happy with the book!
Published 1 month ago by Emma
4.0 out of 5 stars Adrian Mole: The Offally Good Years
This is quite a good novel, although there is very little cappuccino drinking in it. I was expecting an aspiring writer spending his spare time in a coffee shop drinking cappuccino... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Samuel Barber
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good condition
My book arrived on time. Arrived with the same condition, very good, as it was described by the seller.Well packed.
Published on 16 Oct 2011 by Laia
1.0 out of 5 stars A sitcom in a book that used to be something deeper.
I love the first two Adrain Mole books. They were a huge comfort to me when I was in secondary school. Read more
Published on 17 Jan 2011 by Elster
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
I was a little disappointed with this book, bought for as a book club exercise, rather than through choice. Read more
Published on 9 May 2010 by J. Staplehurst
3.0 out of 5 stars Nah... less funny
I guess it's ok, but I only laughed out loud max two times - and this is supposed to be the longest book yet. Not nearly as funny as The Wilderness Years and The Small Amphibians.
Published on 30 Sep 2008 by Anders Ek Backman
4.0 out of 5 stars Begining of a New Mole Era
Another excellent Mole book and a worthy addition to the canon of British satire. Mole remains a character who is easily identifiable with, even if he inhabits a pastiche of... Read more
Published on 18 Jan 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great book.
If you are a fan of the Adrian Mole books you have to read this it is about adrian mole aged 30.
A great book and well worth the reed, Also a very funny book :)
Published on 28 Dec 2005 by P. I. Wellman
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cappuccino Years
This is a very good book.
If you have red the past Adrian Mole books you have to read this it is about adrian mole aged 30 1/4.
Can he be a good father? Read more
Published on 6 Feb 2005 by "gavinscotttaylor"
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