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Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years Paperback – 5 Aug 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (5 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141034734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141034737
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 335,096 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


Thank heavens for Sue Townsend ... she has an unrivalled claim to be this country's foremost practising comic novelist. --The Mail on Sunday

Adrian Mole really is a brilliant comic creation. --The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Sue Townsend is one of Britain's bestselling authors. Her hugely successful novels include eight Adrian Mole books, Queen Camilla, The Public Confessions of a Middle-Aged Woman (Aged 55 ¾) and Number Ten. She is also a well-known playwright. Sue lives with her husband in Leicester.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Sue Townsend proves yet again that she is one of the funniest novelists writing today. The latest installment in the Adrian Mole series sees our protagonist nearing the age of 40, living with his wife and daughter, and suffering not only from his ever-dysfunctional familiy, but also from prostate cancer. Despite the awfulness of his disease - which Townsend in no way plays down - the book is still laugh-out-loud funny throughout. I can't think of any other writer who combines heart-wrenching pathos with genuine humour so effectively. Somehow, the sadness makes the funny bits funnier, and the humour makes the tragedy all the more painfully real to the reader.

Adrian is still very much the same person as the teenager Townsend first introduced many years ago. Many of the other old favourite characters are there too - older, but not necessarily wiser. There is Pandora, Labour MP and still the secret love of Adrian's life; his parents, George and Pauline, now elderly but still keen to appear on the Jeremy Kyle show; Adrian's unlikely best friend Nigel - gay, blind, living with his guide dog and civil partner; and of course Glenn, Adrian's eldest son, currently fighting in Afghanistan. Others, however, are notable by their absence; the Braithwaite parents and Barry Kent don't get more than a mention.

There are plenty of the usual satirical side-swipes at modern society which make you both laugh and wince. Townsend cleverly incorporates many of the newsworthy events from 2007 and 2008 without it ever seeming forced - from the collapse of Icesave and Woolworths to MP's expenses and post office closures. Townsend has a gift for capturing the spirit of an age and using real-life events in her books in a realistic way.
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Format: Hardcover
Another extremely funny, extremely touching installment of the Mole saga, which continues to build into something utterly magnificent. The subtle but deadly accurate social/political satire remains spot on, as Mole enters the era of the credit crunch and increasing global uncertainty. (At least Woolworths will always be with us, he muses at one point.) The characters just get stronger and stronger. I wondered if Sue Townsend could write anything as wonderful as Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction, but she has done so here. Her comic abilities continue to mature as Mole grows older and (slightly) wiser. It's so good that you have to force yourself not to read it in one sitting.

The ending is left wide open. Is it too much to hope for another volume?
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Format: Hardcover
I opened the package containing this book less than 24 hours ago and have just finished it. Despite work the next day, I found myself still reading at two this morning! What is it about the Adrian Mole books that are so absorbing? The sagas of his family and friends are both hilarious and emotional and it is fascinating to see some of the minor characters last heard from years ago as children reappearing as adults. The books also map out the major events of the last 3 decades and capture the zeit-geist of the different eras: the 80s, 90s and now the Noughties.

I don't wish to give a summary of this book here - suffice it to say, the trials and tribulations of 2007/2008 are all mentioned and it looks as though poor old Adrian gets the short straw once again.

Will our hero (I think anti-hero is a bit unfair) now forty, ever write something someone actually wants to publish, find someone to share his life with who isn't going to abandon him and stand up to the various "friends", relatives and petty officials who make his life a misery? Will his parents ever grow up or remain teenagers in pensioners bodies?

It's a pity I read this so fast because I'll have to wait another 4 years until the next instalment comes out. That's assuming Sue Townsend is planning on one. If she isn't she's left one almighty cliff-hanger ending!
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Format: Hardcover

Ive been an avid avid reader of Mr Mole's exploits for many many years, I still remember the first time I picked up The Growing Pains Of... and began reading thinking...Is This Lad For Real?!! I love Adrian Mole, long story short he's just such a fabulously irratable yet endearing character whose views and obbsessions captivated us all. I mean I had no real clue about any of the earlier books social settings and themes but despite that I could still read and enjoy it for what it was.

The Prostate Years though. More woeful than any of the other books to date, even the drearily titled The Wilderness Years has more happiness to offer than this does. Problems arise just from about anywhere and everywhere given the opportunity to flourish, which they do indeed, watered with the food of discontent. But still you stick by him (even if his estranged wives cannot),and you still love him and want him to do right by himself just for once. The best thing I find about Adrain Mole as a character is you wait fror the next book to come out and its like an old friend is coming to visit, hes just so human for a paper bound book of ink and imagination.

If your a fan I'd definately recommend this, but if you are buying it because you've never heard of either the author or character before Id suggest reading the older ones first and working your way towards this one. And thats not to say you couldnt appreciate it for what it is, but honestly its totally worth the effort. The feeling I got when you read this one to end is incredible. Not for a long time have I read a book to the end and actually CHEERED when I read the last line. It kept me up from 11:30 pm till 8:30am!!!
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