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Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years [Paperback]

Sue Townsend
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Dec 2009
Adrian Mole is back – he’s older, no wiser and possibly even funnier than before . . . When we last heard from Adrian, he had fallen in love with Daisy Flowers and they had embarked on a new life with their baby, Gracie. Fast-forward four years and Adrian’s life is in turmoil – again. Living in the Piggeries is far from ideal, middle age is beckoning and the ups and downs of parenthood are still plaguing him. Can Adrian bounce back from yet another existential crisis or is it too late to put things right? Sharp, witty and poignant, this is Sue Townsend at her hilarious best.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd; Open market ed edition (2 Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718154266
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718154264
  • Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 14.8 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,171,599 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 the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Sue Townsend, with The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ (1982) and The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (1984), was Britain’s bestselling author of the 1980s. Her other hugely successful novels include Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction (2004), Queen Camilla (2006) and The Lost Diaries of Adrian Mole 1999–2001 (2008). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny and very sad - a triumph 8 Nov 2009
By BookWorm TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
By Grouse
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly superb 9 Dec 2009
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Joy 28 Sep 2010
Having read the Adrian Mole books many years ago, I came across this by accident. I have to agree with the other reviewers on here who recommend not reading it if you have an early start next day. I read until five in the morning, leaving myself feeling all the "older" next day. If you have grown with Adrian, just buy this book and enjoy. It is sad and funny, much as getting older, and one of my favourite reads of the year.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me laugh and cry in equal measure 7 Jan 2010
What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said? Like many other reviewers I read it in the space of a weekend, utterly impossible to put down as it was. One cannot help but love the geeky "Aidy", and to hear of his battle with "the big c" is so poignant, I found myself moved to tears on more than one occasion. However it was not only his ill health which touched me, but his misfortune in love (again), his dedication as a father and reading about his parents growing old (the same parents we have been reading about for the past 25 years in Mole-time!). And of course his first true love Pandora.

Aside from the above this book is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. Quite often I was asked by an indignant husband "what's so funny?" and when I explained the joke he didn't always appreciate it, having not read any of the other AM books. That's the thing with this character - once you have read one of his diaries, you feel as though you really know him, so that when he comes out with the inevitiable "mole-isms" you cannot prevent a huge grin from spreading across your face. His letters to the PM are particularly hilarious.

No detail has been overlooked, the irony is so very subtle but razor-sharp, and I am already panicking that eventually our hero will have to close his beloved diary for good.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars love reading Adrian mole books as a child just as ...
love reading Adrian mole books as a child just as I remembered good book to read on a long plane journey
Published 5 days ago by Welsh Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatt
I loved this book it was very funny and i loved it and it was very funny. I liked adrian mole the most
Published 1 month ago by Cassie
5.0 out of 5 stars Last but not least!
I was sad this was the last book. Adrian is now older and has some health issues they are handled sensitively and there are lots of funny parts. Well worth the read.
Published 1 month ago by Joanne kaye
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I was recommended this book and wasn't disappointed. Would recommend it as a good read
Published 1 month ago by Maria Greeley
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab!
Published 1 month ago by Joy
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Loved by my nephew
Published 1 month ago by Joanna Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Such an acute observation on life.
Published 1 month ago by Jane Walby
A poignant book, not just for the aspects of Adrian Mole dealing with prostrate cancer, but also that Sue Townsend has now died, and that there will be no further insights into... Read more
Published 1 month ago by bibliophile
4.0 out of 5 stars MUST HAVE!!!
Published 2 months ago by PG
5.0 out of 5 stars The prostrate Years
A good follow up, I have been with Adrian though his life and felt right to accompany him through this era.
Published 4 months ago by Ken
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