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Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years Paperback – 4 Jul 1994


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Product details

  • Paperback: 277 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd; New edition edition (4 July 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749316837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749316839
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.9 x 11.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 897,123 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

Review

A classic. The Adrian Mole diaries are thoroughly subversive. A true hero for our time (Richard Ingrams)

Enormously funny (Sunday Telegraph)

Adrian Mole really is a brilliant comic creation (The Times) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Sue Townsend became Britain's bestselling author of the 1980s with her books THE SECRET DIARY OF ADRIAN MOLE AGED 13 3/4 and THE GROWING PAINS OF ADRIAN MOLE. She is the author of seven other novels, including THE QUEEN AND I and GHOST CHILDREN, andmost recently her collected journalism, THE PUBLIC CONFESSIONS OF A MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN (AGED 55 3/4), was published in 2001. She is also well known as a playwright, and lives in Leicester. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
I start the year with a throbbing head and shaking limbs, owing to the excessive amounts of alcohol I was forced to drink at my mother's party last night. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm 1/3 of the way in. I'll likely read the rest, but I'm not eager to do so. I read the first book and, of course, really enjoyed it. I expected this book to be in the same style, but with Townsend's insights this time around on the shortcomings of a certain sort of geeky, ineffectual, neurotic 23-year-old. You get the former, but not the latter: it's absolutely the same style but she writes Mole as if he's still thirteen years old, and it's more jarring than funny.

Mole's vocabulary is larger and he deals with adult situations but, crucially, he still writes bad poetry (somewhat normal for a 23-year-old) but expects that poetry to win back Pandora, despite her obvious contempt for him (normal for a 13-year-old but not for a guy in his twenties). The poetry and the novel he's writing are also arguably much too poor given how clear his diary entries are: they're closer to what you'd expect of a 16-year-old. His relationships with others and his world views suffer the same weird excessive immaturity. This diary reads more like living with a developmental disorder than a personality failing.

The lack of self-awareness and concern for others should still be present and can still be funny, but there's a massive difference between a graduate's egocentricity and naivety and a child's.

It still has funny moments, particularly when Townsend does get some neuroses right for his age (Mole's anxiety over having done nothing with his life and his frustration with menial work and a lack of sex, for example) but from what I've read so far she just didn't quite nail male immaturity in the twenties like she did for the early teens.

Maybe the rest of the book will turn that around (but I don't see how).
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I remember the initial books with fondness and the teenage angsts that Adrian wrote about seemed quite apt. Now he's somewhat older his character seems less funny and more like someone with social awkwardness or aspergers. I think I may have been a teenager when I read the inital books so maybe my humour has changed as I didn't 'get' it with this book. I did read it to the end but felt somewhat cringy whilst doing so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John C on 17 Aug 2012
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After the departure in book 3, Sue Townsend makes a welcome return to the diary format for this period in Adrian's life. In the first half of the book, I found myself losing patience with the poor child but he quickly comes of age and redeems himself with the help of a good woman. With the loss of innocence the gentle humour of the first two books is not quite so apparent but Ms. Townsend continues to treat her hero with natural tenderness as he navigates the vagaries of life. It is twenty odd years since I read the Secret Diary and I was well rewarded by reacquainting myself with Adrian's thoughts and tribulations. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ian Kelly on 11 Dec 2011
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Great sharp wit as always. Sue has done us proud again with this insightful and funny look at this tragic lad's life. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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I am a big fan of Sue Townsend, having read most of her books. This book is as good as the others in the series and had me laughing out loud.
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I understand the fourth book story line is different as they talk about a different Adrian...... not sure have not read it but the reviews was not good for book 3. This book is excellent Adrian is out of school and living the adult life and so on......
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By SBond on 7 Jun 2014
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Another hilarious book in the Adrian Mole series. This book reverts to the diary format of books one and two. If you've battled through book three and are in two minds over purchasing the fourth, go for it. You will not be disappointed.
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By irene on 15 Dec 2013
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very good read especially for holidays. Pick it up and put it down laughing all the time would recommend it
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