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The Lost Diaries of Adrian Mole, 1999-2001 Paperback – 11 Jun 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (11 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141041382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141041384
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 406,847 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


'The diaries are a satire of our times...very funny indeed' The Sunday Times 'Adrian Mole is one of the great comic creations of our time' Scotsman

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 The Published Confessions of a Middle-Aged Woman (Aged 55 ¾) (2001), Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction (2004) and Queen Camilla (2006).

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Jun. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I know that these have been previously published in newspapers. I know that there are continuity errors. I know that some people are not happy about this. I do not care. I love Adrian Albert Mole in much the same way that he loves Pandora Braithwaite and always have. I have grown up with him and he has been a continuous source of joy for me for over twenty years of my life. Any additional material is always welcome.

Townsend's writing still has the ability to make me howl with laughter and I devour the books in a single sitting like a guilty pleasure.

Here Adrian is living in a council estate with his two sons, Glen and William whilst attempting to find a woman who can satisfy him intellectually and not wear blue eye liner. His parents still continue to be an eternal source of shame and his fledgeling novels Sty and Larry Topper languish in the rejected pile.

Plus ca change, plus la meme chose, and thank goodness for that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Milnthorpe on 24 Mar. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Having recently finished True Confessions of Adrian Mole, and giving it a low 3 star, I should say that LOST DIARIES is somewhat better, and I would give it at least 3.5 or 4 stars if I could.
The book is hilarious and as charming as usual, but as with "Confessions", "Weapons of Mass Destruction", and to some extent "Cappuccino Years" it still lacks that biting spark of social realism I felt the original books retained. These latest incarnations mirror some form of BBC sunday night comedy drama, they border on being too weird and unlikely compared to the first few volumes.
I wish she could bring back Pandora, Nigel and his other friends into the story more often as they only make cameo appearances here and there.
Of course, the downside to doing a "catch-up" book like this is that we already know what will and won't work for Adrian!
However, its still wonderfully witty and thoroughly deserves to do well. This is perfect fodder for a rainy day and will no doubt prove to be a cheering experience!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Helpful Advice on 9 July 2014
Format: Paperback
Diaries lost in moving, originally published in The Guardian, and as Adrian said, they were stolen by fraud Sue Townsend, who for a too long time is living like a parasite on his behalf.

What we have, therefore, missed. Infinite hypochondriac Adrian greeted the new millennium obsessed with potential illnesses, fruitless search for his part of cake and immersed in always interesting reflections on life. He entered into the thirties, occasionally employed, eternally dependent on his parents, the father of two sons conceived with different women and still fascinated by Pandora.

Apparently, the situation over the years has not changed too much. However, Adrian's glorious career as a writer is richer for two published cookbooks (which, as we will learn, he has not written). These two works are waiting for another three completely failed attempts of novels that sit in his desk drawer waiting for a rush of inspiration.

On the emotional level, Adrian continues to lose and, despite his undying love for Pandora, he is in an unstable relationship with the social worker Pamela Pigg, who like the entire world successfully revolves Adrian around her little finger. The only thing where he didn’t fail was rising of his distinctive sons.

The specificity of ' The Lost Diaries' as always, lies in the brilliant observation that the author is not afraid to criticize British society wherever she can, as well as her character which, despite many years of companionship and the occasional argument, she does not protect the least. Even in adulthood, Adrian world walk with a draft in his head, seemingly resistant to many failures, and at times completely unaware of them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SilentSinger TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Sept. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Along with a number of my contemporaries, I've grown up with Sue Townsend's creation Adrian Mole and his friends and family, so it's always pleasant to catch on what's been happening with his life. Apparently this book started its life as a newspaper column, which is kind of evident but doesn't really detract from the narrative. This novel follows Adrian through his 'early middle age' years - i.e. he's 33 and living with his teenage son Glenn Bott-Mole and his seven-year-old son from his ill-fated marriage, William on a sink estate in Leicester. Townsend is able to cast a wry eye over the early to middle years of Tony Blair's Government and uses Adrian's pretentiousness and priggish ways as a medium for social comment.

As usual with any Townsend book, there are a couple of hilarious moments which mostly centre about Adrian's naivity more than anything. I'm not sure if I liked the way the author wove herself into the story - I found it a bit distracting to be honest, but each to their own. I didn't find it as satisfying as the 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' book which chronologically follows this volume, but it's still an excellent read if you're a fan of Mole's bizarre world.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Dave Gilmour's cat on 22 Jan. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I think the cricitism here is far too harsh. Yes, it's a shame about the continuity errors, but this IS a work of fiction. What is evident is that Sue Townsend's social/political satire remains spot-on. There are many laugh-out-loud moments. It's not a masterpiece ('Adrian Mole and the Weapons Of Mass Destruction' may well be, however), but it's a worthy addition to the Mole story. As for repeated plotlines, surely that's part of the point: Mole's life seems doomed to repeat itself (i.e. often ending up caring for elderly people, often falling for inappropriate women, taking on bizarre short-lived jobs, and so on). This is where much of the comedy comes from.

My only real criticism is Sue Townsend's annoying trick of inserting herself into the story. This looks like she's trying to be 'clever' for its own sake but it really falls flat. It's pointless and only undermines the brilliant creation that is Adrian Mole. Otherwise, this book is well worth a few happy hours of your life. If you have enjoyed the previous volumes you will like this one, too.
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