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The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole Paperback – 31 Oct 2002

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The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole + The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 + True Confessions of Adrian Mole, Margaret Hilda Roberts and Susan Lilian Townsend (Adrian Mole 3)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (31 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141315970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141315973
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,549 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 troubled the life of Adrian Mole continues in this hilarious and touching sequel to The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 133/4. His diary - and his relationship with Pandora - continue to fascinate and entertain.

About the Author

Sue Townsend with THE SECRET DIARY OF ADRIAN MOLE AGED 13 3/4 and THE GROWING PAINS OF ADRIAN MOLE was Britain's bestselling author of the 1980's and her success continues with the recent publication of ADRIAN MOLE: THE CAPPUCCINO YEARS. Sue is alsowell-known as a playwright. She lives in Leicester.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A reader on 21 July 2003
Format: Paperback
I first read this book, and it's predecessor The Secret Diary of..., when I started High School (1986 sshhh..!).Having just re-read them both over the last 2 weeks, I was delighted to find that they are as hysterical as ever!
Growing Pains starts where Secret Diary leaves off and it retains the pace of the first instalment. The Diary factor makes the book very easy to read and you will find yourself laughing out loud at/with Adrian as he makes his way as an'intellectual' teenager in an adult world that he actually understands very little about.
The resident love of his life, Pandora, is still present in Growing pains, as are Bert Baxter and Sabre, his Gran, Mr Lucas, Stick Insect, Barry Kent and best mate, Nigel.
Don't let the early 80's setting put you off. I think the book is all the better for it and love the old references to Abba, Street Parties and legwarmers.
This book is a classic!!! Buy it immediately!!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Craobh Rua VINE VOICE on 27 Feb 2007
Format: Paperback
It's 1982 : Margaret Thatcher is Prime-Minister and Britain is at war with Argentina over a couple of sheep-infested islands in the South Atlantic. Meanwhile, the second instalment of the Mole Diaries is being written by a spotty, fifteen year old intellectual from Leicester.

Adrian proves to be a slightly different character in this book - I suppose he's actually grown up a little. He still has a pretentious streak, he continues to be a touch insensitive at times, he doesn't always see the blindingly obvious and he still (mistakenly) sees himself as an intellectual. However, sometimes, he gets the point all too well and delivers a well-penned (not to mention a well-deserved) kick in the arse. "The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole" covers a traumatic period for Adrian : his O-Levels and CSEs are looming while the significant fallout from his parents affairs have to be dealt with. He's still in love with Pandora, though the path of true love has a few tumbles in store for our spotty Lothario. (He's very keen to see a bit more loving, though he'd happily settle for a glimpse of nipple. Pandora, on the other hand, isn't in quite such a rush). The young couple still help Bert Baxter (a war veteran in his eighties) and Queenie (Bert's recently acquired second wife). Despite Bert's hobbies - drinking, smoking and communism - Bert appears to be one of the closest friends Adrian has. Adrian still has the problem of Barry Kent, the school bully : however, some very surprising progress is made over the course of the year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Graceann Macleod on 3 Jun 2009
Format: Hardcover
After reading the first book in this series, I proceeded to buy all of the others and I'm reading through them (I won't say "working my way through them" because reading Sue Townsend cannot be described as "work"). That a woman well into her adult years has channeled the angst of a teenage boy fairly screams of chutzpah - that she does it so believably and humorously is nothing short of a miracle.

Adrian Mole is in the wrong place at the wrong time. His parents are in financial trouble; Margaret Thatcher is ruling the country with an iron fist; he is madly in love; he has spots. Adrian is an astoundingly naive teenager, but also kind and loving in ways that are surprising. He takes care of his elderly friends Bert and Queenie with a tenderness that belies his occasional selfish behavior. At one point in the book, he writes a poem about Queenie, and it moved me to tears.

Make no mistake, however. This novel is riotously funny.

Reference: "I lay back listlessly on the pillows and let him feel my pulse, etc. He muttered 'Bloody Camille,' as he left the room. Perhaps Camille is a drug that he's thinking of using on me." (an excellent example of the naivete, as well as the humor)

I read several passages out loud to my husband, and because I am not a native-born Brit, there were some referenced he had to explain to me. All of Adrian's experiences take place against a backdrop of Prince William's birth, the Falklands War, the Thatcher administration and the ramp-up of fears over nuclear war. I remember very well being worried about these things (I was about Adrian's age at the time they were happening) and I also remember how much of my day I spent worrying about things I couldn't control. Sue Townsend manages the reality of this feeling masterfully.

I can't wait to move on to the True Confessions of Adrian Mole.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Feb 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
I find this book so enjoyable to read because of the way that Sue Townsend manipulates the sentances to her own way of life. Adrians life seems a mere comedy act but is really based on a true story. The main characters are Adrian, Pandora (girlfriend) and Nigel ( best friend ). It is very enjoyable and should be bought by anyone 11+ because of the hard English that is contained in the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hardeep on 30 Dec 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sue Townsend's inimitable character, Adrian Mole, again provided me with much amusement. This is his diary circa 1982, 1983. It's wonderful to see the early nineteen eighties through the angst ridden eyes of the neglected tortured soul that is the eponymous Adrian. Okay so, he is not in actuality "a tortured soul", but Sue Townsend's brilliant portrayal of Adrian Mole's overreactions, mixed in with his literary intellect, innocence, inexplicable recesses in knowledge, and accidental humour make for another fantastic read. I simply love how unique and original the Adrian Mole diaries are. I have given it a four rather than a five because I thought the first diary was slightly better. It is still a fantastic read and I would certainly recommend it.
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