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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading
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...
Published on 17 Aug 2012 by John C

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3.0 out of 5 stars 23 going on 14.
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...
Published 4 months ago by Richard Johnson


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3.0 out of 5 stars 23 going on 14., 16 Aug 2014
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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). Maybe he does have a developmental disorder that I don't know about because I skipped the second book. If either turns out to be true I'll revise this review. Right now I'd say that if you want a really funny and insightful take on young male personalities then read pretty much anything by Nick Hornby instead, particularly Slam, A Long Way Down and High Fidelity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Now he's somewhat older his character seems less funny and more like someone with social awkwardness or aspergers, 20 Aug 2014
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading, 17 Aug 2012
By 
John C (Spalding, Lincolnshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years (Adrian Mole 4) (Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 11 Dec 2011
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Ian Kelly "ian24287" (North West England) - See all my reviews
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Adrian Mole:The Wilderness Years, 29 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years (Adrian Mole 4) (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book but missing what happen after the second book and before the fourth book, 20 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years (Adrian Mole 4) (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!, 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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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 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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5.0 out of 5 stars The very best of Adrian Mole, 9 Nov 2013
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This is a book that will keep you laughing from cover to cover and Adrian is the character that I have grown up with, some great cringe moments.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 29 Sep 2013
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As always, Sue Townsend has written another hit for Adrian Mole. Well written and very funny - the sort of book you can pick up and put down anytime.
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Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years (Adrian Mole 4)
Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years (Adrian Mole 4) by Sue Townsend (Paperback - 19 Jan 2012)
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