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4.6 out of 5 stars441
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As I haven't personally read this book, I must defer to my daughter, who is nearly 12 years old. This is what she had to say about it:-

"Adrian is a typical teenage boy and has many worries in his life, such as spots, girls, parents and what he should be when he grows up. A vet? A poet? At the moment he is trying to be a poet and sends many poems to a gentleman who works for the BBC, as well as to his girlfriend Pandora. His parents have recently split up, Adrian's mother having had an adulterous affair with the next-door-neighbour. Adrian now lives with his father, and is the only child. Devastated, Adrian has to survive with a dad who smokes a lot and stays in bed a lot because he is unemployed. He also has to come to terms with his dad having a girlfriend, who's very thin. On top of all this Adrian joins a club called the Good Samaritans and as a result has to look after an elderly man called Bert Baxter, cleaning his house and buying newspapers. He'd expected it to be interesting, listening to war stories and so on, but it turns out to be hard work. Overall Adrian's life is busy and stressful, and I wouldn't want to be in his shoes - he has to put up with Mr Baxter, he's forced to give his pocket money to a school bully, he has problems at home with his family, and he gets tonsilitus which leads him to hospital.

"I think this book is really good, it's funny from beginning to end and it made me smile a lot. Maybe I laughed a few times too, I can't remember. I felt sorry for Adrian but his diary is so funny and I would recommend it to my friends and anyone of my age."

This book is as suitable to children today as it was 30 years ago. It doesn't seem at all 'dated' and it's clear that my daughter enjoyed reading it.
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VINE VOICEon 15 December 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As can be gleaned from the title, this is one of my favourite books ever.

It's laugh out loud funny, and I have done on many occasion to odd looks from my wife.

Adrian Mole was a teenage hero of mine and I read the book dozens of times in the 80's, it's so realistic and true to life and did represent some of the issues that I went through at that age. I could relate to it because I was roughly the same age and came from the same background as Adrian did. It rang a bell with me.

Now I look back on it with fondness and nostalgia and the good thing is my own kids have read it and claim it's on par with Harry Potter, great praise indeed.

Sue Townsend writing style is concise and free flowing and thought provoking, she has the good habit of being able to entertain in a funny while at the same time being to address serious issues to a teenager.

The new edition of the book is very attractive with nice gold lettering and printed on recycled paper, something of which I heartily approve of.

Next year is the thirtieth anniversary of this fabulous book and there is going to be a special commemorative volume to celebrate. I will be getting that but I'll keep this version of it for my twice yearly reading of the book as my original has all but disintegrated.

One of the classics of British literature and no bookshelf is complete without it. Fantastic.
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on 25 January 2001
I was 12 3/4 when I first read this book, soon after it was first published. I wondered what all the fuss was about as I didn't find it funny at all. That's because I was just as naive as Adrian Mole. A couple of years later I read it again and found it much funnier. Then, a couple of years later, funnier still. Adults growing up in the eighties will love this for the references (Falklands, Thatcher, Hitler diaries etc) but the teenage angst is timeless. My original is now much dog-eared, selotaped and, yes, loved. Buy the Growing Pains as well, it is equally as good. I must go now and update my Norwegian Leather Industry chart...
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on 25 November 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I must have been about 9 or 10 when I first read the Adrian Mole books - more than 25 years ago! I remember at the time what a fun book it was, and how very easy it was to read, though I suspect, reading it again now, that I was probably a bit young and much of the content went over my head.

Fast forward to 2011 and I feel like I'm reliving that period of my childhood all over again, starting with the inside cover, which features the lovely original artwork of the book published all those years ago.

The references to popular culture at the time may no longer be of interest to today's young readers, but the quality and humour of the writing is still as good now as it was then.

This 30th Anniversary edition has rekindled my lost love of these books, and I shall certainly be purchasing the rest in the series to complete the journey!
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VINE VOICEon 23 December 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I first read this when it was published and it made a great impression on me. Rereading it almost 30 years later I found that whole tracts of it were logged in my memory. Set in 1981, it shows us the world from Adrian's perspective. He's 13, pretentious, immature and a hypochondriac. We see things that he doesn't, for example the trials and tribulations of his parents' marriage because he tells us what they say and what happens without understanding himself.

It's a easy read and not demanding, but today it's a wonderful evocation of life in the early 80s, when nothing happened on Sundays and being 13 made everything seem so serious.

I'll definitely get the sequels again.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having owned a copy of this book with the original cover; Noddy toothbrush next to the shaving brush and razor, I jumped at a chance to revisit such an old friend. This grown up 30th edition cover has the original printed on the reverse. It is hard to believe now that parents were unsure whether Adrian Mole was a suitable reading material for 13 year old girls but maybe that's because parents are now more realistic about the lives their children live than they were in the 1980s.

The diary format lends itself to comedy but Sue Townsend manages to make nearly every one of these entries funny 'I think Nigel will be ill soon from the shock of the cold in England. I think Nigel's parents were wrong to take him abroad' Nigel got a racing bike for Christmas 'It's wasted on Nigel' is Adrian Moles conclusion.

This is an affectionate look at the life of a teenage boy who has a lot to deal with including the breakdown of his parents marriage and his love of the unobtainable Pandora. Although firmly set in the 80's with the Royal Wedding getting an extra long entry (until the next day when Adrian writes 'I have seen the Royal Wedding repeats seven times on television' and the following day 'Sick to death of the Royal Wedding') it is still relevant to teenagers today. The gadgets we have may have changed but the way humans behave and think remains the same.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
"I think I'm turning into an intellectual. It must be all the worry."

As funny now as it was thirty years ago, the diary reveals its young writer's woes. No wonder spots plague! Parents seemingly on the brink of divorce, both determined the other has custody of him. Beloved Pandora not as forthcoming as he would wish. School bully Barry Kent demanding protection money. Old Bert Baxter (a Samaritan project in order to get out of Maths) smelly and disgusting, his dog an additional hazard.

"Just my luck!"

Should we feel guilty at laughing so much? It is hard to do otherwise. The book is a joy, all the way through, delights to be found on virtually every page. After "Animal Farm" Adrian declares, "I shall treat pigs with the contempt they deserve." He will persevere with Iris Murdoch, hoping to understand more than one word in ten, success meaning he will truly be lifted above the common herd.

Entries tell of Thatcher, Charles and Diana marrying, the Falklands War (its outbreak eclipsed by a personal hilarious mishap). It is, though, the daily awkwardnesses that dominate - little things like Adrian having his tonsils out, father visiting him in hospital bearing crisps.

Yes, just his luck - but what a treat for readers! Instantly hailed as a comic classic, the diary still greatly entertains. Warmly recommended.
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on 14 November 2012
I am a pupil in year 8 at school.

I have read the secret diary of Adrian Mole 13 3/4 and really enjoyed it.

It is a diary of a teenage boy named Adrian. It is painfully honest and packed with humour. He describes himself as a 'misunderstood intellectual' as he goes through the ups and downs of a tennage boy. This book is very funny and I would recommend it to a friend. It is suitable for young teenage readers who will thouroughly enjoy it. My rating is 3 1/2 stars because this book is very funny and good to read!
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on 25 February 2003
this book is amazing! when i first resd it late at night i literaly couldnt put it down. i read book one and book two in one night, that is how addictive it is.
the main story is getting to know adrian and his likes and disslikes, his bad attempts to write a good poem and his love with pandora who is the focal point of this book.
he has a dissfunctional family and he is the carer for an o.a.p, bert baxter and his dog sabre.
i would recomend this book to anyone who has a sense of humour
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on 10 March 2003
This novel is a very simple idea. 13 year old Adrian starts his diary on January 1st in the early 80's. He writes an entry every day for nearly two years. He reflects on his school, his unrequited love (Pandora Baithwaite), and his parents (including his hilariously awful feminist mother). Adrian decides that he is an "undiscovered intellectual" and tries desperately to improve his brain by reading as many books as he can. He usually misses the point in all the books he reads but is confident about his wrong assertions. Here lies the some of the humour - we see the world through Adrian's eyes and we can understand what is really going on between his mother and Mr "Creep" Lucus, and also the symbolism of the worthy books he reads like Animal Farm. But Adrian doesn't quite understand it all yet.
This book is also hugely touching. We always understand and feel for Adrian's emotional problems and the physical changes he goes through. Adrian is like any other teenager - he has spots and he reads pornography. This book is very effective at communicating the confusion that adolescence can often be. It's even more amazing when you consider that the author is a middle-aged woman. You feel so sorry for Adrian when his parents argue or when he is bullied, but the next laugh is always just round the corner. I first read this wonderful little novel when I was actually about 13 and three quarters old. At the time I thought it was an interesting and perceptive read but not in the least bit funny. I made the same mistakes Adrian did having not read Animal Farm or really lived yet. Rereading it a few years later I finally saw the humour and I realised it was actually hilarious.
Don't be put off by the 1980's setting of the book. The references to the Royal Wedding, Abba, Punks, Margaret Thatcher and Toyah Willcox may be confusing to some younger readers. However teenagers will always be teenagers, and all the ideas and feelings are still valid. It makes you realise how little things change. The Sun, bad city schools, spots, school plays and Marmite are all part of everyday British life and will probably always be with us. One thing I would say is that there are so many references to uniquely British objects in this book that overseas readers might get confused. There are numerous references to PE shorts, Marmite, Spotted Dick, the PDSA, the Sunday Mirror and so on. (I seem to remember that a later volume of the Mole diaries even mentions this when Adrian lends his dairy to his America Pen Pal.)
I would recommend this book to anyone. The diary format makes it very easy to read, but there is also a great deal of depth and thought to the book. There are so many memorable and funny characters in this book: Deeply Conservative headmaster "pop eye" Scrunton in his hairy green suit. The tough but loving old Grandma. Mr and Mrs Singh and all the little Singhs who live down the Road. John Tydeman at the BBC who rejects Adrian's poems. Bullying skinhead Barry Kent and his gang drunk on two cans of Tartan bitter at the youth club disco. There are also so many great moments. The book is sensitive but also deeply funny. When you finish this book you'll want to read the other volumes of Adrian's Diary. None are quite as good as this one (although "Growing Pains" comes very close). Read this book now. It's thoroughly enjoyable.
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