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.
on 24 March 2009
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!
on 9 July 2014
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. Criticizing Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher was acquitted of charges, while terrorist attack marked the atmosphere of the entire work. But not only policy found on the menu of this author with sharp tongue. The massive popularity of the Beckhams, obsession with Big Brother and Adrian's thinking about own sexuality are humorous supplements to characters which in these diaries are in a very turbulent relationships. Author ironically speaks about British health care system as well as about the relationship with literary agents with whom Adrian works with.
For a complete failure, a lost cause of lost cases, Adrian, according to the author, is still a good person who believes in the future success of his low quality novels. No matter how critical we are to his decisions and choices, we always go back to him. Some of us, in order that through his failure celebrate our success or diminish own misfortune, others in the hope that our friend from childhood is still waiting for his chance because what Adrian cannot be taken away is his perseverance to unquestioningly believe in his dreams. His passivity to achieve his dreams makes us angry and motivates us to read further, wondering what's in Adrian, but in ourselves, that makes us inconsistent.
That is why we never lose hope in Adrian, blindly hoping that his time will come, because while believing in his success, unconsciously we are cheering for our own.
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.
on 22 January 2009
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.
on 29 July 2011
I realise that this is simply a rehash of the author's Guardian column, but the continuity errors therein are still completely baffling. The children's ages and Ivan's continued existence chief among the offenders, it reads in some places as if the character was stolen and written by a writer with a far lesser comedic touch. I'm not sure the lack of continuity between entries can be explained away solely by the fact she was writing for a column with space between each one - there's considerable space between the 'Secret Diaries' and 'Prostrate Years', is there not?
If the column entries aren't supposed to be canonical, then releasing them as a book was a mistake, for whatever reason - certainly lodging them deep within the canon via inclusion of Adrian's introduction was an error of judgement. And at the end of the day, it's just not hugely funny - the jokes fall flat, the satirical touches are a little too obvious and it's a long way from vintage Townsend. As much as I hate to say it, I think 'Mole' fans should give this one a miss.
The Adrian Mole books are some of the funniest written, and are among the very few that can actually make me laugh out loud. 'The Lost Diaries' is set in between the 'Cappuchino Years' and 'the Weapons of Mass Destruction', Townsend's two most recent novels featuring the Midlands diarist. Adrian is a single father, living on a council estate with his two sons.
All of the familiar elements are there; the endless antics of his irresponsible parents, Adrian's doomed attempts to write fiction, and his unrequited love for Pandora. It's still funny, but not all that fresh and I missed the inventiveness of 'Weapons of Mass Destruction', which managed to find new angles and material as well as the typical Adrian-angst we know and love.
In fact, all of this book seemed to be going over old ground and had a feeling of recycling material from the other books. It still has its laugh out loud moments - Townsend is a great writer and always funny - but it is not in the same league as the past two Adrian Mole books. It's also shorter and the minor characters and subplots suffer for it - with old favourites like Nigel and Rosie getting barely more than a name check. Because it's shorter and less layered than the other novels, there isn't the element of pathos and genuine emotion that the others have.
As usual, Adrian combines the telling of the events of his own life with commentary on current affairs of the period (1999-2001 Britain) and so this will strike a chord with many who will remember these events. Thus it provides plenty of recent-past nostalgia, full of happenings which suddenly seem a surprisingly long time ago - the Millenium dome saga, the petrol crisis, the FMD outbreak.
My favourite character is Glenn, Adrian's long-suffering teenage son, and he provides some of the best comic moments. Most of the other characters don't really get enough page time to make an impact, even Pandora is reduced to a few cameos. Overall, the story comes across as rushed. Some threads seem to disappear without much explanation, others are skipped through in a few pages (for instance, the visit of Adrian's brother Brett, of which much more could be made). This lack of detail can make the story seem less plausible as there is less of the day-to-day ordinariness to balance the rather extraordinary events that Adrian inevitably finds himself caught up in.
All the same, criticism aside, it's still the funniest thing I've read all year and I'd recommend it to anyone who has read and enjoyed the other Adrian Mole books, but with the warning that it's not as good as some of the others.
on 4 March 2009
I love Adrian Mole, however this book isrushed and does not feel like it's been properly thought through, it seems to be something that was shoved together to make a little more cash. It's easy to read and does have some good parts to it but i think once you've read the one after this makes plot holes appear. Not her best one.
on 5 December 2014
I thought I was being a bit fussy when I noticed that Adrian's son, Glenn didn't age at all from the beginning of this book  to the end  - I thought perhaps it was a typo error. So I'm glad other readers have found factual inconsistencies, which are irritating and show a lack of attention to detail. One diary entry [near the end of this book] has Adrian speaking about a woman he finds in his kitchen, referring to her as Sandra and then Tracy within the space of a few lines! Also there are references to William [the youngest son] who is apparently 7 at the start of the book, going to nursery!
It's a quick read and mildly amusing but not more than that.
The seventh book of Mole's totally dysfunctional life and known as the 'lost' set of diaries is actually a series of newspaper columns, and covers his life in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire 1999-2001. Nothing in this pitiable man's life seems to get much better. He started off as a teenager in a downhill direction into the bottomless pit of unhappiness, and continued in that direction ever since with absolutely nothing brightening his horizons or enhancing his lifestyle.
He is a failed poet, failed cable television offal chef, failed husband, a failure at any sort of relationship (other than with his two children) whether it be with his parents, ex and current girlfriends or even his doctor who is convinced Mole is a troublesome hypochondriac, and he is unemployed. There is little good going in his life but still he blunders on getting himself into most absurd situations and predicaments partly spurred on, it seems by his overwhelming delusional obsession with his childhood 'lust' fantasy Pandora Braithwaite, whose mother has just married Moles father and her father has married Mole's mother! Pandora is a high flier in the political world and definitely does not reciprocate Mole's fixation and is dreadfully unpleasant to him.
Sue Townsend has made a tremendous and unique contribution to literary humour worldwide, particularly with her Adrian Mole Diaries which are very well constructed, interesting and very funny. She has the skill of the very best of comedy writers of interweaving into the storyline several diverse 'running' gags.
Whilst an enjoyable read, having read 4 of the previous Mole books, I suppose one becomes a accustomed to the gist of the plots used, characterisation, and the wit of the author, and so the 'wow' factor gets a little diluted. This of course must happen to regular readers and viewers of Harry Potter books and James Bond films, where prolonged series take away some of the edge of the earlier experience. This said, take nothing away from the fact that the pen of Sue Townsend writes some of the very best comedic masterpieces of these, or any other times.
Might there I wonder be a final book, in which happiness and personal fulfilment enter this wretched man's existence which allows him to live in harmony with his family, friends, and the rest of society for the last bit of his life? It would be the perfect and unexpected conclusion to this celebrated series of Sue Townsend books.