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55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another hilarious episode in the Mole saga
The latest episode in the Adrian Mole story has arrived, and it is amazing how Sue Townsend manages to keep the story fresh and hilariously funny. This is not a book to read on a train or other public venue and I for one found myself laughing aloud and giggling with amusement as the twists and turns of this diary unfold. Mole's potential for disaster and embarrassment...
Published on 13 Nov 2004 by A Common Reader

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A return to form for Adrian Mole...
This is a definite return to form for Sue Townsend after the disappointing Cappuccino Years of 1999. Like the magnificent Wilderness Years volume, published in 1993, this book gives us Adrian Mole as rather irritating, naïve character, yet one who is heading towards an escape from his self-obsessed, parochial life. Whilst much in the book fails to ring true (the...
Published on 2 Aug 2006 by Matthew Mercy


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55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another hilarious episode in the Mole saga, 13 Nov 2004
By 
A Common Reader "Committed to reading" (Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
The latest episode in the Adrian Mole story has arrived, and it is amazing how Sue Townsend manages to keep the story fresh and hilariously funny. This is not a book to read on a train or other public venue and I for one found myself laughing aloud and giggling with amusement as the twists and turns of this diary unfold. Mole's potential for disaster and embarrassment continue unabated and the whole sage of his engagement to the awful Marigold plays out throughout the book.
Alongside Adrian's story we also catch up with his children and his parents, and of course the lovely Pandora, now a junior government Minister. These books are nothing if not topical and reading it is also a political history of the last two years, as Tony Blair stumbles deeper into the morass of Iraq, stretching the loyalty even of Adrian and ultimately Pandora. Other contemporary themes occuring in the book include the property improvement fad, credit card debt, the impact of ethnic cultures on the face of Britain and the animal rights movement.
There are some wonderful new characters in the book too - Adrian's employer, Marigold's sister, and of course the awful potential-father in-law Mr Flowers. While Sue Townsend of course encourages to laugh at Adrian's escapades, she also manages to make us sympathise with him and to identify with some of the problems he experiences. A wonderfully warm and human book, very easy to read, and well worth catching up with.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bittersweet, moving and funny., 11 Oct 2005
This latest instalment in the Mole series is probably the most absorbing, touching and bittersweet of them all. There are a number of various themes running through the book including debt, trust in politicians, dealing with incompetent and bullying authorities, and aging parents. However, the main purpose of this book seems to be a vehicle for anti-Iraq war sentiments, which is where my only (and very mild) criticism arises. The arguments, made subtly and not so subtly, are obviously made with the benefit of hindsight. Adrian is made to look something of a fool for supporting the war, but he was certainly not in the (more vocal) minority at that time (2002/3).
As ever, there are some hilarious moments that make you laugh out loud, but a few more moments of despair and sadness. The unrealistic adventures of Pandora and Barry Kent thankfully take a back seat in this diary, but there are some new and strange characters for Adrian to deal with. And at 450+ pages, there is plenty to get your teeth into.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So brilliant: a noble swan of naivety on a muddy pond, 29 Sep 2007
By 
Is it the last volume of the Adrian Mole saga? Of course not. I doubt it very much. There is no end to a good recipe, a ratatouille or a beef and kidney pie. But we'll see. This volume is extremely interesting. For our Adrian Mole is still Adrian Mole. He is naïve and he is sending to us a very simple-minded vision of the world that is absolutely disarming - a must with the title we know - in naivety and vanity. This vain naivety or naïve vanity is his trademark and it is marvelously refreshing. It could probably not break a man's arm, but it can break, even smash, a man's despair. And this here volume is still a perfect example, at the age of 35, nearly middle-aged, of this entertaining village philosopher from Leicester. The book is also fascinating because we are in 2002-2004 and the central problem is the war on Iraq and Blair's support, till the day when he acknowledges there were no WMDs. The political question is systematically shown through the opinions of various people. Adrian is pro-Blair and he supports his own son when he is sent to Iraq, though he is frightened by the prospect of his son's death for and with no cause, and actually the son's best friend is killed by shrapnel. Pandora is against the war and she resigns from Blair's government. And between the two we find all kinds of shades. The dramatic dimension of the problem is strong because of the son's position in the armed forces. At the same time the book criticizes all kinds pf shortcomings of Blair's policy and of capitalistic greed. Adrian and his father are confronted to the National Health Service, and Adrian is suddenly thrown into bankruptcy by greedy banks and various store- or credit-card providers as well as by his vain desire to live over his means. The book is also fascinating because of the love life or rather non-love and/versus love lives of Adrian. He finds himself trapped by a false pregnancy and ends with a real third child born in love. Finally the book is fascinating because of the numerous vignettes it provides on various characters and situations: the independent bookseller, the local would-be or wanna-be writer, the protection of Her Majesty's swans, the Koran, Chinese restaurants, baby-boomers, vegetarian or bio-friendly people, etc... There you feel a high level of irony, humor, sarcasm, and that is so English, so brilliantly English.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mole Forever, 13 Oct 2004
This book is the best yet , the character of Adrian Mole makes you laugh,cry,angry,sad.Sue Townsend has definately done it agin.She weaves the rich tapestry of adrians life around him like a warm coat in winter.
From the madness of adrian's girlfriend marigold to the experinces of glen bott (now in the army).The story about Nigels eyesight is prophetic and funny at the same time.I read this book in 3 days , i just could not put it down.I'm starting it again now.
Buy it,Steal it,Beg it..Just read it.
Thanks Sue..This book will be always cherished.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Classic, 9 Feb 2006
Rumoured to be the last Adrian Mole book, this is also the best.
From the surreal departure of The Cappucino Years, Adrian is just about where we would expect him to be: in Leicester, working in a bookshop, and going nowhere very quickly. Having picked celebrity culture and multi-culturalism as her themes for his previous diary, Townsend chooses the credit spiral and the Gulf War as her focus for this one. Whilst her agenda pertaining to the war is thinly veiled, the manner in which she addresses it is both intelligent and profoundly moving.
Adrian himself is very much recognisable as the character from the earlier diaries - though his trademark delusional aspirations have begun to be wearied by age. He maintains a child like faith in authority, and an inability to adequately deal with the burden of responsibility of adult life, but is somehow changing.
There is a craft at work in The Weapons of Mass Destruction, and a lightness of touch, that is a notch above the previous diaries. Townsend has always shown herself to be a very good writer of popular fiction, in this tome she proves herself to be a great one. The characters are at once beautifully rendered and endlessly complex, and there is a linguistic dexterity at work which is amongst the best of her peers. Whereas there has been a sense in the past that Townsend has mocked her anti-hero, there is a clear feeling here that she's learned to love him - and give him more respect. To this end, she also affords him a more creditable relationship with his life-long peers - notably Pandora and Nigel - suggesting plausible relationships, based on shared history and a true, hidden fondness. Where Pandora had drifted overtly towards parody in Cappucino Years, she has regained some of her warmth and humanity, sharing some genuinely affecting scenes with Adrian.
There is the usual humour in this novel, but there are also moments of genuine pathos - with little corners of genuinely beautiful writing. Adrian's faith in Tony Blair and the WMD of the title is as heartbreaking as it is frustrating, and his eventual capitulation to the knowledge to which hindsight has made us all privelege, is brilliantly done.
If this is to be the final diary, it is a fitting epilogue. Within its pages, finally at the age of 35 (with two children) Adrian loses his innocence. The manner in which he comes to do so is the real coup de gras, and is what lifts this novel above its aspirations to make it something really rather special.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best one ever?, 8 Oct 2004
The new Adrian Mole book is - perhaps surprisingly - quite excellent. Having turned 34, the teenage insecurities he is so well-known for are now far behind...or?
I think Sue Townshend has managed to keep the storyline going very well through the changing times (The series now comprises Adrian's life through 20 years, meticulously recorded day by day), and this book introduces a whole new cast of side characters, as well as some familiar old faces. This book is much better than the recent ones - it's funny, touching, sad and toe-curling at the same time.
Definitely recommended - though you'll undoubtedly enjoy it more if you have read at least some of the previous books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Mole, 12 Sep 2005
By 
Mr. Ad Pearson "adam_pearson_cowes" (Isle of Wight) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Where do I start? I have read all of the Adrian Mole books and enjoyed them thouroughly. This book exceeds them in craft by a long way. Brilliant is not too strong a word for it. I was so disappointed when the book ended even though the story ended in a logical way. It was an utter joy from start to finish. Mole, though now in his late thirties, is just as gullible as ever. It struck me that Sue Townsend was able to poke fun at her own blindness by making Mole's best friend Nigel, blind. The diary format of novel is so easy to read and a story that is easy to read is the best kind. My own novel is written in this format for that very reason. Buy 'Mass Destruction' and you will want to read all of Sue's books.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jolly good read, 20 May 2006
I read this book while on holiday and I couldn't put it down. One of the funniest books I have read in a long while. A truly enjoyable read and very well written. It was funny, moving and poignant.

If you want a book that will make the train/tube/bus journey that little bit more bearable when travelling to and from work, this is the book to read.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Happy people don't keep a diary", 6 Nov 2004
By 
Michael Daventry (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I wouldn't say "Adrian Mole and the WMD" is the best in the series yet, because they are all fantastically written novels; I'm sure future sequels will not disappoint.
In WMD, Adrian is face-to-face with the stressful issues of the modern day, be they credit card debt, terrorism or political correctness. His children are in far-flung countries and his parents have sold their house and moved to rebuild their lives, while he himself battles with a flock of beastly swans and a talking fridge. It's a beautifully-written novel, leaving you laughing out loud and saying to yourself "let me stay up an extra half-hour and find out how he gets out of this one".
It strikes me that one of the many secrets behind the success of the Mole series is that he has become increasingly detached from the character of Pandora. Crucially, she's not gone completely; there are several instances of continuity connections with the past. Is it any wonder how it easy it is for us to visualise Adrian Mole in real life?
Hats off to Sue Townsend - I was gripped, reading it in two days, nearly without putting it down. Buy it now.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Idealistic and Put upon!, 14 Oct 2004
By 
A. Still "aliceestill" (Biggleswade, BEDS) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Sue Townsend's chronicles of the life of one A.A. Mole just keep getting better and better. After all that has happened to him over the years, one can't help but hope that maybe things will finally right themselves and that Adrian will live happily, if not ever after then at the very least for the foreseeable future.
Now working in an antiquarian and second hand bookstore (where he seems to have finally found his niche); running up huge debts due to the evils of store cards; acquiring a fiancee against his will and worrying about his son in the army, one can't help but wonder if he will ever get out of this one. Added to this is the saga of retrieving a deposit for a holiday cancelled due to fears about being bombed by an Iraqi weapon of mass destruction.
Throw in a bunch of swans, a pigsty conversion project; unflagging support for Tony Blair; the usual cast of old friends; and a light at the end of the tunnel, and you have another excellent book from Sue Townsend, certainly one you will want to read from cover to cover in one sitting.
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Adrian Mole and The Weapons of Mass Destruction (Adrian Mole 7)
Adrian Mole and The Weapons of Mass Destruction (Adrian Mole 7) by Sue Townsend (Paperback - 19 Jan 2012)
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