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4.6 out of 5 stars56
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 20 August 2014
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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on 7 June 2014
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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on 17 August 2012
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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on 16 August 2014
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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I am re-reading Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole novels prior to the next book being released in the near future and they have stood the test of time. This one, charting Adrian's life during his early 20s, deals with him working as a civil servant in Oxford to be near his former love, Dr Pandora Braithwaite, who's now a respected academic. As usual, Townsend's biting social satire comes through every page and some bits made me laugh out loud. Throughout the story, Adrian remains as naïve as ever and even relationships with two very different women fail to fulfil him. As for his burgeoning writing career, well, that's still very much in the pipeline as his seminal work `Lo! The Flat Hills of my homeland' fails to impress the literary world.
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on 20 April 2013
I can't recommend this book enough. For anyone who followed him through his teen years, this book effortlessly transports you right back to the fictional universe. I last read a book in this series over a year ago, and was pleasantly surprised by how much I remembered. The human patheticness of his continued chase after Pandora adds just enough emotion to a primarily humorous tale. You know what you're buying with Sue Townsend.
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on 11 December 2011
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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on 8 November 2014
How I love Adrian. I have a tatty version of all the diaries but for some reason felt moved to buy a whole new set upon Mrs Townsend's death. I just keep returning to him any time I need cheered up. Deceptively cleverly written but so joyously easy to read. Sue you were a genius.
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on 20 June 2014
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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on 29 September 2013
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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