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320 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely stands the test of time
I first read this book when I was ten years old and absolutely loved it so when I was given the chance to read it again coming up twenty years later I was excited and nervous at the same time. I didn't want my rose tinted thoughts shattered. I needn't have worried. Instead of thinking "oh god, is this what I've got to look forward to", the diary style of writing opens you...
Published on 16 Dec 2011 by S. Smith

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Painfully honest and packed with humour
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...
Published 20 months ago by BSSFC


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely stands the test of time, 16 Dec 2011
By 
S. Smith "sitorimon" (UK) - See all my reviews
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Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I first read this book when I was ten years old and absolutely loved it so when I was given the chance to read it again coming up twenty years later I was excited and nervous at the same time. I didn't want my rose tinted thoughts shattered. I needn't have worried. Instead of thinking "oh god, is this what I've got to look forward to", the diary style of writing opens you up to memories of what you used to do instead. It's still laugh out loud funny but for the reasons of fond remembrance of your own youth and school life and relating to being in similar stupid situations yourself. The account of the school trip is priceless. Great observational comedy in diary form. Timeless.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Greatest Books Ever. And So Nostalgic., 15 Dec 2011
By 
Amazon Customer "A Likely Lad" (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
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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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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun and very nostalgic, 25 Jan 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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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Future Modern Classic?, 10 Mar 2003
By A Customer
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm, witty and wise, 4 Feb 2012
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
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To my shame, I have never read any of the Adrian Mole books - and I loved this one! Townsend does a fantastic job of capturing Adrian's voice - self-centred, pompous (helping the `poor and ignorant'), self-dramatising, and yet oddly innocent and vulnerable. She pinpoints and punctures people's pretensions and earnestness with lasered precision, but isn't ever patronising or condescending. We laugh with her characters as much as we laugh at them.

Most of all I loved the nostalgic reminders of how different life was in the early 1980s: I'm younger than Adrian was but I adored being reminded of bathcubes (girls always gave them to each other as presents and they never dissolved properly leaving you sitting in a gritty bath-tub), Dream Topping and Butterscotch Instant Whip. And did people really eat boil-in-the-bag curry and rice?!

Adrian's mother `finding herself' after reading Greer and de Beauvoir, and dressing in baggy dungarees and huge dangly earrings is now the stuff of (feminist) legend, and the zeitgeist is captured in the presence of youth clubs and discos, the fairly innocuous bullying of Barry Kent, and Blue Peter.

So this is a light and easy read but for all its surface sparkle it's also warm, witty and ultimately quite wise.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a very entertaining read, but this is in no sense a special edition., 14 Jan 2012
By 
S. J. Williams "stevejw2" (Leeds, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Re the '30th Anniversary Edition:

Fresh from its triumph on the BBC4 radio Book Programme as the best comic novel (a little hard to accept, I can't help feeling) this very amusing and insightful novel about the often embarrassing but invariably charming foibles of its hero is a real pleasure to revisit, as many other reviews here indicate. However, the Vine review copy I received contains no 'new introduction by David Walliams' (as suggested on the Amazon product page - and frankly I doubt that would be a major attraction for anyone really) and so differs only in its cover from the other manifestations over the years. (I'm sure the intro will be there on purchased copies.) Essentially the 'anniversary edition' label is just a marketing ploy and should not tempt anyone who already has a copy. For anyone else, don't be put off by any suggestion that this 30 year old classic is old-hat nostalgia. It is a touch dated, and perhaps appeals most to those who lived through the period and chuckle at the memories jogged by fashion references etc. But in essentials this remains very fresh and amusing, though always with great sympathy for our hero's touching efforts to find himself, assert his place in the world and come to grips with burgeoning hormones. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Showing its age but an all-time classic!, 8 Jan 2012
By 
oldstuff (Cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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In a way re-reading and reviewing this book now rather than when I constantly read it as someone around Adrian's age in the mid 80s is a bit unfair because it had much more meaning when you were growing up around the same time and encountering the same issues like first love, acne, fitting in at school etc. Its still remarkably well-written with a short and punchy style though and I still found myself laughing at bits throughout the book despite remembering most of it off by heart from a couple of decades ago. There are bits and pieces that will no longer ring true due to changes in the life of teenagers and some of the events of the day like Princess Di, The Falklands etc will probably baffle a few younger readers now but Sue Townsend wrote, with both this and "Growing Pains of...", two of the most influential books I read in my formative years and it still stands alongside the likes "Tom Sawyer" and "Huck Finn" as the greatest books of my childhood years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A genuinely funny book......, 4 Jan 2012
By 
Wynne Kelly "Kellydoll" (Coventry, UK) - See all my reviews
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In the last thirty years Adrian Mole has seeped into the consciousness of the nation. Everyone feels they know him - even if they haven't actually read the book.

Sue Townsend has created one of the most enduring (and endearing) fictional characters of modern times. Poor angst-ridden Adrian - obsessed by his spots, the lovely Pandora and his disappointing parents! He is a would-be intellectual (but seems to be lacking the intellect), a would-be poet (but minus the talent) and a would-be philanthropist (but the recipients of his favours are never as grateful as they should be). Also, he is small for his age and is frequently bullied by the dreadful Barry. Who could fail to love him?

This book sparkles with humour from beginning to end as Adrian grapples with all the problems thrown at him by life - the errant dog, the errant parents and irrational school rules.

A genuinely funny book that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a return visit, 23 Dec 2011
By 
John Tierney (Wirral, UK) - See all my reviews
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, 13 Dec 2011
By 
Ibraar 'Le Saracen' "le_saracen" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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Brilliant classic of a teenage novel, brings back memories and still excellent after all these years!
Hasn't dated one bit and both nostalgic and relevant to todays Teens (and adults!!)
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