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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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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 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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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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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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on 13 June 2015
I read it when it first came out, when I was aged 18. Now I have just re-read it on its 30th Anniversary Edition.
But also had the pleasure of giving my sons the opportunity to read it - but its no where near as good as a PS4

Oh well least I tried to introduce a new generation to Adrian Mole.
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on 31 March 2016
I think everyone is familiar with Adrian Mole, the life of a 13 year old in the eighties through reading his private diary.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this much more than I did as a teen, it did make me laugh out loud and reminded me how everything is a major drama at that age. I laughed out loud at a lot of the book. It was interesting to be reminded how the book is from a time when on a Sunday there really was nothing to do and if you didn't go to a bank or the shops before a bank holiday you had to do without!

Would definitely recommend this as a good book to reread as an adult and have put the others on my Amazon wishlist.
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on 2 May 2014
Haven't I read this before ....

Not laughed like this in ages and not even a quarter of the way into it. What a find.

Just finished Adrian's diary. Brilliant, though bit disappointed that it ended on his 15th birthday and only 73% into the Kindle book. However, I'm not moaning (too much) because I haven't laughed at a book so much in ages. What a combination. A feckless couple with an uppity snob for a son constantly sitting in judgement. In fact, really just a typical teenager embarrassed by anything and everything his parents do. We've all been there, haven't we?. Mind you, he has quite a bit to be embarrassed about, what with his mother's affair, his father's attitude and their apparent indifference to him. Poor Adrian ... Thank goodness he has Pandora, his 'soulmate'. Life would be perfect if it wasn't for those pesky spots.

Can't wait to get the next instalment!
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on 18 January 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )|Verified Purchase
It must be 20 years since i last read The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole and i had forgotten how great it is. I ended up reading the whole thing in the space of a couple of evenings as its too hard to put down once you start. The humour is sharp, and yet it is very touching in places. Being a child of the 70s/80s i fully appreciated all the cultural references, which rather than dating the book, actually made it more enjoyable. I have already ordered the next two in the series and will be buying all 7 sequels as soon as my bank account allows
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on 25 January 2013
forgot how good this series of books is, seeing the world through the eyes of wannabe-intelectual Adrian Mole, whom his own father describes as "an idiot boy...".
also, a good look back at early eighties life; they did not even imagine the problems the world faces now - islamic extremism and global warming and "lady" ga ga...
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