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More Mole Required
on 20 October 2009
The Mole section takes up the bulk of the book and covers a five-year period. It begins in December 1984, when he's 16years old and is studying for his A-Levels. (He's obviously been reasonably successful in his O-Levels and CSEs, then). However, it's a little different in style to the 'The Secret Diary' and 'The Growing Pains' - it's only partly written in diary format, and it also includes a spot of poetry, his talks given on radio and a couple of letters between Adrian and Barry Kent. (Barry is, for a spell, residing at Her Majesty's Pleasure and has now learnt how to read and write. He's now writing some poetry and - unlike the crap Adrian produces - it's actually quite promising. He's even known as Baz the Skinhead Poet in certain circles). Adrian is also still corresponding with his American penpal, Hamish Mancini - at one point, he has ask Hamish for the return of his diaries. While the book sees some big changes in Adrian 's life, some things have remain constant : he still enjoys reading 'The Beano', is still obsessed with the Norwegian Leather Industry and his love for Pandora Braithwaite. (Pandora, on the other hand, is possibly starting to catch herself about Adrian . Where Adrian deludes himself that he's an intellectual, Pandora is academically gifted...so, the pair's post A-Level life might just prove a little strained).
The Sue Townsend and Margaret Roberts sections are much shorter than the Mole section - though the Sue Townsend section follows a similar format to what has come before. There's a diary from a two week holiday in Majorca, a brief report covering a trip to Russia with a group of other writers and a couple of pages on why she likes England. The Margaret Roberts slot, on the other hand, follows the 'traditional' Mole diary format. (While nothing is officially known of what happened to Ms Roberts, it can only be a coincidence that Margaret Thatcher's maiden name was Roberts). Our heroine is obscenely hard working at school and - like her father, a hard working grocer - she frowns upon socialists. (She particularly despises two disgusting working-class oiks called Ginger Shinnock and Roy Batterfree). She doesn't have many friends - only, really, a renegade boyfriend called Cecil Parkhurst - and she frowns upon Edwina Slurry, her main rival at school. (She also has some trouble with a horrible, working class cyclist with shifty eyes called Tebbit). While a fortune teller claims Margaret is going to be most powerful woman in the land, there is also trouble ahead.
I've slightly mixed feelings about this book...more from Adrian Mole is always a good thing, but somehow cramming five years into half a book seems a bit of a waste. I also would have preferred another Adrian Mole diary - the change in style didn't really work so well for me. (The Margaret Roberts diary, on the other hand, I did enjoy a great deal). Strangely, it was Townsend's own section I liked the least, although I'm not entirely sure why...Recommended overall, but not in the same league as the first two Mole books.