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Uncle Ted's brow furrowed and looked like a ploughed field after several horses had dragged a plough over it...
on 30 December 2009
2008's The Lost Diaries of Adrian Mole is a curious anomaly in Sue Townsend's series of comic novels, and seems to be regarded by many readers as a non-canonical and half-baked entry. Published barely a year before the next `proper' entry in the series, 2009's The Prostrate Years, it comes across as merely a `starter' to keep the reader occupied before the `main course' is served up. However, despite its many shortcomings, this is nevertheless one of the most `laugh out loud' funny books in the Mole canon. Nominally fitting in between 1999's The Cappuccino Years and 2004's Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction, this book is supposedly made up of some of Mole's diary entries that subsequently went missing (for reasons that become clear as the book progresses), and charts his struggles in bringing up his younger son William and his teenage boy Glenn.
In all fairness, there are some serious miscalculations here (Townsend bizarrely brings herself into the story for a odd, and ultimately pointless, meshing of fact and fiction), as well as continuity errors relating to his sons' previously-established ages and the fates of certain characters (such as Ivan Braithwaite), plus, most annoyingly, repetition of previously used material (Mole's dire prehistoric novel `Krog From Gork' is nearly identical to his `Sparg From Kronk' effort as featured in 1993's The Wilderness Years, whilst the `Earwig' poem, here supposedly written by Townsend herself, was previously the work of Mole's nemesis Barry Kent). However, despite these oddities, the book is generally hilarious and well worth a look; if for no other reason, Mole's blithely shameless attempt to rip off Harry Potter with his story `Larry Topper, Boy Wizard' is the funniest thing I've read all year.