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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Adrian Mole and The Weapons of Mass Destruction (Adrian Mole 7)
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 13 November 2004
The latest episode in the Adrian Mole story has arrived, and it is amazing how Sue Townsend manages to keep the story fresh and hilariously funny. This is not a book to read on a train or other public venue and I for one found myself laughing aloud and giggling with amusement as the twists and turns of this diary unfold. Mole's potential for disaster and embarrassment continue unabated and the whole sage of his engagement to the awful Marigold plays out throughout the book.
Alongside Adrian's story we also catch up with his children and his parents, and of course the lovely Pandora, now a junior government Minister. These books are nothing if not topical and reading it is also a political history of the last two years, as Tony Blair stumbles deeper into the morass of Iraq, stretching the loyalty even of Adrian and ultimately Pandora. Other contemporary themes occuring in the book include the property improvement fad, credit card debt, the impact of ethnic cultures on the face of Britain and the animal rights movement.
There are some wonderful new characters in the book too - Adrian's employer, Marigold's sister, and of course the awful potential-father in-law Mr Flowers. While Sue Townsend of course encourages to laugh at Adrian's escapades, she also manages to make us sympathise with him and to identify with some of the problems he experiences. A wonderfully warm and human book, very easy to read, and well worth catching up with.
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on 8 July 2017
Adrian Mole is such a fantastic literary character, I can't get enough. His disastrous love life and financial decisions will keep you reading.
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on 16 March 2017
Another great read by Sue Townsend, once you pick it up you can't put it down. A+
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To be honest you would have a job to pick this up and enjoy it if you had not read the whole set of books. The latest book The Prostrate years is much better if you want a 'standalone read' that is bang up to date.
This is a bit retro set in 2003 but if you were about 37 then like Adrian ( and me ) it is quite a chuckle.
Beware... he has turned into a sex craved loony... just in case your 13 3/4 year old gets hold of it
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on 5 May 2013
Couldn't put this book down. For those of us in our 40s who read Adrian Mole as teenagers his struggle with middle age is equally, painfully sidesplitting.
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on 2 August 2006
This is a definite return to form for Sue Townsend after the disappointing Cappuccino Years of 1999. Like the magnificent Wilderness Years volume, published in 1993, this book gives us Adrian Mole as rather irritating, naïve character, yet one who is heading towards an escape from his self-obsessed, parochial life. Whilst much in the book fails to ring true (the characterisation of the Flowers family is all over the place, with them seemingly hippie liberals one minute and Victorian despots the next), the writer hits home in her description of Mole's continuing relationship with his eccentric parents and his teenage son Glenn. His initial political views come across as somewhat ludicrous, with his blind faith in Tony Blair seeming so misguided to the casual reader that his eventual political awakening in the book's final pages is of no surprise at all, but this is offset by the tragedy surrounding it. Townsend's greatest strength as a writer is still her ability to create genuinely interesting characters to which her readers will respond warmly. The passage of time means that several of the best characters from the earlier books, such as Adrian's terrifying grandmother and the ancient Bert Baxter, no longer feature, but these have been replaced by equally strong characters such as Mole's employer Mr Carlton-Hayes. The characters of Mole's mother and father continue to be as well-drawn as they are grotesque (though the idea of his mother taking yet another young lover is an old idea that predictably goes nowhere), and it is particularly satisfying that Pandora Braithwaite is once again marginalised to the role of a minor character. Pandora was central to the earlier books but was diminished in importance in the `coming of age' Wilderness Years. The Cappuccino Years, with its open political content, restored to her to a disproportionately large influence in Adrian's life. In this latest book she is back where she belongs, on the fringes of the story. Overall, this book has to rank as second only to The Wilderness Years in terms of emotional impact, and it leaves one waiting eagerly for the next instalment in the story. On a purely comic level the Adrian Mole books will always have a large readership, but they have another value altogether, and that is the way they record and examine the way in which the country, like the title character, has evolved over the past twenty years. In years to come, they might be viewed as being on a par with William Cooper's `Scenes from Life' books as an invaluable social document.
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on 9 July 2014
Adrian Mole is 34 and on blundering his way into middle-age-dom. Divorced, and an absent parent to his two children who are as far-flung as Nigeria and Kuwait (where his teenage son Glenn is on military duty), he deals anew with the responsibilities of owning a new loft apartment he can't afford, and his daily troubles involve battling a group of swans from the canal his apartment faces, led by the most aggressive of the pack, whom he christens Gielgud. Sounds like Adrian's teenage dilemmas and insecurities when he was 13¾ are way way way behind him, right?

He is still smitten with his childhood sweetheart, the unattainable Pandora, who is now a politician and Labour MP. He flirts with Marigold Flowers, a customer at the small independent bookshop he is working at, and soon finds her to be a clingy and manipulative hypochondriac and tries unsuccessfully to ditch her, while falling for her older sister, the enigmatic Daisy. Meanwhile, he writes letters to celebrities like tabloid queen Jordan (in 2003 where this novel is situated) and David Beckham, in an attempt to secure interviews with them (at his convenience, no less) for his book, working title "Celebrities and Madness".

Against this frivolity that forms Adrian Mole's year-and-a-half in this installment, he has to deal with grittier issues like suddenly homeless parents who decide to live out on the fields of pig stys in (where else) the Piggeries in a hasty investment venture, real fear for his son Glenn, who gets caught up in the Iraq war, while Mole declares his undying support for Tony Blair's government, and quite vocally in a series of embarrassing letters. He also tries to keep his flagging bookclub alive while compounding his debt by signing up for more and more bank credit.

Those who have followed the Adrian Mole through his pimply youth would also recognise his BFF Nigel. In this book, Nigel becomes clinically blind, and feels like a sobering reference to Townsend's own blindness, diagnosed round the time of writing of this novel. It is commendable that she does not colour the account of Nigel's blindness with tragic overtones, but blends it into Adrian's story with darkly comic strokes.

Though raucously funny, I felt a tinge of sadness when I was reading Adrian's diary entries, not just at Townsend's recent passing, but because Adrian Mole is all grown-up agewise, but yet so beguilingly and identifiably inadequate as an adult. You worry that Adrian will never ever get his act together, and realise that even though he's a fictional character, you identify with him because he is the sum of all your worst fears about your adult self. At least you get to laugh about it, so maybe it won't be so bad.
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on 30 August 2016
Content first class but the pages started coming out when reading for the first time. Poorly put together.
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on 28 November 2014
Laugh-out loud, again! Adrian's diary provides a comic perspective on Iraq, Blair, consumer credit, extended families, bookshops and swans...
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on 2 February 2006
This was my first Adrian Mole read, but I was familiar with him and his life from seeing the TV series. It's an amusing, easy read, his perpetual love for Pandora and their continuing friendship is believable and seems to be the axis of all his stories. His financial ineptitude and problems certainly put mine in the shade and his battles with the swans outside his apartment block were hilarious! The only criticism I would make is that some of his thoughts and sentiments were very 'womanly' as though they were the thoughts of Sue Townsend rather than Adrian Mole, however I did enjoy the book.
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