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on 21 July 2003
I first read this book, and it's predecessor The Secret Diary of..., when I started High School (1986 sshhh..!).Having just re-read them both over the last 2 weeks, I was delighted to find that they are as hysterical as ever!
Growing Pains starts where Secret Diary leaves off and it retains the pace of the first instalment. The Diary factor makes the book very easy to read and you will find yourself laughing out loud at/with Adrian as he makes his way as an'intellectual' teenager in an adult world that he actually understands very little about.
The resident love of his life, Pandora, is still present in Growing pains, as are Bert Baxter and Sabre, his Gran, Mr Lucas, Stick Insect, Barry Kent and best mate, Nigel.
Don't let the early 80's setting put you off. I think the book is all the better for it and love the old references to Abba, Street Parties and legwarmers.
This book is a classic!!! Buy it immediately!!
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VINE VOICEon 27 February 2007
It's 1982 : Margaret Thatcher is Prime-Minister and Britain is at war with Argentina over a couple of sheep-infested islands in the South Atlantic. Meanwhile, the second instalment of the Mole Diaries is being written by a spotty, fifteen year old intellectual from Leicester.

Adrian proves to be a slightly different character in this book - I suppose he's actually grown up a little. He still has a pretentious streak, he continues to be a touch insensitive at times, he doesn't always see the blindingly obvious and he still (mistakenly) sees himself as an intellectual. However, sometimes, he gets the point all too well and delivers a well-penned (not to mention a well-deserved) kick in the arse. "The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole" covers a traumatic period for Adrian : his O-Levels and CSEs are looming while the significant fallout from his parents affairs have to be dealt with. He's still in love with Pandora, though the path of true love has a few tumbles in store for our spotty Lothario. (He's very keen to see a bit more loving, though he'd happily settle for a glimpse of nipple. Pandora, on the other hand, isn't in quite such a rush). The young couple still help Bert Baxter (a war veteran in his eighties) and Queenie (Bert's recently acquired second wife). Despite Bert's hobbies - drinking, smoking and communism - Bert appears to be one of the closest friends Adrian has. Adrian still has the problem of Barry Kent, the school bully : however, some very surprising progress is made over the course of the year.

Starting in April 1982 and finishing in May 1983, some of the big news stories at the time are touched on - the arrival of breakfast television in the UK, the kidnapping of Shergar and the Falklands War, Overall, it does prove to be a very funny book - though there are a couple of sad moments and a few serious points made. Depressingly, some of the points Adrian makes are just as relevant today as they were over twenty years ago. Listening to Radio Four at one point, Adrian notes that the government has decided to spend a billion pounds on war equipment. He then mentions that one of his school's science laboratories is being closed down because it can't afford to employ a new teacher. (Blair is throwing money at the Iraq War having conveniently forgotten all about "education, education, education"). Then Adrian's Irish neighbour, Mr O'Leary, returns to Ireland to vote in the Irish General Election. On his way back to Leicester, however, Mr O'Leary is detained at the East Midlands Airport on being suspicion of being a terrorist. (Admittedly, today the focus has shifted a different group). Later, when a General Election is called in the UK, one of the candidates mentioned is Duncan McIntosh. A member of the "Send `Em Back Where They Came From Party", Mr McIntosh advocates compulsory repatriation of people with black, brown and yellow skin, the Irish, the Welsh, the Scottish and all those with Norman blood. (With all the recent hysteria about immigrants, Mr McIntosh's party would probably have a good shout at government). Well worth reading, and highly recommended.
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on 3 June 2009
After reading the first book in this series, I proceeded to buy all of the others and I'm reading through them (I won't say "working my way through them" because reading Sue Townsend cannot be described as "work"). That a woman well into her adult years has channeled the angst of a teenage boy fairly screams of chutzpah - that she does it so believably and humorously is nothing short of a miracle.

Adrian Mole is in the wrong place at the wrong time. His parents are in financial trouble; Margaret Thatcher is ruling the country with an iron fist; he is madly in love; he has spots. Adrian is an astoundingly naive teenager, but also kind and loving in ways that are surprising. He takes care of his elderly friends Bert and Queenie with a tenderness that belies his occasional selfish behavior. At one point in the book, he writes a poem about Queenie, and it moved me to tears.

Make no mistake, however. This novel is riotously funny.

Reference: "I lay back listlessly on the pillows and let him feel my pulse, etc. He muttered 'Bloody Camille,' as he left the room. Perhaps Camille is a drug that he's thinking of using on me." (an excellent example of the naivete, as well as the humor)

I read several passages out loud to my husband, and because I am not a native-born Brit, there were some referenced he had to explain to me. All of Adrian's experiences take place against a backdrop of Prince William's birth, the Falklands War, the Thatcher administration and the ramp-up of fears over nuclear war. I remember very well being worried about these things (I was about Adrian's age at the time they were happening) and I also remember how much of my day I spent worrying about things I couldn't control. Sue Townsend manages the reality of this feeling masterfully.

I can't wait to move on to the True Confessions of Adrian Mole.
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on 27 October 2003
Adrian Mole is an extremely funny book. While I read it on my bed I couldn't stop laughing. It explains the true thoughts and moments of adolescence which makes it quite realistic. It recently won funniest book of the year which, if you read it you will understand that it definetly deserved that prize.
Relationship, humour, whatever, everything is in this book.
I would reccomend this book to young teenagers, as that is when I first read it, and middle aged adults.
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on 5 December 2010
There are more than enough reviews of this book here on Amazon so I'll keep mine short, it's great and easily deserves 4/5 stars (and that's how I have scored it). However, there are serious issues with this Kindle edition.

While it's not uncommon to come across typing errors and/or the odd spelling mistake while reading a book this has more than I have seen in any other publication, ever! Add formatting errors, lack of front cover and duplicated characters throughout and you begin to realise very little time or effort has been put into the transition from print to digital format. I really hope this does not become common practice.

Don't let this review put you off reading The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole, as I said it's a great book, but this edition needs reworking and I think it's a shame that it has been released in it's current state.
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on 4 June 2016
In my opinion, I could quite possibly say that this is the best book I have ever read! It has non-stop action throughout the book containing all the struggles of teenage life.

Based on a fifteen year old boy, it gives a clear, accurate and insightful look into the daily chores of life at that age. I felt extremely attached to the boy as if I had known him all my life as the author writes in a unique and thought provoking way which will bring back fond memories of your youth.

One thing to take into account is that this book does contain some more mature content and I would recommend it for children and adults aged 12+.

However, please read this book as it is totally worth the money and you will enjoy it from beginning to end just as I did!
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on 17 February 2001
I find this book so enjoyable to read because of the way that Sue Townsend manipulates the sentances to her own way of life. Adrians life seems a mere comedy act but is really based on a true story. The main characters are Adrian, Pandora (girlfriend) and Nigel ( best friend ). It is very enjoyable and should be bought by anyone 11+ because of the hard English that is contained in the book.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 August 2010
After re-reading the first Adrian Mole book recently (The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 and 3/4) I enjoyed it so much I had to get the next in the series. The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole is almost as funny as the first book and I enjoyed revisiting the 1980s, the dysfunctional Mole family and Sue Townsend's satirical humour. I think I've found it more humorous now than I did when I first read it when I was a teenager. The story is told in the format of a diary in 1982 and 1983 with most entries very short making for easy and quick reading. If you were in your early teens in the eighties and haven't yet read any of the Adrian Mole books, then you really should!

Kindle Edition Comments: The formatting of Growing Pains was disappointing compared to the first book. Secret Diary has no errors, is well formatted and has a table of contents. Unfortunately Growing Pains is littered with typographical and formatting errors and has no table of contents: "I" often appears as \, / or 1; 1/2 or 3/4 appears as %; there are several words with unnecessary hyphens in the middle; several spelling errors such as `cosf' instead of `cost' and `cod' instead of `God'; most of the numbered lists have the numbers listed twice i.e. "1. 1.". I would have expected much more careful proof reading from a published such as Penguin. I have reported the problems with both Amazon and Penguin; Amazon got back to me to say they would work with the publisher to sort out the problems, I didn't hear anything back from Penguin.

5 stars for the work of the author but 2 stars for the appalling quality from Penguin. Even worse is the disgraceful pricing of such a poor quality e-text higher than a properly produced paperpack. I always thought Penguin were a quality publisher, obviously not.
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VINE VOICEon 22 October 2012
Sue Townsend's second installment of Adrian Mole's diary shows the same witty perception as the first, with apparently innocent yet wry comments about the world, politics, friendship, families, love and individual people. It's an easy and very enjoyable read, and contains some laugh-out-loud moments. Adrian's family life is as dysfunctional as ever, especially with two new arrivals, his attempts at getting his poetry published are still being thwarted, and his teenage romance with Pandora is beset by problems and differences of opinion. Warmly recommended.
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on 11 March 1999
I first read this book when I was 11 years old, before the knives of puberty struck. I read it again when I was 13 3/4, just like Adrian himself, and finally I just finished reading it for a third time. I'm now 26 and still I can relate to and empathise with Adrian as he stumbles through live, love, politics and rebellion. Anyone who doesn't read this book, or thinks it's somehow beneath them, is missing out on a classic of its time, and I believe all time.
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