Monday, 2 April 2012

Vintage Book Review no 1: The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend

Adrian Mole returns in the sequel to the classic,
‘The Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13¾ ’.

First published in 1984, the book remains popular and is well worth a read , especially if you agree that a laugh a day keeps the doctor away. The diary format works well, inviting you as a reader to step in the shoes of a British teenager in the 1980’s. I found it difficult to put the book down, having begun it again after an earlier craze when the book first came out. It is a highly readable book, suitable for older children through to older adults.

Adrian is a nerdy, self-proposed intellectual teenager, who sees himself as a poet. His parents have moved back together after a lengthy separation, and Adrian provides a commentary to their antics, which include some surprise events on the maternal front. Although Adrian remains typically obsessed with his skin problems and inner desires, he gains a certain maturity as the novel progresses and we start to read less about the size of his personal parts and more about his relationships with those around him, including his parents, his girlfriend Pandora and the old-age pensioner, Bert Baxter, who becomes almost part of the family.

Relevant social themes are woven into the text, including struggles with poverty and living in mixed families, dealing with the aged and their unpredictable temperaments, as well as touching on larger fields of politics and economics in a humanised way.

A captivating book, entertaining and uplifting, and hard to put down. Great Vintage read!