The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4

by Sue Townsend | Poetry |
ISBN: 0060533994 Global Overview for this book
Registered by DEESSE of Erstein, Alsace France on 7/26/2004
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by DEESSE from Erstein, Alsace France on Monday, July 26, 2004
from the back cover:

Adrian Mole's first love, Pandora, has left him; a neighbor, Mr. Lucas, appears to be seducing his mother (and what does that mean for his father?); the BBC refuses to publish his poetry; and his dog swallowed the tree off the Christmas cake. "Why" indeed.

Journal Entry 2 by DEESSE from Erstein, Alsace France on Monday, January 09, 2006
I've borrowed it to a pupil of mine who wished to read it.

Journal Entry 3 by wingAnonymousFinderwing on Friday, May 18, 2007
I like this book, very much. Because it was written with lots of fantasie. To read this book was fun! A little tip from me: read this book^^. Adrian is a person with lots of stress and this is wyh this book is so nice.

CAUGHT IN OBERKIRCH GERMANY

Journal Entry 4 by DEESSE from Erstein, Alsace France on Friday, October 26, 2007
Laliehuber is finished with the book and it's now back with me.

Journal Entry 5 by DEESSE at Erstein, Alsace France on Sunday, July 24, 2011
Finally read it for the German "Reduce Mount to be read" challenge (July: "Read books with x,y or z in the title")

It's sometimes quite obvious that the book was first published in 1982 (Princess Di's wedding and the Cold War is mentioned:

"Wednesday January 6th
Epiphany
I keep having nightmares about the bomb. I hope it isn't dropped before I get my GCE results in August 1982. I wouldn't like to die an unqualified virgin." (p. 221)

and:

"Sunday January 10th
First after Epiphany
I can't understand why my father looks so old at forty-one compared to President Reagan at seventy. My father has got no work or worries yet he looks dead haggard. Poor President Reagan has to carry the world's safety on his shoulders yet he is always smiling and looking cheerful. It doesn't make sense." (p. 223)

It's also the time of Margaret Thatcher's "reign":

"School dinners are complete crap now. (...) A typical menu is: hamburger, baked beans, chips, carton of yogurt or a doughnut. It's not enough to build healthy bone and sinew. I am considering making a protest to Mrs. Thatcher. It won't be our fault if we grow up apathetic and lacking in moral fibre. Perhaps Mrs. Thatcher wants us to be too weak to demonstrate in years to come." (p.158)

"Sometimes I think Mrs. Thatcher is a nice kind sort of woman. Then the next day I see her on television and she frightens me rigid. She has got eyes like a psychotic killer, but a voice like a gentle person. It is a bit confusing." (p. 232)

"Wednesday February 17th
Miss Elf told us about her boyfriend today. (...) He is a Master of Arts and can't get a job! (...) Miss Elf said that school-leavers are despairing all over the country. She said that Mr. Scruton should be ashamed to have a portrait of Mrs. Thatcher over his desk. I think I am turning radical.

Thursday February 18th
This morning the whole school was ordered to go to the assembly hall. Mr. Scruton got up on the stage and acted like the films of Hitler. He said in all his long years of teaching he had never come across an act of such serious vandalism. Everybody went dead quiet and wondered what had happened. Scruton said that somebody had entered his office and drawn a mustache on Margaret Thatcher and written "Three million enemployed" in her cleavage.
He said that defiling the greatest leader this country has ever known was a crime against humanitiy. It was tantamount to treason and that when the culprit was found they would be immediately expelled.Scruton's eyes bulged out so far that a few of the first-years started to cry. Miss Elf led them outside to safety.
The whole school has got to have handwriting tests.

Friday February 19th
Miss Elf has resigned. I will miss her, she was responsible for my political development. I am a committed radical. I am against nearly everything." (p. 235 f.)

"Sunday February 21st
Quinquagesima
Had an argument with my father over the "Sunday Express". He can't see that he is a willing tool of the reactionary right. He refuses to change to the "Morning Star". My mother reads anything; she is prostituting her literacy." (p. 236)

Some things one can only understand if you've been to Britain or lived there... that's why the explanations in the end are quite helpful ("Afterword to the American Edition").

Nevertheless it was sometimes really laugh-out-loud funny, as well as very touching (Adrian's friendship with Bert) and sad (how his father handles the fact that his wife left him...)
I'm not sure if it's a book for teenagers or a book about a teenager...

Here are some parts I liked:

"We drove through Glasgow at 11 A.M. in the morning yet I counted twenty-seven drunks in one mile! (...) Off-licenses had rolls of barbed wire and broken glass on their roofs. (...), then my mother nagged Lucas creep into taking her to the Glasgow art gallery. I intended to sit in the car and read "Glencoe", but because of all the drunks staggering around I reluctantly followed them inside.
How glad I am that I did! I might have gone through life without having an important cultural experience! Today I saw Salvador Dali's painting of the Crucifixion!!! The real one! Not a reproduction!
They have hung it at the end of a corridor so that it changes as you get nearer to it. When you are finaly standing up close to it you feel like a midget. It is absolutely fantastic!
Huge! With dead good colors and Jesus looks like a real bloke. (...) One day I will take Pandora to see it. Perhaps on our honeymoon." (p. 146 f.)

That was more or less the same feeling I had when I saw this painting for the first time back in 1992 myself!!!

"Thursday February 25th
Got fifteen out of twenty for Geography. I lost points for saying that the Falkland Islands belonged to Argentina." (p. 238)

"Tuesday March 2nd
Moon's first quarter
My parents are suffering severe nicotine withdrawal symptoms. It is quite amusing to a non-smoker like me.
(...)
He is still ill from not smoking. His temper has reached new peaks of explosion." (p. 239)


This book will be part of our class library now. (You can always ask to borrow it though!)

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