I can remember when I first picked up The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾. I guess I was around 14 or 15 years old and in the stage of my reading life where I was helping myself to books from my parent’s bookshelf. I didn’t find Adrian Mole in my parent’s bookcase however I found it in the bathroom, by the toilet, where it had been for some weeks. I figured no-one would miss it as surely no one would keep a current book in the bathroom next to the toilet (yes I was that unfamiliar with some peoples reading and toilet habits)
Anyway all of the Adrian Mole books are written in the form of a diary beginning at the rather precocious age of 13 ¾ and finishing (I presume so far) into Adrian’s middle(ish) age. The books take the reader not only through Adrian’s life but also cover various political and social events in Britain. But I would say that the main reason for the book’s popularity is that they are really very funny. It takes A LOT to make me laugh out loud while reading a book (most you will normally get out of me is an inward chuckle) but this particular series of book does. Adrian has a rather ‘woe is me’ attitude to life which is used to great comic effect. I personally think that Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ is not one of the best books in the overall series and that it really gets going more as he comes into adult life.
Not entirely sure I like the pastel looking nature of the new editions but neither the less I will thoroughly enjoy re-reading them all again.
I’m also not entirely sure that Adrian Mole would have huge appeal outside of the UK given that the books are so packed full of British cultural references, the last book for example contains references to MP expenses, the explosion of misery memoirs and the Jeremy Kyle show. Would anyone not living in the UK really ‘get these’? Shout me down if you think I’m wrong but these really are very British books.
Posted by Jess