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This book is a definite return to form after the disappointing True Confessions. In this episode of Adrian’s life, he is 24 years old, and living in a box room in the flat of Pandora Braithwaite and her husband(!) However, he spends much of the book being bounced from one home to another.

He also encounters a new love interest named Bianca, jealousy over the success of his old adversary Barry Kent, and the trials of trying to finish his own novel ‘Lo! The Flat Hills of My Homeland’.

This book is what all Adrian Mole books should be – funny, touching and surprisingly perceptive on behalf of the author, while Adrian himself still displays his usual signs of self-delusion. Very enjoyable indeed.

(For more information on the Adrian Mole series, please click here.)

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This is the third book in the Adrian Mole series, but unlike the others, it is only partly in diary form.  His story is interspersed with letters to Barry Kent (now incarcerated) and his broadcasts on Radio 4 which show off his customary delusion and visions of grandeur.  Also included in the book are the funny diaries of a teenage girl in the 1930s, named Margaret Hilda Roberts.  It is obvious to the reader that these are supposed to be the diaries of the young Margaret Thatcher – these parts are particularly cruel and witty, and were actually my favourites parts of the book overall.  The book also has a collection of essays by Sue Townsend, the main one being her recollection of a trip to Russia which she took with six other writers.  Unlike the Adrian Mole and Hilda Roberts section, this part is non-fiction.

Unfortunately, this book was not up to the standard of the Adrian Mole books which preceded it.  The book is only about 160 pages, and Mole’s section is 90 or so pages – yet it covers 5 years of his life, and effectively acts as a bridge between the book which comes before it and the one which comes after it.  As ever, Adrian indulges in a fair amount of navel gazing, and swooning over his beloved Pandora, but this episode of his life did not grab me as much as the others I have read did.

I was not over enamoured with the essays by Sue Townsend.  Her writing flowed well, and there were some moments which made me smile, but it felt like ‘filler’ material, added to pad the book out. The diaries of Margaret Hilda Roberts however, were very funny, and it’s a shame that this was such a small segment.  Townsend shows her satirical side portraying Margaret as a haughty and snobbish schoolgirl, with am admiration for capitalist beliefs and an active dislike of the working class.

Overall, a less than satisfying episode of Adrian Mole’s life, but I would have loved to have seen the diaries of Margaret Hilda Roberts developed into a full length book.

(For more information on the Adrian Mole series, please click here.)

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More of the funny stuff in Adrian Mole’s second diary. In this book Adrian deals with his parents marital problems, his on-off relationship with Pandora and depression, and his ongoing battle to be recognised in the literary world.

Very, very funny, and something that can be read and enjoyed many times.

(For more information on the Arian Mole series, please click here.)

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