Posts Tagged ‘diary’


Just a short review for this one, as it is the third (I think) time that I have read it. I remember the first time I read this book, not long after it was written, and I was howling with laughter. A couple of reads further on, and I still think it’s funny, and I still think that Fielding captured the viewpoint of a particular type of woman in the mid 1990s.

I did feel a bit more cynical about it this time around though, and got annoyed with Bridget for her constant need for approval and her desperation to feel attractive to men. But yes, it’s funny, and I still love the parallels with Pride and Prejudice. Looking forward to rereading the sequel, and reading for the first time the third book in the series.

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Hendrik Groen (the author’s true identity has been kept a closely guarded secret) is, as the title suggests, an 83 year old man who decides to keep a diary of his life in an Amsterdam Nursing Home for a  year. The title seems like an obvious take on The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 1/4, and it’s true that this book feels like a cross sometimes between Adrian Mole and Victor Meldrew of One Foot In The Grave.

Hendrik describes the mundanity of his life, but manages to make it anything but mundane for the reader. He writes about the red tape and bureaucracy which the management have to deal with, and which has effects for the residents (or inmates as he refers to them) of the home, as well as the world of politics, and while he is referring specifically to Dutch politics, much of what he says can be related to other countries as well. Incidentally, if you are not a fan of politics, don’t be put off by the thought of reading about it – Hendrik talks about it in the way that most of us pass comment on the subject with people we know – it’s not vastly in-depth and his sardonic and cynical eye makes it worth reading.

As well as a regular and healthy dollop of humour – there’s something to make you smile or giggle on almost every page – there’s also a great deal of poignancy and sadness as he sees various members of his close circle of friends struck down by ailments such as stroke and diabetes. While he himself enjoys fairly decent health, euthanasia and assisted suicide often crop up in his thoughts, but this does not mean that the book is depressing, just that it provides a bit of insight into what some people might feel. Hendrik never dwells too long on the sadness, and always provides an amusing grumble about one or other of the other residents to make you laugh again.

Overall this is an easy and quick read – undemanding for sure, but one that may well stay with you for some time after you have read it. Highly recommended.


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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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This is a lovely amusing and light hearted book, which I think can best be described as Hyacinth Bucket meets Bridget Jones.

The narrator (the provincial lady of the title) takes us through a year in her life in diary form.  Set probably in the 1930s – although this is never specified – and somewhere in or around Plymouth, our un-named narrator struggles to hold together a seemingly indifferent husband, two young children, a chaotic staff and ever growing financial worries.  Trying to always anticipate and stay one step ahead of her problems causes her to find herself in many sticky situations!

Although the social situations described are very much of their time, the interactions between various characters reminded me of present day relationships, and as the reader is permitted access to the narrator’s innermost thoughts – which of course, nobody else in her life is permitted – I often found myself nodding along and smiling in recognition.  There were also a number of laugh-out-loud moments.

I didn’t feel that the characters were explored in any great depth, but this did not detract from enjoyment of the book – it was more plot driven than character driven, although the narrator was by turns hilarious and sympathetic.

The writing reminded me very much of that of Helen Fielding in Bridget Jones’ Diary, and as this book pre-dates that one by several decades, I can’t help but wonder if Fielding was influenced by this.

Overall, this was a hugely enjoyable book, and I will definitely be buying the two sequels.

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This is a very funny book, which dog lovers especially would enjoy.

Blake, the cross-breed ‘author’ shares his diary with us, which involves romancing other dogs in the park, constantly thinking up new ways to cause mischief and most importantly, taking on the park bully, a pit-bull called Razor. It made me laugh out loud on several occasions – it may be not be a book to make you think too hard, and it won’t change your life, but it will certainly make for a hugely enjoyable read!

Blake truly has a personality (dogality?) of his own – this will come as no surprise to any dog owners – and all of his four legged friends have their distinct personalities too.  Life through Blake’s eyes casts a hilarious light on many situations which will be familiar to humans.

Definitely recommended!

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