British adolescent angst has never been so “laugh-out-loud funny” as in this first encounter with a sharp-witted, pining, and achingly honest underdog (The New York Times).
Perhaps when I am famous and my diary is discovered, people will understand the torment of being a 13¾-year-old undiscovered intellectual.
Adrian Mole is approaching fourteen, and like all radical intellectuals he must amass his grievances: His acne vulgaris is grotesque; his crush, Pandora, received seventeen Valentine’s Day cards; his PE teacher is a sadist; he fears his parents’ marriage is over since they no longer smoke together; his dog has gone AWOL; no one appreciates his poetry; and Animal Farm has set him off pork for good. If everyone were as appalled as Adrian Mole, it would be a better world.
Introducing “one of literature’s most endearing figures”: a luckless adolescent of great expectations and dwindling patience who knows all—or believes he does—and tells all (The Observer). First published in 1982, Adrian’s chronicle of angst has sold more than twenty million copies worldwide, spawned seven sequels, and been adapted for television and staged as a musical. Here’s where it all began.
About the author
Sue Townsend was born in Leicester, England, in 1946. Despite not learning to read until the age of eight, leaving school at fifteen with no qualifications, and having three children by the time she was in her mid-twenties, she managed to be very well read. Townsend wrote secretly for twenty years, and after joining a writers’ group at the Phoenix Theatre, Leicester, she won a Thames Television Award for her first play, Womberang, and became a professional playwright and novelist. Following the publication of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾, she continued to make the nation laugh and prick its conscience with seven more volumes of Adrian’s diaries, five popular novels—including The Queen and I, Number Ten, and The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year—and numerous well-received plays. Townsend passed away in 2014 at the age of sixty-eight, and remains widely regarded as Britain’s favorite comic writer.
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