Posted by: billpurdue | February 9, 2012

Discovering Adrian Mole

Last time I said I was reading Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction [Penguin £7.99 9780141015880]. Having just finished the book I’m now left with the feeling which I often experience when I have finished a really good read: a sort of “empty’ feeling which can only be satisfied by finding another good read. I have to confess that it’s the first Adrian Mole book that I have read and  I’m kicking myself for not reading them years ago.

The book begins in the year just before the war against Sadam Hussein. Adrian is 34, working in a second hand bookshop. He decides to get himself a fashionable address in a new block of flats by the canal in the centre of Leicester. In spite of what he’s experienced in his life so far, he is still no good at all with money and as the story progresses, his debts keep on mounting. Feeling sorry for a young lady called Marigold, an ultra “new age” character with overbearing parents, he decides to date her and becomes drawn into a relationship from which he then struggles to leave behind. On top of all that a flock of swans on the canal outside his flat seem intent on attacking him whenever he goes out or returns home. Meanwhile his parents suddenly decide to sell up and convert a couple of pig sties into a new home (whilst living in a tent) with the help of a labourer who goes by the name of Animal.

So Adrian is leading a very hectic life, which all helps to make this book extremely funny – even Jeremy Paxman found it to be the “funniest book of the year” . Time I read some of the other Adrian Mole books, starting with the one that began it all thirty years ago. There’s a special 30th anniversary edition out of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ [Penguin £7.99 9780141046426]

                         Next week sees Valentine’s Day and it’s just a coincidence that on that day I’ll be at Sutton-in-Ashfield library from 11am for an hour along with local author and great friend of mine ,Janet Roberts ,to answer questions about blogging. I’ve been writing this blog since 2008, but Janet has been blogging for longer and now has two blogs, so she is better qualified than me. She will also have some of her books available to sell.

The Chad asked me to write my next column about romance fiction, so possibly on February 15th and article about Mills and Boon books will appear. Light romances are certainly not my cup of tea, so I was glad that I found more than enough information for my article without having to read a romance !


  1. My So Nearly Valentine!
    by Joy James

    I’m going to tea at the Reasons, such an elegant up market affair.
    I’ve scrubbed me hands me face and neck and brushed me ‘basin’ cut hair!
    Terry’s asked me to be his Valentine, his red shop bought card told me so,
    This evening he waits on my answer but will I say yes or no?

    I skip down the hill in me plimsolls, heading for tasty treats,
    He lives in the shop next the flicks, the one that sells chocolates and sweets
    Their house is the best, there’s none finer, silk curtains held back with a frill,
    There’s always fresh fruit on the sideboard, even when nobody’s ill!

    I sit at their sumptuous table, look in wonder through bone china plates,
    I drink tea from a matching cup n eat bread made with nuts and dates.
    We said a prayer before we began, though his posh mam called it ‘grace’.
    And I dabbed my lips as the adults did on a napkin of flowers and lace.

    Their sugar came in tiny squares, that was such a shock to me,
    I used the real silver sugar tongs, and dropped some in me tea!
    I’ve made up me mind and wink at him, he’s the Valentine I want.
    He blows me a kiss across the cheese and salmon vol au vent!

    He’s blonde and wears blue plastic glasses; they call him four eyes at school,
    He woos the girls with Mars Bars and Kit Kats’, cos this lad is nobody’s fool.
    Chrissie Dunn wants him all to herself but she’s far too old at aged ten.
    But then that’s Christine all over, always going for much younger men!

    But I had a trick up my sleeve and captured my beau fair and square,
    I did what the other girls daren’t; I showed the lad…. how to swear!
    Now I‘ve seen the way he looks at me and I know I have made him mine,
    Though as yet, I’ve not turned eight, he’s that bit older, he’s nine!

    Stuffed to the gills I’m so happy, as we stroll arm in arm up the hill,
    Me pockets filled with toffees and the tanner he’s nicked from the till.
    In our twitchel he stops to give me a kiss – I blush cos it’s my first!
    But our noses crashed, his glasses smashed, our affair was sadly cursed.

    Only friends now with no spark of romance, though I got the odd Mars bar or three,
    Chrissie Dunn got all his attention, she steamed his glasses, not me! I saw him a few years ago, he asked how I was I said ‘Fine!’
    Now as wide as he once was tall, he was so nearly my first Valentine!

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