The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 3/4
by Sue Townsend
Meet Adrian Mole, a hapless teenager providing an unabashed, pimples-and-all glimpse into adolescent life.
Writing candidly about his parents’ marital troubles, the dog, his life as a tortured poet and ‘misunderstood intellectual’, Adrian’s painfully honest diary is still hilarious and compelling reading thirty years after it first appeared.
Thursday January 1st
Bank Holiday in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales
These are my New Year’s resolutions:
- I will help the blind across the road.
- I will hang my trousers up.
- I will put the sleeves back on my records.
- I will not start smoking.
- I will stop squeezing my spots.
- I will be kind to the dog.
- I will help the poor and ignorant.
- After hearing the disgusting noises from downstairs last night, I have also vowed never to drink alcohol.
Featured in this book:
Letters by Adrian Mole
Essays by Adrian Mole
Poems by Adrian Mole
The Diary of Nigel Mole Aged 13 ¾ broadcast on Radio Four in the Theatre Minute Theatre slot, read by Nicholas Barnes in January 1982. This was Mole’s first national outing, under the name of Nigel (it was changed to Adrian for the books because Methuen, Sue’s publisher, felt that Nigel Mole was too close to Nigel Molesworth and reviewers, it was believed, would not fail to make comparisons). Deputy Head of Radio Drama, John Tydeman commissioned this half hour of radio and encouraged Sue to expand the work for publication.
In 1984 Sue wrote The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾: The Play. It featured music and lyrics by Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley and starred Simon Schatzberger as Adrian Mole and Sheila Steafel as Pauline Mole. First performed at Phoenix Arts in Leicester it then went to London’s Wyndham’s Theatre, in December 1984.
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ was first broadcast on ITV in 1985 and ran for six episodes. It starred newcomer Gian Sammarco as Adrian Mole, Julie Walters as Pauline Mole, Stephen Moore as George Mole, Beryl Reid as Grandma, Lindsay Stagg as Pandora and Bill Fraser as Bert Baxter.
Praise for The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾:
I not only wept, I howled and hooted and had to get up and walk around the room and wipe my eyes so that I could go on reading
Townsend has held a mirror up to the nation and made us happy to laugh at what we see in it
A classic. The Adrian Mole diaries are thoroughly subversive. A true hero for our time
The publishers could offer a money back guarantee if you don’t laugh and be sure they wouldn’t have to write a single cheque
He will be remembered some day as one of England’s great diarists
Every sentence is witty and well thought out, and the whole has reverberations beyond itself
Adrian Mole really is a brilliant comic creation
The real greatness of Townsend’s creation comes from the gap between aspiration and reality. Adrian Mole is one of literature’s great underachievers; his tragedy is that he knows it and the sadness of this undercuts the humour and makes us laugh not until, but while, it hurts
Adrian Mole is one of the great comic characters of our time . . . [Townsend] never writes a sentence which doesn’t ring true; she never gets Adrian’s voice wrong or attributes a thought or feeling to him which strikes one as false. Whatever happens, we may be sure that new troubles will assail Adrian, that new disasters will threaten, but that he will survive them all. Like Evelyn Waugh’s Captain Grimes, Adrian is “one of the immortals” and the series of his diaries the comic masterpiece of our time