The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 (Adrian Mole #1)
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The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 (Adrian Mole #1)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  21,648 ratings  ·  771 reviews

Adrian Mole's first love, Pandora, has left him; a neighbour, Mr. Lucas, appears to be seducing his mother (and what does that mean for his father?); the BBC refuses to publish his poetry; and his dog swallowed the tree off the Christmas cake. "Why" indeed.


About the Author
Sue Townsend is the author of The Queen and I and The Adrian Mole books. She lives in England.

Perfect Paperback, 187 pages
Published September 2nd 1997 by Random House UK (first published 1982)
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Community Reviews

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Manny
April 25

I start reading a book called Diary of a Nobody. It is boring and not much happens, also Mr. Pooter is pretty dim. I don't get it. Why would anyone want to write a book about a nobody who takes himself far too seriously?

I decide that I will write a book about myself that will be quite different, it will be full of important things I do and extremely interesting. Perhaps I will call it Diary of a Somebody. But then people won't know which somebody it is, since everyone is somebody. I dec...more
Justine Halligan
This book is a hoot. I used to read it on the train and had to stop doing so because people around me were annoyed by my laughing and snorting.

I don't know how Townsend knows so much about the workings of a male teenaged mind, but it's thoroughly convincing and all hilarious. Adrian Mole is a young intellectual and poet, constantly disgusted by his un-intellectual parents whose marriage is rocky and who split up during the course of the novel. Mole spends a lot of time agonising over his age (e...more
Valerie
The Diary of Adrian Mole is like a snarky one-liner that continues for 135 pages. Adrian is a self-centered, irreverent British 14-year-old whose diary entries include nuggets of wisdom such as:

Pandora and I are in love! It is official! She told Claire Neilson, who told Nigel, who told me.

I told Nigel to tell Claire to tell Pandora that I return her love. I am over the moon with joy and rapture. I can overlook the fact that Pandora smokes five Benson and Hedges a day and has her own lighter. Whe...more
Tim Roast
You've probably heard of "The Secret (although not anymore it would seem) Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾" but I'll review it anyway.

The diary covers the period January 1981 through to beginning of April 1982. Therefore Adrian was not 13 ¾ throughout the story (false advertising?); instead he was merely 13 ¾ at the beginning and 15 at the end.

It is now 30 years since the diary's release and apart from mentions to the price of things (£30,000 for a semi-detached house, if only) and the mention of...more
Susi
I've just read this to my daughter who is exactly this age. I'd read the book when it first came out but it was great to revisit both it and the memories that it stirred. Reliving the Falklands War, the Royal Wedding, mass unemployment, stress over the changes to the school system etc was fascinating if only to realise how little has changed! We almost had to stop reading at one point as each day's literary Mole catastrophe coincidentally seemed to then occur in my daughter's real life: her firs...more
Amanda
Nov 01, 2012 Amanda rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Harry Potter (in case he needs another book to stab)
Recommended to Amanda by: It was forced on me! I will deny every argument against this!
1 dead star.
Yes, I hate this book so much, I killed its sole, lonely star.

As this was a school assigned book, I have written a much more formal review from an objective point of view for my English class. I also wrote a review purely for me, from a very subjective point of view. Feel free to just read the objective one but if you want to see how bad the book was for me, personally, read to the end.
Without further ado...

The Objective Review:
From an objective point of view, The Secret Diary of Ad...more
Jennifer
Absolutely formative for my being. I've read it so many times (the edition whose cover is an homage to "Catcher in the Rye") my original copy is worn. It's actually the 3rd copy as two I loaned out were never returned.
I still remember sitting in Freshman (College Bound) English with Madame Gouldy and looking over to see Jonathan Reinke chuckling quietly over the paperback he was trying to hide under his desk. I asked him what it was and he showed me. Luckily, I was able to get my own copy soon...more
Wynne Kontos
Bought this at the EuroStar train station in London. Had never heard of it, seemed like sort of an English Judy Blume. I have multiple times laughed out loud.
Very enjoyable overall. In the world of authors, Sue Townsend is in a neighboring cul-da-sac from Roald Dahl. Quirky character names, a lead who hasn't got the best of luck but you still root for, a dirty, wry sense of humor and a touch of English. Poor Adrian Mole's parents are breaking apart, no one can control the family's nameless dog,...more
Simon Taylor
Like other things for the 13¾’s like Haribo and cheesy films, they can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. On the surface, Adrian lives an entertaining life, caught up in the dramas of the day-to-day: school, family, girls and a horribly tight budget. We can relate to his experiences, both trials and triumphs, and easily engage with the titular calendar. Sue Townsend does a brilliant job of regressing to her teenage years to remember the intimacies of the most awkward age group.

For the adul...more
Esperanza Writes Too
I have read this book for school, well, an adaptation of it. What can I say? This story is about a boy that writes on his diary all his adventures and actions during the day. It was really funny, firstly because it's not the kind of books I usually read for classes, this surprised me. A lot.
I couldn't laugh more with Adrian's worries about spots, it's the first boy I know (even it's fictional) that cares about that!
He's in love with Pandora, a girl that, personally thinking, is a girl that bri...more
Becky Black
So sad to hear of Sue Townsend's death. This was a book that really captured the minds of young teens in 1980s Britain. It will always stay with me. I should get a new copy for a nostalgic tribute reread.
HeavyReader
Jan 21, 2012 HeavyReader rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of pompous young men and British humor
Shelves: young-adult
Adrian Mole is a pompous, self-centered, arrogant little snot.

What is up with these 14 year old boy books where the boy is all about himself from beginning to end? Did Ponyboy spoil me forever? Ponyboy, now there's a nice, sensitive kid.

The worst part of this book (like others of this genre that I've read recently) is that I just don't see much character development. This character is pretty much the same, beginning to end.

I did laugh out loud in a couple of spots, and that's what saved this bo...more
Elise
Adrian Mole is a 13-year-old self-styled intellectual who is 'at the same time not very clever.' I love the way he pesters the BBC with unsolicited poetry, and treasures his rejection letters. He's definitely the young fogey in his family, often aligning himself with his grandmother against his adulterous mother and unemployed father.
Alecia
This book was amazing. The character of Adrain Mole - brillaint name - was so likeable and authentic. So many laugh-out-loud moments. A must read for anyone who wants to feel like a child again.
Emlyn Chand
Nov 19, 2011 Emlyn Chand marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-reads
A reviewer just referred to Farsighted as "The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole and Harry Potter rolled into one," so of course, I NEED to read this book now!
Shaun McAlister
With the recent death of Sue Townsend I decided to re-read Adrian Mole only to discover my previous copy was falling apart at the spine. I read the series once every few years and realising that they will never be another is a great disappointed as he is a character I have followed through his "life". I read this for the first time when I was 12/13 and like everyone else since publication identified with Adrian Mole. The fact that a 30 year old woman can write about a teenage boy so perfectly on...more
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Juliana Graham
This book has the honour of being the first one I read on a Kindle - I was persuaded to buy it by Amazon's sneaky advertising when you switch on the device; it was only 99p so it seemed rude not to!

I had never read this book before but I know it was hugely popular when it came out (when I was a few years too young to read it) and it has also spawned many sequels, so there must be something to it. Overall, I read it quite quickly when I actually sat down with it (it wasn't my main book so took a...more
Dennie Bem
Now this story is probably one of the funniest I’ve read so far. Written by Sue Townsend it hits the country with its realism and the silliness of Adrian Mole himself.
It starts with his New Year to-do list which is an absolute killer all by itself. And then the reader slowly reads through the days of Adrian’s life and laughs him or herself silly just because of his weird ways of explaining things to himself.
Finally falls in love with a girl from his class and goes through the painful experience...more
Emily
Adrian Mole, precocious British teenager, self-professed intellectual, and diarist tells us of his trials and tribulations during the last part of his 13th and all of his 14th year. His musings are funny, sweet, and ultimately poignant. In this first edition of the series, we follow him through his decision to become an intellectual, his parents separation and reunification, and his tumultuous first love affair with one Pandora Braithwaite (herself precocious, radical and somewhat fickle.)
Upon m...more
Beatrix
I was around 13¾ years of age when I first read this novel, so I only had a couple of vague recollections about it. But I definitely remembered that I liked it, so I re-read it, and I still like it a lot, for many reasons.

First of all, I like it because this novel is really laugh-out-loud funny. Adrian Mole, a moderately loser teenager – whose life is a never-ending fight against his pimples, his careless parents, the unmanageable family dog, the school bully, and, in general, the whole English...more
Waqar Hussain
The book can serve as a great escape. If you want to run away from your mundane existence, lose yourself into the world of Adrian mole. His candid,amusing and honest observations about his daily existence make you forget,for a brief little moment, your own. His woes and worries,often trivial, are both amusing and poignant at once. You feel sorry for the lad and at times identify with him too. You laugh, and that too loudly, at his take on things(his worldview) which is humorously quite a serious...more
Smitha
Was a quick and easy read (March 2011). My kind of books. I like 'secret' personal diaries written by eccentric teenagers. It is funny seeing the world from their view point. The teenager in me wakes up whenever I read such books. I had read another Adrian Mole book last year - in which he is a grown-up, but still as kinky. Am looking forward to other books in this series.
I would recommend this to people who like to read about eccentric, ordinary people -e.g.- 'Diary of a Nobody'kind of books
---...more
Christine Blachford
I have read this book over and over, but not for a long time. When I was younger, I had a well-leafed copy, and I guess I enjoyed it because of the diary format rather than because I had any particular understanding of it. I don’t relate to what it’s like being a teenage boy, and looking back now I can see that I didn’t get a lot of the references.

I was surprised to see this as a Kindle Daily Deal but snapped it up, as I had almost forgotten the book existed! I instantly opened it and began to r...more
Michael
Excellent book; I have read this many times, and if anything it gets better. This first book in the excellent Adrian Mole series is perhaps my favourite book ever. I found myself, again, laughing out loud at this book; you appreciate more of the humour as you get older. Adrian is a brilliant tragicomic character; through reading his diaries the reader can see many things going on behind the scenes, his parent's infidelities, his best friend Nigel's emerging homosexuality, etc and yet Adrian is o...more
Olivia
Everyone should read this around the same time as Catcher in the Rye - when you're 13-15 and utterly disenchanted with the world. My dad make the mistake of handing it to me when I was 11 and I got nothing out of it. Thank God I picked it up again for no apparently reason when I was 14. For some reason it sticks in my memory that I woke up too early for school in November and took it off the shelf and back to bed with me at about 6am. I had finished it before my first class that day and couldn't...more
Graceann
Mar 30, 2009 Graceann rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sue Townsend Fans, Fans of British Humor
Recommended to Graceann by: Several People
Please see my detailed review at Amazon Graceann's "Secret Diary of Adrian Mole" Review"

Please click that the review was helpful to you at Amazon so that my rating continues to climb!

I have this with my epistolary novels, but really it's written in a diary format - so that's just for lack of a better classification. This is the first of a series, and I laughed out loud (as I often do with Sue Townsend). British humor can be very dry, and some of the cultural references did indeed require explan...more
♥ Becky  22
Chers Goodreads friends, I cannot believe that none of you have read this book yet. (Emphasis on "yet". You totally should read this, it is awesome.)

Well, no, there's no epic paranormal story, no swoon-worthy guys, no vampires.

BUT this book will have you laughing your asses off.


The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole is the bird on the left.

This is written in diary form, by a boy called Adrian Mole, who starts off as 13 3/4 but is 15 when the story ends.
Adrian is not a funny person.
But he has no ide...more
Kat
I first read this book when I was in my teens, and whilst I remember being fond of it, reading it as an adult has completely changed my attitude to the book, purely because I can now laugh at how ridiculous Adrian is and it reminds me how ridiculous we all were as teenagers. I kind of feel like I'm laughing at my own stupidity, which is allowed since I haven't been a teenager in nine years!

I actually started highlighting a lot of the stupid (but hilarious) things that Mole says (oh how I love be...more
Cheyenne Blue
I first read this a long time ago. Then I found it laugh-out-loud funny. This time around it was still very funny, and has a lovely way of mocking itself.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Susan Lillian "Sue" Townsend was a British novelist, best known as the author of the Adrian Mole series of books. Her writing tends to combine comedy with social commentary, though she has written purely dramatic works as well. She has suffered from diabetes for many years,...more
More about Sue Townsend...
The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (Adrian Mole, #2) Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years (Adrian Mole, #5) Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction (Adrian Mole, #6) The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years (Adrian Mole, #4)

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“There's only one thing more boring than listening to other people's dreams, and that's listening to their problems.” 43 likes
“8.45 a.m. My mother is in the hospital grounds smoking a cigarette. She is looking old and haggard. All the debauchery is catching up with her.” 15 likes
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