Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 (Adrian Mole, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4  (Adrian Mole, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  28,492 Ratings  ·  935 Reviews
Adrian Mole's first love, Pandora, has left him; a neighbor, 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.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 14th 2003 by HarperTeen (first published 1982)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsGood Omens by Terry PratchettLamb by Christopher MooreThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanMe Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Best Humorous Books
119th out of 3,118 books — 6,085 voters
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann ShafferThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyBridget Jones's Diary by Helen FieldingDracula by Bram StokerThe Color Purple by Alice Walker
Epistolary Fiction
18th out of 400 books — 501 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
Justine Halligan
Jun 09, 2012 Justine Halligan rated it really liked it
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
Apr 22, 2008 Valerie rated it liked it
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
May 24, 2012 Susi rated it really liked it
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
Tim Roast
Nov 17, 2015 Tim Roast rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You've probably heard of "The Secret (although not anymore it would seem) Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 " but I'll review it anyway.

The diary covers the period January 1981 through to beginning of April 1982. Therefore Adrian was not 13 throughout the story (false advertising?); instead he was merely 13 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 cert
Aug 15, 2015 Klodovik2 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Koji je ovo užitak bio čitajući u pubertetskom razdoblju. U mnogim stvarima sam se prepoznao što je u biti i najveća odlika ove knjige. Pokazati da nisi jedini koji prolazi kroz pubertetske patnje i druženje s ravnalom :)
Najjača scena mi je bila nesreća s ljepljenjem makete :) :)
From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
Adrian Mole starts the new year with a huge spot on his chin. Sue Townsend's famous tale of a teenager read by Nicholas Barnes.
Nov 01, 2012 Amanda rated it did not like it
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
Beth Bonini
I have been meaning to read this classic for YEARS.

Poor old Adrian: so innocent and pompous and self-deluded, all at the same time. This book is very, very English; I think that I had just enough knowledge of the culture (after 24 years of being with a British man) to pretty much "get" it. It also helps that I was more or less the same age as Adrian in the early 1980s. Great social document, with some enduring humour -- a lot of it in the gap between what Adrian thinks/understands and what the r
Feb 06, 2016 Oda rated it it was amazing
I read this today for school(yeay english lit class).
I defently see why its so highly praised.
A very,very,very funny book, that is hands down one of my new top humor books.
And lucky for me there are lots of other books in the series out :)
May 10, 2015 Jana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anglophile
Adrian, how is it that we've only just met? You're hilarious. I laughed so frequently that my husband took you from my possession as soon as I was finished and started reading as well. I hope he agrees with me that it is dead brill.

I am ever so pleased that there are a total of 8 Adrian Mole diaries to enjoy. The title of the final book is ADRIAN MOLE: THE PROSTRATE YEARS.

Thank you Jen! This little copy traveled home with me from London and I can't think of a better souvenir.

The author also has
Jul 03, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 30, 2015 Hobbes rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult

So much for the National Health Service. I will get a paper-round and go private. (Snort)

If I was the loneliest person in the world I wouldn't phone up our school. I would ring the speaking clock; that talks to you every ten seconds. (Still available to dial on 123!)

It is the first day of spring. The council have chopped all the elms down in Elm Tree Avenue. (Quite!)

I am reading The Mill on the Floss, by a bloke called George Eliot. (Yes, I made the same assumption first read)

Epiphany is somethi
Wynne Kontos
Jun 25, 2012 Wynne Kontos rated it really liked it
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,
Simon Taylor
Aug 29, 2013 Simon Taylor rated it really liked it
Like other things for the 13’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 adult
Esperanza Writes Too
Dec 17, 2012 Esperanza Writes Too rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school-reading
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
Becky Black
Apr 10, 2014 Becky Black rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 21, 2012 HeavyReader rated it it was ok
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
Dec 29, 2014 James rated it it was amazing
Adrian Mole is a self-proclaimed intellectual, growing up in 1980s England. His mother runs off with the neighbor and his father loses his job and does little to support Adrian, who is often left to fend for himself. This book is his diary of 1 1/2 years, and it is dead hilarious (to put it like Adrian might). I'm not sure how this one passed me by when I was a teen in the '80s. I didn't have all of the same problems as Adrian, but I could definitely have related to him.
Oct 16, 2008 Elise rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 18, 2015 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Elegido para el Club de Lectura por Lum.
No pude entrar en sintonía con este libro. Adrian Mole, me pareció un personaje superficial, idiota y desagradable (por solo nombrar algunas de sus cualidades horribles). Sus actitudes egoístas y su incapacidad de amar me repugnaron. Si la autora pensó que estaba siendo graciosa cuando lo escribía, subestimó mucho a sus lectores, en las 200 páginas del libro no me sacó ni una mínima sonrisa. Prácticamente leí todo el libro con el ceño fruncido.
Tampoco me p
David Baird
Jan 31, 2016 David Baird rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved this as a kid..still love it now. coming of age tale.. contains light humour but also has depth that the main character being so young just doesn't understand.

super quick read too. diary entries make it so easy to read
Jan 13, 2012 Alecia rated it it was amazing
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
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
Apr 13, 2014 Shaun McAlister rated it it was amazing
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
May 17, 2015 Mizannie rated it really liked it
Sue Townsend had a knack for capturing the inner life of the adolescent boy. We meet Adrian Mole via his diary entries and through them learn of his insecurities, his abysmal home life, and his big heart. Adrian is a self-proclaimed "intellectual" and his diary entry lists what he is reading, although his school grades are certainly not spectacular. Socially awkward, Adrian navigates a crush on a pretty girl with "treacle hair," deals with a school bully, and volunteers to visit an elderly perso ...more
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
David Sarkies
Nov 04, 2015 David Sarkies rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy
Inside the head of a teenager
26 August 2013

I discovered this book because I had watched the TV series that was based on it and the reason that I watched the TV series was because when I was flicking through a computer magazine (when I was a kid) I found an add for 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 '. I guess that is how advertising is supposed to work because the only reason I read the book was because I had watched the TV series, and the only reason I watched the TV series was because
Dennie Bem
May 31, 2009 Dennie Bem rated it it was amazing
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Družba Pere Kvržice
  • Ježeva kućica
  • Čudnovate zgode šegrta Hlapića
  • Escape From Warsaw
  • Sunset Song (A Scots Quair, #1)
  • Jip en Janneke
  • Playing Beatie Bow
  • Prince of Dorkness (Wimpy Vampire, #2)
  • Flour Babies
  • The Children of Noisy Village
  • Meester Pluim en het praatpoeder
  • The Peppermint Pig
  • Chocolate à Chuva
  • Lažeš, Melita
  • Uma Aventura nas Férias Grandes
  • The Three Paradoxes
  • The Diary of a Nobody
  • Frost in May
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 is 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 suffered from diabetes for many years, as a
More about Sue Townsend...

Other Books in the Series

Adrian Mole (8 books)
  • The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (Adrian Mole #2)
  • True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole (Adrian Mole, #3)
  • Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years (Adrian Mole, #4)
  • Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years (Adrian Mole, #5)
  • Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction (Adrian Mole, #6)
  • The Lost Diaries of Adrian Mole, 1999-2001 (Adrian Mole, #7)
  • Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years (Adrian Mole, #8)

Share This Book

“There's only one thing more boring than listening to other people's dreams, and that's listening to their problems.” 56 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.” 16 likes
More quotes…