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

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  32,513 Ratings  ·  1,126 Reviews
At thirteen years old, Adrian Mole has more than his fair share of problems - spots, ill-health, parents threatening to divorce, rejection of his poetry and much more - all recorded with brilliant humour in his diary.
Paperback, 258 pages
Published October 31st 2002 by Puffin Books (first published 1982)
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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
Jun 09, 2012 Justine Halligan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Susi
May 24, 2012 Susi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Amanda
Oct 11, 2012 Amanda rated it did not like it  ·  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
Ivonne Rovira
Jul 19, 2016 Ivonne Rovira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who's been 13
Recommended to Ivonne by: Manny Rayner
Like many before him, pimply, priggish, pretentious 13-year-old Adrian Mole — well, 13 and three-fourths, to be precise — begins a diary on New Year’s Day. Well, he Leicester had me from the very start. Adrian’s the sort of boy who imagines a future in which his parents, his teachers, school bully Barry Kent, and just about everyone will be sorry that they weren’t nicer to him. My favorite quote? “Perhaps when I am famous and my diary is discovered, people will understand the torment of being a ...more
Tim Roast
Mar 06, 2012 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 cer
...more
Klodovik2
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 :) :)
Oda
Apr 17, 2015 Oda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 :)
Laura
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.
Gehna
Feb 27, 2016 Gehna rated it really liked it
Recommended to Gehna by: Shalini
I wanted to read something different from my usual reads so my friend Smitha recommended this book to me. When she mentioned that this book is written like a diary, the usual picture of a bubbly girl writing a diary came to my mind but it was Adrian Mole and I haven't read my books with male diary writers so this was the main reason I picked this book.

This is the diary of Adrian Mole who is 13 3/4 years old and is waiting for his birthday. He considers himself and the readers intellectuals so he
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elisabeth
"I am an intellectual, but at the same time I am not very clever."

I remember reading this when I was younger and, although I immensely enjoyed it then, I love it more now than ever before. Adrian really is quite relatable, with his tendency to jump to conclusions, overanalyse and make a catastrophe of everything, and I really can't help but laugh at at least half of the decisions he makes (sending his poetry to the BBC?!)

I also love the shortness of each of the diary entries and how quickly you
...more
Jennifer
Jul 03, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dimitri
I read Adrian Mole first when I was his age, but before my interest in the opposite sex was kindled. It left enough impression to resurface. The secondhand paperbacks in original English are literally leafing loose from overreading in my late twenties. What do older readers get out of him ? A hilarious reminder that we were all once this young and stupid, coupled with the relief that we came through.

The first book remains - together with its direct sequel, The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole - the
...more
Jana
May 09, 2015 Jana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Mohsen.Ghazanfari
کتاب خوبی بود حیف دید نشده و حیف که کتاب های بعدی ترجمه نشده نویسنده به سبک همین کتاب هفتای دیگهاشو نوشته ...more
Hobbes
Mar 29, 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
...more
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
...more
Marco Esteves
i still didn't get the message behind it wtr
Lisa
Apr 24, 2017 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Jennifer
I adored this short novel written in diary form. Adrian, the writer, experiences all sorts of ups and downs with his mother and father and their marriage as well as girlfriend issues, school, friends, volunteer work, neighbors, money, etc. In a one year period of time he goes through many life experiences that he writes about in his diary and they are laugh out loud funny.
Ryan Williams
Nov 25, 2012 Ryan Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Serialised on radio, adapted for TV, Adrian Mole has earned himself a place alongside Jim Dixon and Mr Pooter in our culture. He seemed an unlikely success from the start. After years of hardscrabble living, single parenting, relative poverty and local writers' groups, Townsend submitted a monologue to BBC radio about a boy called Nigel Mole. A suit named John Tydeman liked the piece and helped get it on the radio; book offers started pouring in after the first few broadcasts. After being sent t ...more
Beatrix
Oct 11, 2013 Beatrix rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I was around 13 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 r
...more
Simon Taylor
Aug 29, 2013 Simon Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Razvan Zamfirescu
Wynne Kontos
Jun 21, 2012 Wynne Kontos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Agne
The beginning was torturous: nothing interesting was happening and I HATED Adrian's arrogant, ignorant, whiny ass. But later I somehow got into the story (not much of a story, really) and started seeing some humor in this pompous teenager's voice, as well as a touch of tragedy in his dull life.

As for the latter, the epigraph at the beginning of the book -- "He would never have confessed to her how he suffered over these things and she only partly guessed" -- somewhat helps in understanding some
...more
HeavyReader
Jan 20, 2012 HeavyReader rated it it was ok  ·  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
James
Feb 25, 2014 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Elise
Oct 16, 2008 Elise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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28707
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
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)

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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.” 65 likes
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