Oh Adrian…. This phrase will for through your head often as you read any of the instalments of the secret diaries of Adrian Mole.
As a teenager I first read the original book of the series The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ and marvelled at the humorous look at life as a teenager. Although looking back now – I wonder if I understood it all! Adrian is no holds-barred, honest – and despite the regular trips into the ridiculous – bloody likeable. He is kind of an “everyman” – which is a little disturbing given how often he totally stuffs up.
In this book, it is money and women… just for a change! While still besotted with Pandora, Adrian unwittingly finds himself engaged to the dishmop-wet Marigold Flowers, whilst being secretly in love with her sister Daisy. How does a man get engaged without knowing? I would not have thought it possible either, but it really does happen here. Disaster just seems to follow Adrian around.
Also, in his desire to live a trendy life, Adrian buys a stark loft apartment in Rat Wharf (you would think the name would scare him off), and finds himself stalked by swans, insulted by neighbours and afraid to use his own transparent toilet in front of guests.
However, alongside all this silliness that will make you laugh out loud, the political and social commentary is also present. This time, it is the war in Iraq. Adrian’s eldest son Glenn joins up and eventually joins the fray. Adrian is initially pleased and does nothing but spout the mindless rubbish that would have been typical of the British public at the time: Mr Blair knows what he is doing. I trust him completely. And despite violent opposition from the women in his life, and increasingly sad letters from Glenn, this attitude continues for much of the book. It is only tragedy that allows Adrian to see the light.
There is a whole bunch of books in between this and the ones I have read, and I am certainly likely to read them now and fill in the gaps. I hear this is the last of the series. The end of an era.