Penguin £7.99 (259pp) £7.59 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾, By Sue Townsend
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books 2013, and the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014.
Friday 30 December 2011
"Perhaps when I am famous and my diary is discovered people will understand the torment of being a 13¾ year-old undiscovered intellectual." So Adrian Mole prophesied in 1982, and he may well look back in smugness as a 43¾ year-old today.
His diary was discovered by a generation of young and adult readers and has since become a crossover classic.
This 30th anniversary edition proves it has lost none of its spark: entries catalogue daily indignities from acne breakouts to the torment of discovering that the object of his adoration, Pandora, is going out with his best-friend, Nigel (though this is short-lived).
Adrian's world encapsulates the growing pains of teenage-hood but also the wonder and hope.
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