TOAST’s Web “Thing”

Monday, 2007-01-01

Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction

Filed under: (Uncategorized) — by Toast d'Béchamel @ 11:33 pm

I got quite excited when I found out that there was a new “Adrian Mole” book out (even though it was 6 months after it was actually published).  I sort of grew up reading the poor blighter’s mis-adventures, usually reading them at a similar sort of age as the actual character!  Moley is about 10 years older than me, and with the delays in writing, publishing and getting the books to Australia, it’s tracked my life somewhat.  Unfortunately, the first couple of books, many pieces of the humour went right over my head.  As a 14 year old, I found myself continually having to look up things like “Tory”, “Falklands”, “Terry’s Chocolate Orange”, “Brown Ale”, “Giro” etc.  These days, the ‘net sure helps, this time around I was looking up “Jeremy Clarkson”, “Habitat” and a bunch of British MPs.  Even though always described as an “anti-hero”, the first couple of books I saw Moley as quite an exciting character, having a much more fun and social life than me.  I was one of the original computer nerds/’net addicts though.  But I digress.

I’ll try not to spoil anything for you.  I really enjoyed the read and got through the ~500 pages in under 3 days.  I really liked the “canon” of the series, no need to establish e.g. who Tania Braithwaite is, or about Sharon Bott / Glenn etc, just jump right in there and give us the updates.  There’s usually a few years gap between each book, during which time, things change, people die, new people emerge etc, but I really churned through this book like catching up with an old friend.

The main criticism I have regarding this book (and the previous one to some extent) is the predictability of some of the events.  Basically, if something significant happens, then you know that it’s all going to end up pair-shaped.  In fact, you can start anticipating it very early on.  Still… that’s what happens to old Moley.

I don’t have all the info, but apparently the author, Sue Townsend, is either going, or is now completely blind!  This is actually reflected in one of the long-term characters of the series, going through a similar ordeal (I won’t tell you who).  You can very much tell that the account is real and personal.  Although only a minor sub-plot, it’s quite surprising and unpredictable.

Alas, this would appear to be the final book in the series (I just confirmed it on wikipedia), and whilst it doesn’t glibly tie up all the loose ends, the conclusion leaves one satisfied.  I’ll probably have a read of Sue Townsend’s other recent works as well, especially if they’re light easy reading material as well.  I’ve spent far too long reading textbooks and heavy literature, one forgets that there are plenty of great, easy to read books out there which over a real alternative to television, the movies and the Internet.

So, if you’re a fan of the series, get yourself a copy, and get stuck in.  It’s a fun light read and will put a smile on your face.

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