My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a collection of the second, third and fourth books in the Adrian Mole series by Sue Townsend. The first book: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 and 3/4 gained a cult following which I believe also extended across the series.
I first read Adrian Mole books probably somewhere around the 1990’s when I was a teenager. At one point I actually owned the first book and borrowed the others from the library (my childhood library is no longer in service **sad face**). When I noticed my library had this available via their reading app and I was stuck in the middle of a pile of half read books I immediately thought back to how much I loved those books as a younger person so decided to borrow it and started it straight away.
Although I read through it fairly quickly, I just didn’t get the same experience from it as I remembered. In fact, this would be one of those books I would be tempted to say did not hold up to the passing of time. Or at least to me, it didn’t. Reading it during the 1990’s the years that are covered in the book are not all that different, children still hung around on the streets and although almost everyone had a TV, we were still only working with minimal terrestrial channels (I know we only had 5 during the 90’s, we didn’t have cable), divorce or separation of parents wasn’t really a common thing then or at least it wasn’t discussed as freely or looked upon very favourably. Reading this book in 2017 made me think that it sounded really old fashioned and I couldn’t imagine any teenagers (or at least none of the ones I know) from actually being interested in this book.
As the book obviously contained books 2, 3 and 4 from the AM series, I expected it to read that way, however, due to some unknown reason the collection starts with number four and then works backwards. Had I had realised this before starting I would have probably skipped to the back to read the second back and worked my way back through it.
As for Adrian, as an adult reading through his dilemma’s all I can think is how much of a whiny teenager he was. And how he thought himself to be of a much higher standing than he actually was.
I really wish I had Goodreads when I had first read this books as I probably would have been able to write a glowing review for it but now I feel cynical and mean (and quite old actually). I also wish, from another point of view, it could be used as a learning aid somewhere to teach people about life during that era but I really do just think that it is a whiny kid moaning with nothing of any worthy substance.
I do, however, highly commend the author as she managed to encompass a moany teenage boy and make the character believable. I feel like I could easily bump into a character such as Adrian (and probably his mother/father/Bert etc) any time I leave my house.
I am giving this 4/5 stars purely because it once held something amazing and I don’t feel like I am being fair to give it a lower score just because I have outgrown the topics discussed within.