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The Secret Diary and Growing Pains of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 ¾

Adrian Mole turns 50 on April 2 and to celebrate, we’re helping him fulfil a lifelong ambition to publish his collected poems. Read more from the teenage Adrian on his dreams of literary success in The Secret Diary and Growing Pains of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾

Sunday January 11th

First after Epiphany

Now I know I am an intellectual. I saw Malcolm Muggeridge on the television last night, and I understood nearly every word. It all adds up. A bad home, poor diet, not liking punk. I think I will join the library and see what happens.

It is a pity there aren’t any more intellectuals living round here. Mr Lucas wears corduroy trousers, but he’s an insurance man. Just my luck.

The first what after Epiphany?

 

Monday January 12th

The dog is back. It keeps licking its stitches, so when I am eating I sit with my back to it.

My mother got up this morning to make the dog a bed to sleep in until it’s better. It is made out of a cardboard box that used to contain packets of soap powder. My father said this would make the dog sneeze and burst its stitches, and the vet would charge even more to stitch it back up again. They had a row about the box, then my father went on about Mr Lucas. Though what Mr Lucas has to do with the dog’s bed is a mystery to me.

 

Tuesday January 13th

My father has gone back to work. Thank God! I don’t know how my mother sticks him.

Mr Lucas came in this morning to see if my mother needed any help in the house. He is very kind. Mrs Lucas was next door cleaning the outside windows. The ladder didn’t look very safe. I have written to Malcolm Muggeridge, c/o the BBC, asking him what to do about being an intellectual. I hope he writes back soon because I’m getting fed up being one on my own. I have written a poem, and it only took me two minutes. Even the famous poets take longer than that. It is called ‘The Tap’, but it isn’t really about a tap, it’s very deep, and about life and stuff like that.

 

The Tap, by Adrian Mole

The tap drips and keeps me awake,

In the morning there will be a lake.

For the want of a washer the carpet will spoil,

Then for another my father will toil.

My father could snuff it while he is at work.

Dad, fit a washer don’t be a burk!

I showed it to my mother, but she laughed. She isn’t very bright. She still hasn’t washed my PE shorts, and it is school tomorrow. She is not like the mothers on television.

 

Wednesday January 14th

Joined the library. Got Care of the Skin, Origin of Species, and a book by a woman my mother is always going on about. It is called Pride and Prejudice, by a woman called Jane Austen. I could tell the librarian was impressed. Perhaps she is an intellectual like me. She didn’t look at my spot, so perhaps it is getting smaller. About time!

Mr Lucas was in the kitchen drinking coffee with my mother. The room was full of smoke. They were laughing, but when I went in, they stopped.

Mrs Lucas was next door cleaning the drains. She looked as if she was in a bad mood. I think Mr and Mrs Lucas have got an unhappy marriage. Poor Mr Lucas!

None of the teachers at school have noticed that I am an intellectual. They will be sorry when I am famous. There is a new girl in our class. She sits next to me in Geography. She is all right. Her name is Pandora, but she likes being called ‘Box’. Don’t ask me why. I might fall in love with her. It’s time I fell in love, after all I am 13 3/4 years old.
 

More about the author

The Secret Diary & Growing Pains of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾

Sue Townsend

Celebrate Adrian Mole's 50th Birthday with this new double edition, featuring the first two books in the hilarious collection and see life through the spectacles of a misunderstood boy growing up in the early 1980s.

Friday January 2nd
I felt rotten today. It's my mother's fault for singing 'My Way' at two o'clock in the morning at the top of the stairs. Just my luck to have a mother like her. There is a chance my parents could be alcoholics. Next year I could be in a children's home.

Meet Adrian Mole, a hapless teenager providing an unabashed, pimples-and-all glimpse into adolescent life. Telling us candidly about his parents' marital troubles, The Dog, his life as a tortured poet and 'misunderstood intellectual', his love for the divine Pandora and his horror at learning of his mother's pregnancy, Adrian's painfully honest diary is a hilarious and heartfelt chronicle of misspent adolescence.

Features the complete texts of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ and The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole.

'I've never experienced a greater sense of recognition than when reading The Secret Diary' David Nicholls

'I not only wept, I howled and hooted and had to get up and walk around the room and wipe my eyes so that I could go on reading' Tom Sharpe

'Every sentence is witty and well thought out, and the whole has reverberations beyond itself' The Times

'Townsend has held a mirror up to the nation and made us happy to laugh at what we see in it' Sunday Telegraph

'One of the great comic creations' Daily Mirror

'The funniest person in the world' Caitlin Moran

The True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole

Sue Townsend

Celebrate Adrian Mole's 50th Birthday with this new edition of the third book in his diaries, as 16-year-old Adrian navigates his way into adulthood

Monday June 13th
I had a good, proper look at myself in the mirror tonight. I've always wanted to look clever, but at the age of twenty years and three months I have to admit that I look like a person who has never even heard of Jung or Updike.

Adrian Mole is an adult. At least that's what it says on his passport. But living at home, clinging to his threadbare cuddly rabbit 'Pinky', working as a paper pusher for the DoE and pining for the love of his life, Pandora, has proved to him that adulthood isn't quite what he expected. Still, without the slings and arrows of modern life what else would an intellectual poet have to write about . . .

Included here are two other less well-known diarists: Sue Townsend and Margaret Hilda Roberts, a rather ambitious grocer's daughter from Grantham.

'Wonderfully funny and sharp as knives' Sunday Times

'Essential reading for Mole followers' Times Educational Supplement

'Townsend has held a mirror up to the nation and made us happy to laugh at what we see in it' Sunday Telegraph

'The funniest person in the world' Caitlin Moran

Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years

Sue Townsend

Celebrate Adrian Mole's 50th Birthday with this new edition of the fourth book in his diaries, where we catch up with a hapless Adrian and his desperate attempts to win back the love of his life

Thursday January 3rd
I have the most terrible problems with my sex life. It all boils down to the fact that I have no sex life. At least not with another person.

Finally given the heave-ho by Pandora, Adrian Mole finds himself in the unenviable situation of living with the love-of-his-life as she goes about shacking up with other men. Worse, as he slides down the employment ladder, from deskbound civil servant in Oxford to part-time washer-upper in Soho, he finds that critical reception for his epic novel, Lo! The Flat Hills of My Homeland, is not quite as he might have hoped.

But Adrian is about to discover that extraordinary and wonderful things may blossom even in the wilderness . . .

'A classic. The Adrian Mole diaries are thoroughly subversive. A true hero for our time' Richard Ingrams

'A very, very funny book' Sunday Times

'The funniest person in the world' Caitlin Moran

Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years

Sue Townsend

Celebrate Adrian Mole's 50th Birthday with this new edition of the fifth book in his diaries, where Adrian faces divorce, fatherhood and (short-lived) television stardom

Wednesday August 13th
Here I am again - in my old bedroom. Older, wiser, but with less hair, unfortunately. The atmosphere in this house is very bad. The dog looks permanently exhausted. Every time the phone rings my mother snatches it up as though a kidnapper were on the line.

Adrian Mole is thirty, single and a father. His cooking at a top London restaurant has been equally mocked ('the sausage on my plate could have been a turd') and celebrated (will he be the nation's first celebrity offal chef?). And the love of his life, Pandora Braithwaite, is too busy as the newly elected MP for Ashby-de-la-Zouch to notice him.

Frustrated, disappointed and undersexed, Adrian despairs until a letter from his past changes everything . . .

'With the Mole books, Townsend has an unrivalled claim to be this country's foremost practising comic novelist' Mail on Sunday

'Adrian Mole really is a brilliant comic creation. Every sentence is witty and well thought out, and the whole has reverberations beyond itself' The Times

'One of the greatest comic creations. I can't remember a more relentlessly funny book' Daily Mirror

'Three cheers for Mole's chaotic, non-achieving, dysfunctional family. We need him' Evening Standard

'The funniest person in the world' Caitlin Moran

Adrian Mole and The Weapons of Mass Destruction

Sue Townsend

Celebrate Adrian Mole's 50th Birthday with this new edition of the seventh book in his diaries where Adrian falls in love, is inconvenienced by the war and faces his new nemesis: a swan from the local canal

Wednesday April 2nd
My birthday.
I am thirty-five today. I am officially middle-aged. It is all downhill from now. A pathetic slide towards gum disease, wheelchair ramps and death.

Adrian Mole is middle-aged but still scribbling. Working as a bookseller and living in Leicester's Rat Wharf; finding time to write letters of advice to Tim Henman and Tony Blair; locked in mortal combat with a vicious swan called Gielgud; measuring his expanding bald spot; and trying to win-over the voluptuous Daisy . . . Adrian yearns for a better more meaningful world. But he's not ready to surrender his pen yet...

Bestselling author Sue Townsend has been Britain's favourite comic writer for over three decades.

'Hilarious. Deft, gleeful mockery impales modish fads, from home make-overs to new-age crazes, while fiercer irony is trained on the country's involvement with Iraq' Sunday Times

'Richly comic ... stuffed full of humour, tragedy, vanity, pathos and, very occasionally, wisdom' Guardian

'Completely hilarious, laugh-out-loud, a joy' Daily Mirror

'The funniest person in the world' Caitlin Moran

Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years

Sue Townsend

Celebrate Adrian Mole's 50th Birthday with this new edition of the eighth and final book in his diaries, as Adrian continues to struggle with his love life, endures a painfully awkward school play and contemplates the unsettling prospect of applying genital poultice.

Sunday 1st July
NO SMOKING DAY
A momentous day! Smoking in a public place or place of work is forbidden in England. Though if you a lunatic, a prisoner, an MP or a member of the Royal Family you are exempt.

Adrian Mole is thirty-nine and a quarter. He lives in the country in a semi-detached converted pigsty with his wife Daisy and their daughter. His parents George and Pauline live in the adjoining pigsty. But all is not well.

The secondhand bookshop in which Adrian works is threatened with closure. The spark has fizzled out of his marriage. His mother is threatening to write her autobiography (A Girl Called Shit). And Adrian's nightly trips to the lavatory have become alarmingly frequent . . .


'Effortlessly hilarious. Brilliant satire and tragedy' The Times

'A tour de force by a comic genius and if it isn't the best book published this year, I'll eat my bookshelf' Daily Mail, Books of the Year

'Hilarious. Comic gold' Sunday Times

'The funniest person in the world' Caitlin Moran

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