Sue Townsend and the Adrian Mole books


The Adrian Mole Diaries: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4
by Sue Townsend

Adrian Mole & the Weapons of Mass Destruction
by Sue Townsend

A terrific book from someone who cares about people and society.

The recording that I heard was read in appropriate middle-England passive and aggressive tones by Paul Daintry. I hope that the version on offer through USA Amazon (and read by Pearce Quigley) is as good. However the Paul Daintry version is the one with the interview with Sue Townsend.

This may be the last Adrian Mole book by Sue Townsend, now ill with complications of diabetes. In the interview with her on the CD, she says that Adrian does not need to write a diary any more. Listen to (or read) the book to discover why.

Number 10 by Sue Townsend

More than a farce, Number 10 is an epic journey around Britain in the Tony Blair years.

Wake up, Booker Prize, and include one of Sue Townsend's books in a list of your nominees!

The author gave us the marvelous four books on her young protagonist Adrian Mole (from The Adrian Mole Diaries : The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 to Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years).

Now her characters are grownup, though acting no more maturely. Accompanied by police officer Jack Sprat, the British P.M. (a.k.a. "that pratt Edward Clare"), disguised in his wife's clothes, and now named Edwina St. Clare, experiences the trials of the British public, including the collapsing public transportation system, elder care, and emergency care.

Number 10 is not only the location of the British Prime Minister's residence at Number 10 Downing Street. It's also the house number of Jack's Mum, who has been a conned into turning her meager home into a crack den.

One of the book's most resilient and sensible characters is the Pakistani taxi driver, whom Jack and "Edwina" hire when "Edwina" quickly gets fed up with public transportation.

During the week of this wandering, Edward's brilliant and over-achieving wife, Adele, stops taking her pills. Therefore she starts having hallucinations again.

Providing much needed romantic relief, Jack falls in love with "Edwina's" sister.

Readers outside the U.K. may miss a few of the jokes, but much of the satire is not exclusively British. The interwoven plots and adventurous characters are a joy no matter where you live.

The Queen and I by Sue Townsend

"What a nightmare."

I listened to this on a recording and was irritated by the first tape (probably I am a royalist at heart), that I immediately listened to the last tape to make sure the story ended ok! It does.

So then I listened to the complete book and it is hilarious. It presents the demoted British royals as fitting in (or in some cases not fitting in) to a council estate. Townsend's take mostly matches my own: the likely grace under pressure of Queen Elizabeth (or Mrs. Windsor) and Princess Anne, the police arrest and jail escape of Charlie, the ditziness of Diana, and the pivotal roles of a corgi and a horse.

The reader, Barbara Rosenblat, is brilliant at all the accents (except for the brief appearance of a well-known media commentator, whom she neglected to present as a Geordie).

Not quite as good as Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole books.