I’ve been following Adrians’ adventures since the early ‘eighties’, from age 13 and three quarters, to his alleged adulthood. My mother bought the book, read it, then gave it to me and said, “This is you!” I read it and thought, “JESUS! This isn’t me?! I’m not like this!”
But there is more Adrian about me than I’ll admit.
Ado and I are approximately the same age, we share a love of reading, a slightly distorted view of reality, and an inbuilt sense of duty, which means we ‘do the right thing’ even though we grumble about it. Add to the list, total self absorption, selfishness, poor dress sense, and an almost pathalogical self belief/optimism regarding our writing abilities. So, reading his diaries is sometimes a little too close to the bone.
Sue Townsend, Adrians’ creator, has said that she based the books on her own son, Sean, the poor bugger…
Anyway, I along with the rest of the planet, believed Sue had finally written Adrian a happy ending at the end of “‘Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction”. He had married a beautiful woman, lived in a converted pigsty, had a great job at a small bookshop, and was, possibly for the first time in his life, Happy.
So, you can imagine my surprise last week while shambling through the library, I came across “Adrian Mole – The Prostate Years”. I took it home, and devoured the next chapter of Adrians’ life in less than a day. The poor bugger has once again been struck by the Fickle Finger of Fate and the extremely Dirty Digit of Destiny. Ado has prostate cancer. His marriage is on the rocks, the bookshop is in trouble, he is still being hounded for back taxes, and his son is still at war, this time in Afghanistan.
I won’t tell you how it ends, but it looks as if this won’t be the last Adrian Mole book. Unless, of course, Sue is forced to stop writing. Recently, her son Sean, the one who Adrian is alleged to be based on, gave his mother one of his kidneys, so Sue, at the age of 65, may not have much time left to produce another Adrian title. It’s a sure bet she won’t be around long enough to put him into a retirement home!
For those of you interested in seeing what Adrian looks like, here’s a pic:
I look nothing like this… I don’t even own a woolly cardie!