Adrian Mole has fascinated readers across the world since he first burst onto the literary scene in 1982. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 was one of the defining novels of many an adolescence. Full of angst, pimples, Pandora Braithwaite and out of control families, the novel was almost an assault on the typical view of the British family. This was working-class Britain, and Adrian’s self-absorbed teenage perspective throughout all of this is heartwarming and hilarious.
What many don’t realise is that Sue Townsend didn’t stop writing here. Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years follows thirty year old Adrian as he works as a chef in one of the worst restaurants in London. He is as arrogant as ever, and still firmly believes in his writing talents. Naturally, he spends a great deal of this diary writing about his pursuits, which includes a television series called The White Van. Says it all, really.
Yet there is something warmer about the adult Adrian. Perhaps it is in his fatherly abilities. While undoubtedly irresponsible and childish, he proves himself a capable parent, and for this, as a reader, we can’t help but feel that something has changed in the thirteen year old who cared solely about himself.
So if you want a throwback to your teenage years, to remember the angst and the perils of adolescence, then read Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years. Full of the warm wit of the earlier books, yet also filled with a renewed sense of adulthood and coming-of-age, this is a novel that will leave you in stitches, but will also remind you how deeply layered a character Adrian Mole truly is.