1) When was your novel published?
My novel was published in 1982.
2) Would you classify it: as a classic, a modern classic or a contemporary novel?
I would classify my book as a contemporary novel.
3) What happens in the story?
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 is the first in a series of diaries, that take you from when he is nearly fourteen until he is nearly thirty-five. The book talks about all the trials and tribulations a teenager (for example girls,. school and parents). This book takes you through Adrian’s first few years of a teenager. On nearly diary-entry, a new subplot unfurls itself. However, the main, key plot is as follows:
Adrian is sick of his parents smoking and drinking habits.
His dog keeps running away.
Adrian falls in love with Pandora, and they enter into an official relationship.
His mother runs away with Mr Lucas (their neighbour).
Adrian’s father is made redundant and the phone, lighting and heating gets cut off.
Adrian loves writing poetry and sends his poems of to the BBC and on a number of times rejected.
His mother comes back because she claims Mr Lucas was treating her like a sex object.
The book ends with Adrian hearing the Falkland War beginning.
4) Where and when is the story set?
The story is set mainly in the county of Leistershire, in late 1950’s and early 1960’s.
5) What is your favourite bit in the book and why?
My favourite bit in the story is in my own extract, as it shows most of the characteristics that Adrian possesses (contempt and the belief he is better than others because he is an ‘intellectual’).
6) Who are the main characters in the book and in your extract?
There are two main characters in my extract, which are, Adrian and Bert Baxter.
In the whole book, there are many important characters but I will be talking about three main characters which are, Adrian, Adrian’s mother and Adrian’s father
7) How would you describe each of these characters in their physical and behaviour?
Adrian-Adrian has two very prominent features throughout the book, which are mentioned above (contempt and the belief he is better than others are because he is an ‘intellectual’). Adrian is not a very strong boy and therefore at the start of the book is a target for bullies, but as he moves up the school, he is bullied less. He also wants to impress teachers (for example on his school trip, he made a list of all the mayhem that was caused). He also however wants to be famous as he keeps on writing to the BBC.
Adrian’s Mother- Adrian’s mother throughout the book has a desire to have a relationship with a man that will fulfil her sexual needs. This is visible in two instances, firstly when she is on the phone to Adrian from Sheffield (were she and Mr Lucas were living) and said ‘I want a man who fulfils all my sexual needs and Bimbo (Mr Lucas) is that man’. Secondly, she wears elaborate underwear hoping that Adrian’s father will notice, however she tells Adrian that his father is just not living up to her sexual desires.
Adrian’s Father- Adrian’s father is very depressed throughout the book this is because of four main reasons:
He is trying to get a job to feed his family.
His wife has left him.
He has a teenage son to raise.
8) How do the characters relate to each other in their action and behaviour?
Adrian and His Mother- Overall his attitude towards his mother is not very good as at the start of the book she doesn’t take an interest in his health. Secondly, he is angry at her for leaving with Mr Lucas. Finally she doesn’t talk to Adrian much after she come back and spends most of the time in bed with her husband.
Adrian and His Father- Adrian likes his father better than his mother for two main reasons, firstly when his mother went to Sheffield he and his father bonded and secondly Adrian feels that his father would do anything to try and earn some income for the family.
Adrian’s Mother and Father- Adrian’s father hates his mother as soon as she leaves with Lucas, however when she comes back he forgives her.
9) Who is you favourite character and why?
My favourite character is Adrian as I feel I can relate to him, as a teenage boy.
10) How does your extract fit into a story as a whole?
My extract fits in the story, as if my passage was omitted the reader wouldn’t understand Adrian’s key characteristics.
11) What is the main action that happens immediately before your passage?
Two main things happen before my passage. Firstly, Mr Lucas sends Adrian’s mother a Valentines Day card and that is were Adrian’s mother said when their relationship began. Secondly, Adrian is longing for Pandora as his girlfriend and sends her a Valentines Day card.
12) What is the main action that happens immediately before your passage?
Barry Kent (the school bully) demands for all Adrian’s money, Adrian gave him fifteen pence. Barry demanded more but Adrian said he did not have any more money, so Barry hit him in the goolies.
13) How does the book end?
The book ends with Adrian having to go to A&E to get a pot of glue that had stuck to his nose, while trying to make a model. Once Adrian is out of hospital, he discovers England is at war with Argentina.
14) Explain why the book has been given its title
The book has been given its title because it is literally the secret diary of Adrian Mole starting when he is 13 3/4.
15) If you could play any character in the film/play of your book who would you choose any why?
I would choose to be Adrian as playing him would be quite an amusing and lighthearted role to play.
16) What other books has this author written, and which ones have you read?
Sue Townsend has written:
Weapons of Mass Destruction
The Cappuccino Years Adrian Mole series
True Confessions of Adrian Mole
The Prime Minister at Number 10
I have read all of the above.
17) Do you think both male and female readers would equally enjoy your book?
I feel female readers could read the book and enjoy it; however I feel male authors would enjoy it more as they can relate to it.
18) Can you suggest another book of a similar style/genre?
I feel Falling into Glory by Robert Westall is the same type of genre/style to Adrian Mole.