Tomorrow, Adrian Mole is We can be precise about this. Got a track suit and a football from my father. He is completely insensitive to my needs.
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Tomorrow, Adrian Mole is We can be precise about this. Got a track suit and a football from my father. He is completely insensitive to my needs. His diary entry for his birthday ends with him looking in the mirror. Apart from the rotten spots. Over the next quarter century, Townsend charted the tragic-comic vicissitudes of his life in seven further volumes of his diaries. In these he lived through the same times as the rest of us and grew older at just the same rate.
The final volume of his observations and anecdotes, Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years , appeared in It found the Pepys of modern Leicestershire approaching his 40th birthday, which duly takes place, in appalled capital letters, near the end of the book.
Time moves on, but disappointment is pretty much a constant. In this last volume, Adrian actually gets to spend the night in the same bed as her — though, of course, nothing happens except sleep.
Would Adrian and Pandora have ever become lovers? For there would have been more. Townsend had plans for further Mole diaries and there is every indication that we would have been able to keep company with him deeper into his middle age if his creator had not died in , at the age of only Townsend was always going to return to Adrian Mole. His birthday was her birthday too, a clear enough clue that he was her indispensable alter ego as well as a figure of fun. In his diaries Adrian was nursing his unappreciated intellectual ambitions and looking forward to growing older Ageing has become an irresistible narrative technique in popular culture.
Harry Potter was 11 for the first volume of his adventures, felt more and more the darkening powers of adolescence over succeeding volumes, and departed from his readers in the seventh volume as he was about to turn On both page and screen she looks back with us on her more youthful follies. Even the never-young Alan Partridge has been made to feel the passing of the years as he has progressed from radio to TV to film and now to life as a literary character.
His body is not quite what it used to be. Vaunting his new-found reflectiveness, he is still as unself-knowing as ever. The French have a term — roman fleuve — for the novel sequence that takes a cast of characters through the years. There should be a matching name le protagoniste vieillissant? Such a protagonist is a special kind of companion. In the past it was common for fictional characters who reappeared in one book after another never to age.
I remember noticing, aged nine or 10, that Biggles, dashing hero of my favourite tales of adventure, had flown for the RFC in the first world war admittedly while still in his teens , been an air ace in the Battle of Britain, and then, in the s and 60s, worked for Scotland Yard in their special air police division with his also still sprightly friends Algy, Ginger and Bertie.
What elixir of youth had he drunk? Harry Potter and the curse of middle age: should fictional children ever grow up? She had devoured the tales of his exploits when a child. William featured in some 40 books over half a century.
Yet though his author took account of changing times motor cars, the second world war, television her antihero remained forever 11 years old, an unageing monitor of adult follies and vanities. That other great protagonist of the English comic novel, Bertie Wooster , remained similarly forever young. He was a gormless, emotionally susceptible chap in his 20s when he first blundered into life in and remained no older and absolutely no wiser through many a misadventure over the next five decades.
These characters live in some golden age, eternally youthful, brave and foolish. Their wise creators could never let them become sour. In contrast, Adrian Mole takes us through our own times and our own disillusionments.
He lives through Thatcherism and Blairism and pronounces judgments on both with his usual self-serious sagacity. At the end he is writing letters to prime minister Gordon Brown about the complications of his tax affairs. In this respect he is just like those protagonists created by some of the great American novelists of the late 20th century. All three mark the events of their lives with reference to political events and great socio-economic movements.
Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years
Share via Email The many readers who grew up with Adrian Mole and consider him a contemporary will be shocked by the latest turn of events in his long-running diaries. News of his "trouble down there" soon spreads round the village, and everyone has a helpful story. Yet what is so admirable about this book — and makes it such a piercing, funny read — is the strength of humour that Townsend maintains, expertly avoiding both mawkishness and hollow jollity as she steers Adrian through the strange new world of the oncology department. His father, after years during which his only exercise was "wagging his index finger on the remote control", is in a wheelchair following a stroke; Mr Carlton-Hayes, revered owner of the bookshop where Adrian works, becomes increasingly frail. He is far too tall, looks like a ravaged Hugh Grant and is vulgarly ostentatious with his sports cars and Savile Row tweeds". Meanwhile, he struggles on with his own creative project: a medieval community play entitled Plague! In this book the comedy is all the sharper, and more poignant, for its melancholy contrasts, the emotional danger and the sense that time is always running out.
Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years by Sue Townsend
Themes[ edit ] This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. December Learn how and when to remove this template message The series has many themes. The series satirises human pretensions, and especially, in the first couple of volumes, teenage pretensions. The second theme is depiction of the social and political situation in Britain, with particular reference to left-wing politics in the s in the first three books. Humour arises from the outworking of larger social forces within a very ordinary household in a very ordinary part of Middle England.
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