Many English speakers are familiar with the series of Adrian Mole’s diaries. It started with the extremely popular “The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 and 3/4” which I remember reading at a similar age to the protagonists. It made me realise for the first time that you don’t have to cry over the plights of adolescence, you can laugh at them too. I’ve been following the series faithfully and when I found a long forgotten copy of “Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction” on my bookshelf I just had to read it.
In this instalment of the series Adrian Mole is 34 years old and still has absolutely no idea what he’s doing with his life. He keeps falling for women for no particular reasons and impregnating them just to realize he doesn’t know why he decided to be with them at the first place. He has two sons but isn’t a great father, doesn’t take responsibility for his life choices and is still trying to get out of his parents house for good. The remainders of his short celebrity past taught him to aim high but he’s very unrealistic about his goals. For instance, he wants to publish a book entitled “Celebrities and Madness” but doesn’t really work on it, apart from sending letters to stars who are highly unlikely to reply. He’s also forever in love with his high school sweetheart who’s always been out of his league and now is a minister. He doesn’t have real chances of ever tying the knot with her even if his mother SO wishes for Pandora to become her daughter-in-law.
Adrian has his ups and downs but never really gets sorted. The aim of the series isn’t to teach people how to become better human beings or how to find the love of your life and create a happy relationship with them. Townsend means to entertain and she manages to do so. If Adrian ever stops writing letters to people like Tony Blair realizing the lack of probability to get a reply, he’ll stop being so funny too. This is exactly why I used to prefer the Adrian Mole series to for instance Bridget Jones which is a haha comedy about a clumsy and unsuccessful woman who all of a sudden does manage to get the Eton educated lawyer when the story is about to end (subconsequently she obviously needs to lose him so that she can continue the quest in the next book/movie).
This novel is definitely not the best one in the series and I guess even within the comedic framework the reader gets a bit bored with Adrian’s continuous love and career misadventures. It is still an entertaining read, though. It even has some serious undertones as the weapons of mass destruction in the title refer to the war in Iraq during which Adrian’s underage son risks his life. The presence of swans deserve a honorary mention too.
To conclude, “Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction” is a book that I’d definitely recommend to the fans of the series. To other people I’d rather recommend reading the first part so that they can become a fan of the series and eventually enjoy the book I’ve just reviewed. I’m looking forward to reading some more about Adrian’s love and professional ups and downs in the next parts of the book but secretly hoping for some change in the formula.