Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years

Adrian Mole – The Cappuccino Years: Sue Townsen, June 11—15, 2015

My rating: ♦♦♦♦◊
  Adrian’s latest adventure is set in 1997-1998; the longest gap between instalments but coming at an ideal time to read Mr. Mole’s diary. Not only is he now at the landmark age of 30, but this is the year of the New Labour landslide and the death of Princess Diana, among others.

As “together” as Adrian’s life seemed to be after the Wilderness Years, we join him now not. He’s divorced, living alone, a semi-absent father working as a ‘head chef’ in a nightmare kitchen. His own father is depressed, his mother’s knocking off Pandora’s and his sister is now a teenage tear away. All in all, it’s thoroughly entertaining.

Adrian is told old now to carry the air of an idealistic teenager who misunderstands adults, but r. he’s now a socially illiterate, pretentious (wannabe?) snob. Townsend has managed to retain the same voice for Mole throughout his adolescence and into adulthood, keeping the continuity of character that is so important to a diary-based, character-centric series.

The major events of the year are nicely integrated into the storyline, with Pandora becoming one of Blair’s babes and Diana’s death having an unlikely impact on Mole’s writing career. Though Mole did pass comment on Michael Hutchence’s death a day early.

The schadenfreude of Mole’s perpetually misfortune is in no way reduced, with the constant battering of his life by belief-suspending misery. As always, it’s almost too bizarre to be believable, which sort of makes it true to life, but more importantly it’s the relentless onslaught of disaster that provides much of the humour. 

The Mole and Braithwaite families play central roles, and George and Pauline are much more rounded. Perhaps it’s Mole’s age and own fatherhood that adjusts his portrayal of them, but they and the book benefit greatly from seeing the couple fleshed out. 

As ever, self-contained and part of the larger Mole arc at once, The a Cappuccino Years is a fabulous entry in the series. 


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This entry was posted on June 15, 2015 by in 4 star, Adrian Mole and tagged .

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@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare