I've just finished reading the sixth Adrian Mole book, Adrian Mole and The Weapons of Mass Destruction. Adrian Mole, the titular diarist of the series, is basically the same age as I am; I practically memorized the first two volumes while I was in high-school, especially the incredible, awful poetry that puts Vogons to shame ("Pandora/I adore ya/I implore ye/Don't forget me" or the immortal
Norway! Land of difficult spelling.
Hiding your beauty behind strange vowels.
Land of long nights, short days, and dots over 'O's.
Ruminating majestic reindeers
Tread warily on ice floes
Ever aware of what happened to the
One day I will sojourn to your shores
I live in the middle of England
Norway! My soul resides in your watery
fiords fyords fiiords
As the years went by and Adrian aged, I found myself more and more engrossed in his life. Townsend, his author, walks us along a tightrope balanced over torture comedy (a la Fawlty Towers) and genuine pathos through the first five books:
- The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged Thirteen and Three Quarters
- The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole
- True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole, Margaret Hilda Roberts and Susan Lilian Townsend
- Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years
- Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years
The story really picked up in book five, with Adrian's television career as the host of Offaly Good
, a British cookery show devoted to entrails, at the height of the Mad Cow scare.
Book six is much, much better, though. Townsend is appalled by Blair's leadership and the invasion of Iraq, but rather than turning this into an anti-war manifesto, Townsend creates a convulsively funny running gag around it: Adrian has cancelled a holiday in Cyprus due to Blair's warnings that Saddam's WMDs could target the island, but his travel agent won't refund his £57.10 deposit until evidence of the WMDs is put forward.
I don't think I've enjoyed an Adrian Mole book so much since the original two. There's a lot of real pain and hardship in this story, not played for yuks at all, but whenever the tale gets too heavy, Townsend busts out one of Adrian's characteristic, tight-assed priggish observations about the world around him and just floors me.
A new Adrian Mole book is like a welcome letter from an old, beloved, frustrating friend.
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]