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.
Where are our petabyte drives? Brian Hayes takes us through the reasons storage is “stuck” in the low terabytes. The tl;dr is that we got such exceptional capacity growth in the late 90s and early 00s we don’t need much more right now, so the focus since then has been on SSDs, networking, interfaces, etc, […]
Amélie Lamont, a former staffer at website-hosting startup Squarespace, writes that she often found herself disregarded and disrespected by her colleagues. One comment in particular, though, set her reeling — and came to exemplify her experiences there.
In this episode of the Flash Forward podcast we travel to a future where humans have decided to eradicate the most dangerous animal on the planet: mosquitos. How would we do it? Is it even possible? And what are the consequences? Flash Forward: RSS | iTunes | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Patreon We […]
If you’ve got a killer app idea, but don’t have the technical expertise to pull it off, get a crash course in all things app development with the Comprehensive Android Development Bundle, now over 90% off in the Boing Boing Store. Across 83 hours of training, you’ll learn to develop for the world’s most popular mobile OS, mastering […]
Jared Sinclair developed the RSS reader app Unread, which made $10,000 in its first 24 hours on the iOS market. And we’ve all heard the story of Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen, whose creation was reportedly earning $50,000 a day at the height of its 2013 explosion. While those are rare examples, they’re also testament to the […]
If you or your company’s IT system are besieged by black hat cyber attacks, an ethical hacker might be all that stands between crippling damage and a company’s long-term prosperity. It’s no wonder that the market for IT security specialists is exploding. Certification is the key – so learn the tenets of ethical hacking and get […]