Adrian Mole is an outsider. At least that is the impression we get from his daily diary entries that span a period of just over a year, and which pick up immediately where the preceding book left off. He feels the reason that he doesn't quite fit in with "regular" society is that he is an intellectual. Evidence from his diary entries include a precocious interest in literature in left-wing politics, a desire to have his own poetry show on the BBC, his dislike of Margaret Thatcher and his frequent critiques of his less-refined schoolmates and family.
Adrian's dysfunctional family, as in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, is one of the focal points of the book. While Adrian's entries are full of humour, sarcasm and irony, they still speak to a great deal of confusion and disillusionment with the dysfunctional relationships of his parents. Sometimes Adrian's diary entries show him to be naive; other times they are very candid; and other times they are full of self-pity. As an only child (at least as the book begins), Adrian has a tendency to look at all problems from a selfish point of view, yet he seems to have a real compassion for the members of his family. While most people might not have the same loquacity as young Adrian, and others might not have the same level of dysfunction in their families, these entries are recorded in such a way that it becomes easy to empathise with the young writer.
This book also builds on its predecessor by continuing the storyline of Adrian's growing frustration with his body. He constantly writes about the "spots" that mar his complexion, and he also has self-esteem issues about his height and muscular maturity. Further complicating these problems are his sexual frustrations, only partially relieved by his girlfriend Pandora Brathwaite, who will occasionally indulge him only in "heavy petting". Although the book is mainly focused on Adrian and his family, there are some references to wider events, including the Falklands War, the division in the Labour Party and the Hitler Diaries.
While Adrian seems a bit self-centred in some aspects of life (and it is hard not to seem this way when writing a diary), he also is more compassionate than the average young man. He is the only friend and frequent caretaker of a nonagenarian, and also shows a great deal of concern and compassion for the misfortunes of his parents and respect for the authority of his grandmother.Genre: