Saturday, February 19, 2005

Adrian Mole and The Weapons of Mass Destruction

Though I should have been napping while the baby slept, in the last two days I managed to read half of Adrian Mole and The Weapons of Mass Destruction.

The series was great until Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years. A. Mole is a credible character of tender years when we first meet him in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4. We see in him the eagerness to realize the life of an intellectual and his fact-fumbling combined with his amusing misinterpretations is endearing.

Now, he is a thirty-something adult with a disturbing capacity for social cruelty. His aesthetic and academic sensibilities are informed by long-held, unexamined opinions. We know that his lack of self-knowledge will result in personal tragedy and we just wait for it to occur.

Yes, on the one hand, it is entirely possible that the author has created in Adrian Mole a good example of human frailty and fallibility and that the joke is on us: we are reading about ourselves, criticizing a person for shortcomings that we all possess. On the other hand, we want him to make different decisions and to be more insightful while he instructs others in how to do just these things.

This raises several questions for me. Not the least among them: is he a credible character anymore? I don't think so.

I actually don't have enough time to go into great detail but the author lost me on this point in the very first entry of Adrian Mole's latest diary. (Also, in my opinion, to elaborate would be spoiling the reading of this latest book.)

I have to go prepare a bottle for the baby. Maybe I'll find some good links later on but haven't found anything very impressive yet.

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