I have read all the Adrian Mole books - indeed, I was delighted when the library catalogue told me there were two I didn't realize had been published! And while I plowed through and loved The Weapons of Mass Destruction, I would have to say that I find the Prostrate Years the weakest entry in Adrian Mole's extensive output. (Or, you know, Sue Townsend's.)
It felt less topical - the last two were both extremely topical and sharp-tongued about current events and celebrity, and this one, set geographically further afield, was more about just Adrian himself, and less about the world around him.
But here's my real issue - so many of the things in this book happened to
him, because he was unlucky or in the wrong place at the wrong time, or just 'cause. Adrian Mole has always been a bit of a hapless character, true, but he's always gotten himself
into trouble, in true gormless fashion, and then helplessly looked for a way out. This time, he seemed much more acted upon than an actor (which is not to clear him of all culpability in his marriage breaking down), and it wasn't as fun or funny.
And maybe it's just that I liked the ending of the Weapons of Mass Destruction. I liked the idea of Adrian Mole, with all his faults, known for himself, finally getting a happy ending and not needing his diary anymore. I felt like that was a good way to end the series.
And so this entry to the series seems tacked on to me. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy reading it, but it just wasn't as fun.