It was a 50/50 month, book-wise.
First up was The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood. This was the March selection for the Knit the Classics group. I was looking forward to this book, since I have usually liked other things I've read by Atwood. As it turned out, I really didn't like this book much at all. Though it was interesting enough to finish reading, even at the end, I didn't really like any of the characters, or care much what happened to them. And though it was written as a story-within-a-story, neither story was that riveting or appealing. One of the persons who commented in the online discussion said that it was as if Atwood decided it would be a clever way to present the story, but then just didn't make either part of it something that engaged the reader. So this one was a disappointment, I'm sad to say.
Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction, by Sue Townsend. I first met Adrian Mole when PBS presented a show called "Wonderworks," where they would air productions (usually BBC) of children's classics. They dramatized the first book in the series, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4. It was really funny, and made me interested in reading the actual book. Poor Adrian Mole. He is the only son of working class parents (though for a lot of the time, his father is "on the dole"), living in a housing development outside of London, who considers himself to be an intellectual surrounded by others who have no clue about the finer things in life. The thing is, Adrian Mole is the perfect example of the person for whom a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!
Anyway, in this book, Adrian is an adult, turning 35, and still dealing with his parents, an ex-wife, and a couple of children. His eldest son is in the military, and the book opens when George Bush is trying to convince the world that Saddam Hussein is hiding weapons of mass destruction. Adrian feels sure that if Prime Minister Tony Blair agrees with Bush, then it must be true, because he cannot imagine someone as smart as the P.M. lying to the people. As things go along, Adrian's son is deployed to Iraq, which causes him all kinds of worry and fear for the boy's safety. But besides that, he still has to deal with his parents, his younger sister who is dating a drug addict, various former schoolmates, and problems with a threatening swan in the river near the condo he has just purchased.
Sue Townsend has managed to make the adult Adrian a logical extension of the young boy we meet in the first installment. If you liked the earlier books, this one will amuse you in the same way. As the book opens, Adrian is writing a letter to Tony Blair, asking for assistance in obtaining a refund for a planned trip to Cyprus. He cancelled the trip when he saw Blair announce that Hussein had weapons and could attack Cyprus at any time. But the travel agency is balking at refunding his money, as the agent questions whether or not this is the case. His letter ends, "Would it be possible to send a handwritten note confirming the threat to Cyprus so that I can pass it on to Johnny Bond and therefore retrieve my deposit? I can ill afford to lose 57.10 pounds."
If you haven't met Adrian Mole yet, get thee to a library or bookstore!