Mine is not one but a series of books all based on the same character, and no, its not bloody Harry Potter! It's The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend (1982). I remember when it first came out in the 80's - it was such a scream and still is!
From The Secret Diary... to the lastest edition, The Weapons of Mass Destruction, I STILL can't get enough of what happens in Adrian's life. For us little Australians, this taste of English culture was hysterical yet still relevant to our teenage years. He's still going strong and still as awful as ever!
Adrian is a self proclaimed intellectual and poet, who reads voraciously without quite getting it. His jottings in his diary, full of unintentional humour makes me chuckle even now. His working class parents: mother Pauline, a radical feminist and George, his bedraggled, pyjama-pant wearing unemployed father are set so well against his anal retentiveness.
These diaries are masterpieces in comedy but its Townsend's satire that hits on serious issues in time with each book that gets you: Social Security, feminism, sub-culture, nuclear war, racism, treatment of the aged and politics in the UK.
Sharon Botts, famous for being the girl who "will show everything for 50p and a pound of grapes", is set up with Adrian by Nigel, his best friend. This is such a funny scene with Nigel telling Adrian what roller disco kids wear and what Adrian comes up with, only to be unsuccessful with Sharon (for now).
I was trying to work out when the last one was released and how many more years I can expect before the next instalment comes out. I have them all here and love to pick up an old favourite to read when in the bath, sitting out on the verandah with a cup of tea, sick in bed or just wanting a giggle.
Sue Townsend's writing is so very funny and if you aren't interested in a pimply teenaged English kid, then try Ghost Children, Queen Camilla or The Public Confessions of a Middle-Aged Woman (aged 55 3/4).