Book – Mr Bean’s Diary
Author – Robin Driscoll and Rowan Atkinson
Year – 1992
Pages – 178
Genre – Humour
When I was a kid and we would go shopping, every single time we went into WH Smith’s, there is one book that I would go straight to. I can remember picking it up and slicking through it, and thinking it was the most brilliant thing ever – the book was a diary, Mr Bean’s diary, but not like a journal where you write your innermost thoughts. No, this was his diary to keep track of what he was doing. And it was hilarious! When it was time to go I would ruefully look at the price, and put it back on the shelf.
Over time I saved up enough to buy it, slowly but surely (I think. It may have been a present in the end, but I am sure this story is more endearing if I saved, so let’s say that, and sorry if you were the one who bought it for me!), and eventually it was mine! And it was everything I had known it would be, with funny notes, silly humour, a flick book of Mr Bean’s famous mini hitting that Robin Reliant in the corner, and even ridiculous pictures – squashed bugs and flowers are put in as though Bean put them there himself.
Well if it could delight eight year old me, then the question is, will it live up to the same hype now I am a mature and respectable thirty-six year old? Well, of course it can. It is still wonderfully subversively silly, and the idea of doing a diary that isn’t just his thoughts still strikes me as a thoroughly interesting idea. It is considerably darker than I remember – Mr Bean has always come across as a man child, but there are themes of him being psychotic, stalking people, mourning for his family, and even outright attempts to murder people. But that works, and takes nothing away from the book.
There’s not too much to review here – no real plot, and all in all a very silly book – but for the burst of nostalgia that it gave me, this was a wonderful little diversion.