‘A funny but also touching diary praised for its wit and realism’

BBC Radio 4 Front Row

The Old-But-Not-Dead Club return, in the sequel to the INTERNATIONALLY BESTSELLING The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old, bringing with them some life-affirming lawlessness.

Chaos will ensue as 85-year-old Hendrik Groen is determined to grow old with dignity: to rise up against the care home director. NO more bingo. NO more over-boiled vegetables. NO more health and safety.

85-year-old Hendrik Groen is fed up to his false teeth with coffee mornings and bingo. He dreams of escaping the confines of his care home and practising hairpin turns on his mobility scooter. Inspired by his fellow members of the recently formed Old-But-Not-Dead Club, he vows to put down his custard cream and commit to a spot of octogenarian anarchy.

But the care home’s Director will not stand for drunken bar crawls, illicit fireworks and geriatric romance on her watch.

The Old-But-Not-Dead Club must stick together if they’re not to go gently into that good night. Things turn more serious, however, when rumours surface that the home is set for demolition. It’s up to Hendrik and the gang to stop it – or drop dead trying . . .

He may be the wrong side of 85, but Hendrik Groen has no intention of slowing up – or going down without a fight.

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen,  the octogenarian Adrian Mole, was one of the first books that I reviewed on this site and I gave it a rousing 5 stars out of 5.  Obviously I had often wondered what had happened to Mr Groen after his diary ran out and was delighted to hear that after a 2 year hiatus, Hendrik is back, pen in hand and brand new 2016 diary open.

Now you might not think that a journal written by an octogenarian would be a barrel of laughs, and indeed, Hendrik and his pals experience sad and depressing times as would anyone rapidly approaching 90. But Hendrik is a revelation. Founder member of the Old But Not Dead club, who dedicate themselves to having as much fun as possible before the big sleep ensues,  he and his partner in crime, the bad boy of the group, Evert, spend all of their time causing having and growing old disgracefully. The incident with an apple and a fish tank very early sets the scene for these two old boys perfectly. They’ve had enough of overcooked care-home food and rules and regulation and go off trying new foods, new places, and new experiences, proving you’re never too old to do something new.

This is the perfect sequel to Hendricks first diary. There’s a hint of romance, a lot of friendship, some tears, and a whole lot of OAP naughtiness.

Do not go gentle into that good night, Hendrik! Another 5/5!

Thank you to Netgalley, Penguin and the author for giving me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.