Home | Blog | Book Review : The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass aged 37¾

Book Review : The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass aged 37¾

June 28, 2006

The sacred diary of Adrian Plass aged 37¾ by Adrian Plass. (HarperCollins, 1987.)

For a very long time I just didn’t get Adrian Plass. Other members of my family would be almost rolling around the floor laughing, while I just shook my head in disbelief. Obviously there was something here I was just not getting. So I made my second attempt to read “the sacred diary” determined this time to finish even if I thought it was completely ridiculous. I mean it is only 156 pages how hard can it be? I waded through about the first 100 pages when suddenly Plass said something quite insightful, in the guise of something that happened to him. I was shocked. I was looking for humor, not insight. As I read on I began to find more insight and at last humor. I wondered if the insightfulness was there in the first 100 pages. Maybe I was so locked into my preconceived ideas that I missed it or maybe Plass needed 100 pages to build a framework for his insights. I don’t know, but it gave me a new understanding of the book.

It seems to me that Plass believes most Christians to be completely shallow, self-absorbed and unthinking in their beliefs about God. In order to make his point, Plass describes himself as if he too is like this, which is why I initially had so much trouble with the book thinking – surely no one could be so egocentric. Mind you my daughter’s response, when I pressed her to tell why she found the book amusing was always, “I know people like that”. Scary thought that.

Plass knows getting people to laugh at themselves is often a more effective way of changing their behaviour than confrontation.

Here is a little story from the book:
Thursday May 22nd
Strange moment at work today. Glander came across to me and said sneeringly, “You know that loony mate of yours who was at the party – Thynn, his name is?
“Yes?” I said, surprised.
“Well,” said Glander, “a friend of mine told me that, not so very long ago, he saw Mr. ‘Christian’ Thynn, very much the worse for wear, being peeled off the pavement outside the Plough and Bottle, by a couple of the lads in Blue. I thought as he’s such a good friend of yours and supposed to be one of Jesus’ little sunbeams, perhaps you ought to know about it.” …
I said, “I did know about that, Everett. Leonard’s one of my best friends, so I hear about most of what happens to him. He’s got a problem with drink. I’ve got a problem with getting things twisted up and making mistakes. All of us in the church have got problems. We’re not very good people. But God keeps on forgiving us. Does anyone forgive you for what you do, Everett?
Can’t believe I said all that! Expected Glander to laugh his head off, but he just frowned and grunted and went back to his desk. Came up to me at the end of the day and almost apologized!

by Susan Barnes
18

Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith

18 thoughts on “Book Review : The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass aged 37¾”

  1. This sounds like an interesting book. Do you know if it is available in the US? I assume it is an Australian book. I have found that some books published in Australia are impossible to find here.

  2. This sounds like an interesting book. Do you know if it is available in the US? I assume it is an Australian book. I have found that some books published in Australia are impossible to find here.

  3. Actually it is a British book – very British in fact, lots of English culture and jargon – first published in London in 1987 but I think it has since been republished. On the back it has prices for UK, Aus and Canada but not US so very possibly it is not availablie in US (though, of course, it is available through Amazon.com, but then isn’t everything!).

  4. Actually it is a British book – very British in fact, lots of English culture and jargon – first published in London in 1987 but I think it has since been republished. On the back it has prices for UK, Aus and Canada but not US so very possibly it is not availablie in US (though, of course, it is available through Amazon.com, but then isn’t everything!).

  5. I lived in the UK from 2001 to 2004 and never heard of it. But, the British produce alot of books. I will see if I can get it from the library when I go back to Arizona.

  6. I lived in the UK from 2001 to 2004 and never heard of it. But, the British produce alot of books. I will see if I can get it from the library when I go back to Arizona.

  7. I actually lived in the UK myself. Long, long time ago back in the ’60’s. I was very young 🙂

  8. I actually lived in the UK myself. Long, long time ago back in the ’60’s. I was very young 🙂

  9. jON

    wow. the 60’s in the UK. you must have witnessed some amazing culture wars…

    at least, from what i know of the culture wars going on in the states, that much of it came over from the UK in the form of rock n roll and psychedelic drugs…

    iivgcp

  10. jON

    wow. the 60’s in the UK. you must have witnessed some amazing culture wars…

    at least, from what i know of the culture wars going on in the states, that much of it came over from the UK in the form of rock n roll and psychedelic drugs…

    iivgcp

  11. I was actually born in England and my family migrated to Australia in 1964 but I was only six when we left so I don’t remember much music or much anything else from that time.

    The only song I do remember from then was Helen Shapiro’s “Walking Back to Happiness”!

  12. I was actually born in England and my family migrated to Australia in 1964 but I was only six when we left so I don’t remember much music or much anything else from that time.

    The only song I do remember from then was Helen Shapiro’s “Walking Back to Happiness”!

  13. Walking back to happiness, woopah oh yeah yeah
    Said goodbye to lonliness, woopah oh yeah yeah
    I never knew I’d miss you
    Now I know what I must do
    Walking back to happiness
    I shared with you
    (Yay, yay, yay, yay ba dum be do)

    You can even download it as a ring tone.

    Plass is right and humor is a good way to get people to look at how stupid they are.

  14. Walking back to happiness, woopah oh yeah yeah
    Said goodbye to lonliness, woopah oh yeah yeah
    I never knew I’d miss you
    Now I know what I must do
    Walking back to happiness
    I shared with you
    (Yay, yay, yay, yay ba dum be do)

    You can even download it as a ring tone.

    Plass is right and humor is a good way to get people to look at how stupid they are.

  15. I presume you got the lyrics through Google? I mean you are far too young to know the song 🙂

    Do you think all the words of every song that has ever been written are on the internet?

  16. I presume you got the lyrics through Google? I mean you are far too young to know the song 🙂

    Do you think all the words of every song that has ever been written are on the internet?

  17. Wendy

    Yea I think they are LOL

    Great story … He who is without sin, cast the first stone.

    Mind you my daughter’s response, when I pressed her to tell why she found the book amusing was always, “I know people like that”. Scary thought that.

    This is very funny, Susan. LOLOLOL

  18. Wendy

    Yea I think they are LOL

    Great story … He who is without sin, cast the first stone.

    Mind you my daughter’s response, when I pressed her to tell why she found the book amusing was always, “I know people like that”. Scary thought that.

    This is very funny, Susan. LOLOLOL

Comments are closed.