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Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy (Vintage Contemporaries) Paperback – June 3, 2014
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It’s been 15 years since readers first met the charmingly insecure Bridget Jones, and 13 since her last adventure in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2000). Bridget is now 51, and, most readers will be chagrined to learn, a widow. She is also raising the two children she had with the now deceased Mark Darcy and gingerly wading back into the dating pool while working on a screenplay. When she joins Twitter, she obsesses about the number of Twitter followers she has the same way she used to agonize over her weight, which does remains a concern. Bridget begins a Twitter flirtation with a sexy guy named Roxster, who turns out to be only 29. Most of the novel is devoted to the ups and downs of their ensuing relationship. It is fun to revisit Bridget and all her neuroses, but the novel is at its best when Fielding focuses on the challenges Bridget faces as a single parent, including her love/hate relationship with one of her son’s teachers, rather than on the somewhat unrealistic May-December romance.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The longed-for return of Bridget Jones is supported by a hefty print-run (250,000), a first serial in Vogue, and a major author tour. --Kristine Huntley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Sharp and humorous. . . . Snappily written, observationally astute. . . . Genuinely moving.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Bridget’s back! And as irrepressible as ever. . . . Sweet, clever, and funny.” —People
“A clever mashup of texts, emails, tweets, and diary entries from Bridget, a bighearted person who brings hearty humor to the ordinary vicissitudes of life. . . . Fielding’s wit is generous and forgiving.” —Chicago Tribune
“Fielding’s comic gifts . . . are once again on shimmering exhibit.” —Elle
“Tender and comic.” —The New Yorker
“Feels like visiting with your funniest friend.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Delightful. . . . Bridget Jones was a character made for the Internet, from her confessional tone to her casual creation of memes.” —Los Angeles Times
“Sweet and satisfying. . . . Bridget still has her posse of funny friends and her shelf of self-help books.” —USA Today
“Helen has always had a sharp eye for the obsessions and neuroses of our times, a talent much in evidence here—her [Bridget’s] liability rests very much on her believability.” —Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue
“Very funny.” —The Boston Globe
“Sweet, clever and funny. Yay Bridget!” —People (five stars)
“Fielding has somehow pulled off the neat trick of holding to her initial premise—single woman looks for romance—while allowing her heroine to grow up into someone funnier and more interesting than she was before. . . . Mad About the Boy, is not only sharp and humorous . . . but also snappily written, observationally astute and at times genuinely moving. . . . Bridget-the-parent is like a character in a Russian novel, lurching constantly from ecstasy to despair, sometimes in the course of a single paragraph. . . . Its big heart, incisive observations, nice sentences, vivid characters and zippy pace make it a book you could happily spend the night with. It is possible I cried a little at the end, but then, as Bridget might say: am sucker for happy endings.” —Sarah Lyall, The New York Times Book Review
“As Bridget might say, it’s ‘v. v. good.’ . . . [She’s] still hilarious and hopeful, even while making crazy mistakes and pointed asides and romancing a sexy younger man.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“I read the book. I loved it. I loved her. She’s smart, she’s funny and she makes us all feel like we’re good just the way we are.” —Jenna Bush Hager, Today
“Just as Helen Fielding did with the dating world of London in the 1990s, she now casts her laser-sharp eyes on midlife and parenthood. . . . Fielding’s wit is generous and forgiving. . . . A clever mashup of texts, emails, tweets, and diary entries from Bridget, a bighearted person who brings hearty humor to the ordinary vicissitudes of life.” —Chicago Tribune
“Inimitable. . . . If you don’t shed a few tears in the course of this book, you must have a heart of ice.” —The Guardian (London)
“Fielding’s comic gifts—and, just as important, her almost anthropological ability to nose out all that is trendy and potentially crazy-making about contemporary culture, from Twitter (‘OMG, Lady Gaga has 33 million followers! Complete meltdown. Why am I even bothering? Twitter is giant popularity contest which I am doomed to be the worst at’) to online dating—are once again on shimmering exhibit. And Bridget is still recognizably her ditzy but ultimately unfazable self. . . . [Has] the sort of narrative propulsion that is rare in autobiographically conceived fiction, not to mention an unsolipsistic world view (for all of Bridget’s fussing over herself) that invites broad reader identification.” —Daphne Merkin, Elle
“She’s back! Our favorite hapless heroine returns after a decade-plus hiatus, juggling two kids, potential boyfriends, smug marrieds, rogue gadgets, and her nascent Twitter feed.” —Vogue
“With Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding created a new female archetype. Now she’s brought Bridget back to conquer the twenty-first century. . . . The diary form itself pays homage to Austen, lifting Fielding’s work above many pale imitations. Austen’s heroines aren’t writers, but Fielding’s is. . . . Austen’s plots are marriage plots, and ultimately so are Bridget’s. But Fielding’s novels (like Austen’s, and like Sex and the City and Girls) also revolve around friendship—something at which Bridget excels. Nor is the character’s staying power an accident. Fielding . . . is still very much a writer.” —Radhika Jones, Time
“A character like Bridget Jones is so beloved that she becomes something of a virtual best friend. . . . [The] third Bridget romp is every bit as engaging, hilarious and sometimes downright naughty as the first two: perfect light reading after a long day of holiday shopping, online dating or herding co-workers.” —Dallas Morning News
“Fielding manages to both move and delight the reader time after time. . . . Hilarious.” —New York Journal of Books
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Most of the original characters -- like Jude and Tom -- are in it, but others (like Shazzer) are off having other adventures. Bridget has grown up a bit, but is still up to her usual shenanigans. I found it engrossing enough to read in two sittings -- and my hubby had to drag me away from it to get me to Christmas dinner.
Also, on a side note, Emma Thompson is working on a screenplay for this. In fact, the whole reason that I knew that this new BJ book was out was because I had read an interview with Thompson in _More_magazine where she mentioned the novel and her work on the screenplay.
I'm so v.g. that I decided to visit Bridget again!
The key story line of fun exciting boyfriend vs stodgy grown up boyfriend (who turns out to be perfect) and 'hilarious' misunderstandings was done much, much better in the previous books. I found a lot of the set up to even make this theme be rehashed a third time (eg Mark conveniently dead, Bridget conveniently independently wealthy) just crap. We took two books of falling in love with Mark Darcy and he just gets killed off so BJ can hook up on twitter and have a third book of being a 'singleton' style widow.
The moment the stern and disapproving teacher is introduced it is clear he is Darcy's intended replacement and the 'plot' of being rude to each other and misunderstanding every interaction unfolds in a steady paint by numbers stream from there.
The real problem is that no-one is as likeable in this book, and their likeability is what allowed you to get past the ridiculous and juvenile behaviour of the first two books. Now BJ is pushing 50, the behaviour is just as absurd and all of it is trying too hard to be the first book all over again.