- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books (June 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 014028009X
- ISBN-13: 978-0140280098
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,339 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bridget Jones's Diary: A Novel
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In the course of the year recorded in Bridget Jones's Diary, Bridget confides her hopes, her dreams, and her monstrously fluctuating poundage, not to mention her consumption of 5277 cigarettes and "Fat units 3457 (approx.) (hideous in every way)." In 365 days, she gains 74 pounds. On the other hand, she loses 72! There is also the unspoken New Year's resolution--the quest for the right man. Alas, here Bridget goes severely off course when she has an affair with her charming cad of a boss. But who would be without their e-mail flirtation focused on a short black skirt? The boss even contends that it is so short as to be nonexistent.
At the beginning of Helen Fielding's exceptionally funny second novel, the thirtyish publishing puffette is suffering from postholiday stress syndrome but determined to find Inner Peace and poise. Bridget will, for instance, "get up straight away when wake up in mornings." Now if only she can survive the party her mother has tricked her into--a suburban fest full of "Smug Marrieds" professing concern for her and her fellow "Singletons"--she'll have made a good start. As far as she's concerned, "We wouldn't rush up to them and roar, 'How's your marriage going? Still having sex?'"
This is only the first of many disgraces Bridget will suffer in her year of performance anxiety (at work and at play, though less often in bed) and living through other people's "emotional fuckwittage." Her twin-set-wearing suburban mother, for instance, suddenly becomes a chat-show hostess and unrepentant adulteress, while our heroine herself spends half the time overdosing on Chardonnay and feeling like "a tragic freak." Bridget Jones's Diary began as a column in the London Independent and struck a chord with readers of all sexes and sizes. In strokes simultaneously broad and subtle, Helen Fielding reveals the lighter side of despair, self-doubt, and obsession, and also satirizes everything from self-help books (they don't sound half as sensible to Bridget when she's sober) to feng shui, Cosmopolitan-style. She is the Nancy Mitford of the 1990s, and it's impossible not to root for her endearing heroine. On the other hand, one can only hope that Bridget will continue to screw up and tell us all about it for years and books to come. --Kerry Fried
From Publishers Weekly
A huge success in England, this marvelously funny debut novel had its genesis in a column Fielding writes for a London newspaper. It's the purported diary, complete with daily entries of calories consumed, cigarettes smoked, "alcohol units" imbibed and other unsuitable obsessions, of a year in the life of a bright London 30-something who deplores male "fuckwittage" while pining for a steady boyfriend. As dogged at making resolutions for self-improvement as she is irrepressibly irreverent, Bridget also would like to have someone to show the folks back home and their friends, who make "tick-tock" noises at her to evoke the motion of the biological clock. Bridget is knowing, obviously attractive but never too convinced of the fact, and prone ever to fear the worst. In the case of her mother, who becomes involved with a shady Portuguese real estate operator and is about to be arrested for fraud, she's probably quite right. In the case of her boss, Daniel, who sends sexy e-mail messages but really plans to marry someone else, she's a tad blind. And in the case of glamorous lawyer Mark Darcy, whom her parents want her to marry, she turns out to be way off the mark. ("It struck me as pretty ridiculous to be called Mr. Darcy and to stand on your own looking snooty at a party. It's like being called Heathcliff and insisting on spending the entire evening in the garden, shouting 'Cathy!' and banging your head against a tree.") It's hard to say how the English frame of reference will travel. But, since Bridget reads Susan Faludi and thinks of Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon as role models, it just might. In any case, it's hard to imagine a funnier book appearing anywhere this year. Major ad/promo; first serial to Vogue; BOMC and QPB main selections; simultaneous Random House audio; author tour. (July) FYI: A movie is in the works from Working Title, the team that produced Four Weddings and a Funeral.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top customer reviews
I went through the book pages and I was pleased to see that it was like a real diary. I can't wait to read it.
I bought it to Atlanta Books Company as a used book in very good conditions, they sent me the book super fast and i couldn't tell if it was really used before, just perfect, I'm glad I bought it from them.
The English slang words were both cute and funny. There's also Jone's abbreviations (i.e.: v. and v.g. = very and very good) that even I found myself using for a little while.
Her love triangle with her boss Daniel Cleaver (all bad boy) and lawyer Mark Darcy (good guy) is really romantic. Daniel is the guy that she resolved not to obsess about as he is an alcoholic, workaholic, commitment phobic, chauvinist and emotional f-wits (all things she also resolved not to fall for). Mark is the good guy who finishes last. Yes, he was already taken (the woman was a crazy needy woman who didn't love him). Yes, he couldn't make decision or stand up for himself (the clothes he wore were his mother's choices). But after a while I could tell that she should pick the lawyer over the cheat.
This is a good Brit-lit series (2 1/2 books). Bridget is a little over the top at times, but that's what makes the character so funny.
Overall, if you've already seen the movie, all is not lost. Read the book! And then watch the movie again. Both are fun and worth it in their own rights.
For the very first time in my life, I expect the movie to exceed the book. That is, the book is fine, and funny; it just was so very shallow, and maybe that was intentional, but it struck me as pitiful. Felt like I was reading a treatment of Sex in the City (or is it and? never watched it).