- 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 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 956 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,058 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
“Bridget Jones is channeling something so universal and (horrifyingly) familiar that readers will giggle and sigh with collective delight.”
“Fielding . . . has rummaged all too knowingly through the bedrooms, closets, hearts, and minds of women everywhere.”
“Hilarious and poignant.”
—The Washington Post
“Bridget Jones’s diary has made her the best friend of hundreds of thousands of women.”
—The New York Times
“A brilliant comic creation. Even men will laugh.”
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But, it started out almost as a book I was going to abandon, because she about drove me crazy at the start (and, frankly, through the whole book) with her updates and moanings and groanings about her weight. And while I am not looking to start any debate about weight issues with my review, I do feel that when you are around 120-130 pounds, you don't have much to complain about as far as being fat goes. UNLESS you have COMPLETELY bought into society's view on things. And, let's face it...at the time this book came out (1996), society was pretty much into thin, thin, thin. It is not like now, 19 years later where people are starting to be a bit more accepting of all body types...especially recognizing the effect that the media has on girls and women.
But, the more I got into the book, the more the soap opera feel of the book took hold, and I just became hooked. Now, I am not one to watch soap operas except on those rare occasions that I for some reason get hooked into one. BUT, I do like a good drama, and sometimes one needs a bit of fluff. Especially when one reads a lot of dark mysteries and whatnot like I do all the time. Sometimes it is nice to read about problems like Bridget's that have to do with men, and being single, family rather than people being murdered and creepers around every corner.
To be honest, this is a series that I have been terribly interested in for ages. Probably for a decade or more. I just never made the time for the book or the movie. And now that I have, I have to admit that I am kind of glad that I did. Even though I am not totally gushing about the book, and I did watch part of the movie yesterday (no, my rating is not AT ALL based on the movie...just on the book), and the movie, of course, deviates from the book wildly. It was kind of fun to read after awhile, and I enjoyed settling down at the end of the day with a book that wasn't going to scare the pants off of me. Because while I do love that adrenaline rush, sometimes it is better to just relax.
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.