Monday, August 2, 2010

Book Review: Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

Description (from Goodreads):
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


My thoughts:
Bridget Jones is probably familiar to all of us. We have heard about her somewhere, seen the movies. Some of us might not even know that those movies were based on books, which are a lot better than the movies. Is that even possible? someone might ask, since the movies are super hilarious. But yes, it is.

In Bridget Jones's Diary we are introduced to Bridget, a thirtysomething woman from London. She is disappointed with her job, disappointed with her body image. She is pretty much disappointed with her whole life. She is single and miserable. As a new years resolution, she decides to start dieting, to stop drinking and smoking without any control and to find a nice, honest single man to her side. 

But as we all probably can figure out, her plans do not really work, at least not a first. She falls for Daniel Cleaver, her boss. Eventually she finds out that Daniel definitely is not the nice, honest single man she was looking for. The relationship with Daniel works so badly that it ends with Bridget changing her place of work.

Mark Darcy. A famous barister from London. Bridget used to run around naked in his paddling pool. Now, years later they meet again, and right away Bridget decides that Mark is the most arrogant and boring man she has ever met. Natasha, Mark's college, seems like the perfect woman for the uptight Mark. Bridget's hatered towards Mark goes skyhigh when she hears Daniel's false accusations about Mark. As the time goes by, Bridget starts to notice other sides of Mark, and she even starts to like him, when she hears that Mark likes her, just as she is. But there are many obstacles on Bridget's way; Daniel Cleaver is trying to get Bridget back, she does not know the truth about what happened between Mark and Daniel, and then there is Natasha, who seems like she has glued herself to Mark. Can Bridged find the happiness, or is she going to be a singleton for the rest of her life?

This book is so hilarious. Bridget herself is so hilarious. I was lauhging out loud when I read this. I love the characters; the handsome but devilish Daniel, extremely handsome and honest Mark, Bridget's hilarious mother, the group of Singleton's Bridget hangs out with... All of them. 

The Bridget Jones's Diary can be called a modern adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice since it has some similar elements with it. There is the complex hero, Bridget (Elizabeth Bennet) and two men in her life, Daniel and Mark (Wickham and Darcy). She hears a false story about the other one and that way makes accusations (Wickham's story about Darcy), but eventually gets to know the truth. Since Pride and Prejudice is my favorite novel, I knew I would love this one. Who could resist the dreamy Mark Darcy? NO ONE! :)

4 comments:

  1. I really love the Bridgets Jones novels, I read both of them, and I completely agree with your wonderful review. It's great how this is actually a modern version of Pride and Prejudice.

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  2. Irena, I agree! :)
    And Mark Darcy... he is almost as dreamy as Fitzwilliam Darcy ;D

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  3. I read Bridget Jones ages ago, and still each time I pass it in the library, I have to pick it up and skim through it. I loved it so much.

    Great review!

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