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Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding

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  • Character was hard to relate to
  • Open to criticism by feminists for assuming a woman needs a man
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      25.11.2013 08:58
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      A 90s classic!

      I'm a big fan of the Bridget Jones books but I haven't read them for about ten years (eg since I was a teenager!) With the third book in the series just being released, I'm re-reading the first two in the hope that Santa might bring me the next book for Christmas

      Bridget Jones's Diary unsurprisingly is the diary of Bridget Jones, a 30-odd year old single lady living and working in London. We follow her life for a year as she tries to get her life to where she wants it to be, including managing her weight, finding a suitable boyfriend, getting a better job and dealing with her overbearing family (in particular her mum) This sounds like pretty trivial stuff written down, but it feels realistic and the humour really makes this book different. Bridget isn't stupid but she can be naive and her narrative means that the reader can spot things that she has overlooked.

      The only strange thing about this novel is the way Bridget can be really busy and stressed with something but she still finds time to write in her diary - but I guess you've got to allow for some artistic license!

      I find it difficult to read the books these days without thinking about the films, I think this is due to the fact that ITV2 seem to play it every other week! I do prefer the book to the film but where I've read the book about 3 times I've seen the film about 20 times. As such it was refreshing to read the book again and remember just how funny it is - much funnier than the film. The book is also quite different to the film in terms of plot, and Hugh Grant is ALL WRONG as the bad boy Daniel Cleaver. I also find that Bridget in the film comes across as a bit of a 'dumb blonde' cliche, whereas in the book she is naive but in an endearing way, and she's also described as a 'dusky beauty'.

      For me, the best bit about reading this book again was how dated it has become! It was published in 1996 so that's 17 years ago now - yikes! The characters don't have mobile phones and they dial 1471. Smoothies are a new invention. Bridget loves 'instants' (eg National Lottery Scratch Cards) Wearing a Christmas jumper is hideously uncool. You can tell she wears bootcut jeans with boots underneath. I am interested in seeing where Helen Fielding takes the last book as apparently Bridget is a keen user of Twitter.

      Overall, this book is an easy read - I did it in 3 days around working a full time job. It's fairly average stuff but it's just so funny. Fielding is a really talented author and I'm glad that Bridget Jones's Diary is fairly respected as a novel and not dismissed as some kind of 'lower' chick lit. It really is a classic and it's a great fun read. If you've seen the film but not read the book I recommend you give it a go. It is different but in my humble opinion definitely superior!

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      17.09.2010 09:59
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      see review

      I first read this book a fair few years ago and loved it so much that I made a promise to myself that I would read atleast once a year, so it has sat on my bookshelf for years, eventually getting tattier the more I read it.

      The plot: Bridget jones is in her early 30's, she lives in London on her own and works in a publishing company.
      She decides after new year's to take control of her life by keeping a diary.
      She decides that she will lose weight, sort out her flat and a whole long list of things that she wants to acheive in the following year, including meeting Mr right.

      She believes that Mr right comes in the form of her boss, Daniel Cleaver, but not everyone would agree with her.

      Throw in to the mix a seriously depressed dad, a overbearing mum, 3 friends all in the same dating boat and the rude, pompous, diamond pattern, jumper wearing barrister, Mark Darcy.

      As soon as I read the first few pages of the book I had fallen in love with Bridget, she's such a likeable character. She's funny, witty, with a touch of naiveity.
      Some of the things she does, sort of reminds me of things that i've done, like when you try to mingle at a party and end up failing miserably and then feeling like a fool.

      I loved how original the concept of the book was, the diary format was brilliant, as I think the majority of people have kept a diary at some point.
      I had one up until I was 24, (though mine not being as colourful as Bridget's)

      I found myself laughing at each diary entry as Helen fielding captured the whole recording the day's weight and writing down food intake perfectly.
      I really related to that as that how I always used to start my diary entrys.

      Although Bridget is my favourite character in this book, I did also warm to other characters.
      Like Tom, bridget's gay best friend, Tom is always full of great dating advice.
      I really loved the character of Mark Darcy aswell, but as it was meant for him to be a Mr Darcy sort of character, I understand why I loved him so much.

      This book is fantastic, funny and at times thoughtful and touching.
      I would recommend it to anyone, although read the book before you watch the film, as there is so much content and other little stories going on in the book that they cut out of the film.

      At the time I bought this book for 6 pound 99 pence but they sell it for 4 pound 97 pence on amazon.

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        20.07.2010 18:44
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        Diary of a thirty-something singleton, that is occasionally cringe-worthy and very entertaining.

        Bridget Jones's Diary is the 1996 novel by Helen Fielding which was adapted into a film of the same name, starring Renee Zellweger as protagonist Bridget Jones. The novel, written in diary form, tells the story of the single, thirty-something Bridget Jones as she attempts to juggle her career, friends and love-life.

        The main men in her life are Daniel Cleaver and Mark Darcy - two men with very different personalities and a past themselves. Whilst Daniel is more "modern" and attractive, he is also attracted to a string of younger women. Mark Darcy on the other hand is very stuffy although is perhaps the most suitable of the two for Bridget.

        Bridget doesn't only obsess about her love life though - her other main struggles are her weight, alcohol and cigarettes, and occasionally scratchcard and the national lottery. Each diary entry begins with a comical count of how many of each she has consumed each day along with her weight. This reflects the light-hearted nature of the novel which can quickly cheer a person up.

        Other main characters in the novel are Shazzer, Bridget's close friend who is a strong feminist (whose ideas Bridget occasionally adopts), Jude, a successful businesswoman, Tom, Bridget's gay best friend, as well as her Mum and Dad. Each of these has their own separate story which is documented throughout, such as her Mums affair, in a highly comical way.

        The novel is very much a chick-lit, and incredibly light-hearted. Many times I caught myself laughing out loud. If you're looking for something to cheer you up this is definitely it! Every time I feel a bit down, all I have to do it pick this up and I'm alright again. It really is a mood lifter, and I highly recommend it for some light reading, as well as its sequel on The Edge of Reason.

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          24.04.2010 11:45
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          A great book, a great film, fun and easy to digest. A little bit of insight into the singleton life.

          I must begin by saying how surprised I am at the serious nature of the majority of the reviews posted about this book. Bridget Jones' Diary is nothing if not funny, light hearted and most definitely easy going. Surely then our reviews should hold the same slightly amused tone as adopted by Helen Fielding herself.
          Bridget Jones' Dairy, for those of you who may have spent the last ten years asleep, is a book/ movie about your average 30 - ahem - something single woman. A woman who worries about weight, marriage, money and, of course, how much time she can spare for socialising with her equally lost and confused group of singleton friends.
          It is filled with bittersweet humour while still finding the time to hop on the Rom-Com bandwagon and give us the chance to believe that a happily ever after may in fact be possible. There are so many moments in the book and film that the average woman can smile inwardly and have a little laugh at the Bridget Jones in herself. We have all been there, men and women alike. We have all had the moment on the scales where we look down at our increasingly saggy midriff and wonder what happened. We have all seen our happy couple friends share a secret look and we wonder where our relationships, or lack of them, went wrong.
          But the greatest thing about Bridget Jones' Diary may be the pure and simple fact that this book has such a familiar element to it that it becomes a close friend, one you feel the need to call upon frequently. And no matter how many times you read the book or watch the film...you can't help chuckling.

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            28.01.2010 05:56
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            A great book

            I initially never went to see Bridget Jones's Diary of my own accord, I will admit, but the bottom line is that I enjoyed the Hell out of it, because it was a response to the virulently syrupy chick flicks, while still having a robust idea of sweeping romance, if more informed with the view of a modern, perhaps postmodern woman. The book is what started it, and so I gave that a read after seeing the film.

            The novel revolves around a young, ambitious woman named Bridget Jones, who wants to end her singledom and hook up with Mr. Right. However, this isn't as easy as she expected, resulting in some incredibly embarrassing episodes for her, while still making her a character to root for given her affable and charming "everywoman"-type persona. The novel has its origins in the works of Jane Austen; it is a revisionist romp of a woman trying to find the right suitor, as in Austen's Pride and Prejudice, while injecting enough of its own personality so as not to seem crassly pilfering plot elements, but rather lovingly nodding to them.

            What the novel really gets at is the painful desperation for women in their thirties to find the right man, settle down and then have a family. Bridget is just the fool to satirise this concept, while the author is even-handed enough to also mock those on the other side, who are married or spoken for but yearn for the seeming freedom of being single. Though comical, it also has moments of great social realism, dealing aptly with the very real psychology of these sorts of dynamics.

            Is Bridget Jones a good role model? Does she do women a favour? No, but then this is quite clearly a satire of the belief that another person in your life can be an all-catch fix if you're not yet contented with yourself. People seem to miss this a lot, but it's an important part of the story.

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            01.01.2010 21:54
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            Feel good and fun

            Theres a bit of Bridget in us, all even in us smug marrieds. Helen Fielding's second book is riotious fun following the story of Bridget Jones, singleton who is in the search for a man who is not a F***wit. The book is actually written in the style of a diary complete with scratch card tally, Bridgets weight, number of drinks ingested and even the times shes rung 1471 that day taking us through 12 months of Bridget's life.

            Over the year Bridget has in two romantic relationships. The first is with her slimeball boss Daniel Cleaver, who after wooing her repeatedly, cheats on her with a younger, and more glamorous woman. Bridget's second relationship is with the human-rights barrister Mark Darcy, whom she dislikes at first when they are introduced at a New Year's party. By the end of the novel we discover these men's lives are linked and not just by Bridget. It all turns out happily in the end though but I dont want to spoil the book by giving it all away.

            One of the best things about this book is it is easy to dip in and out of as it has quite short chapters so its perfect if you don't have much time on your hands but fancy a quick read. The novel was inspired by satirical collumns that the author Helen Fielding wrote for the Independent and the Daily Telegraph in the 90's.

            By the way if you have already seen the film still check out the book as it differs quite a bit and is still enjoyable. If you have enjoyed books by other chick lit authors such as Marian Keynes, Jill Mansell etc you will probably enjoy this.

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              08.06.2009 16:11
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              Bridget Jones's Diary

              Bridget Jones's Diary is a novel by Helen Fielding written in 1996. The novel evolved from Helen Fielding's The Diary of Bridget Jones columns in The Independent and The Daily Telegraph and became an International success. As of 2006, the book has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and won the 1998 British Book of the year award

              Partly in a way, I think the reason why I loved this book, is that Bridget always reminds me of me a few years ago. What crazy, unloved and desperate you say?! No, because I was in my early 20's when I read/saw this movie but I think just about every women can relate in some way or at some point to what Bridget has been through, a bad date, feeling like you're never going to meet someone, unrequited love so it makes it all that more real to us. The book was probably one of the first generation of chic lit books and really spawned a whole generation of Singleton's who were kind of proud to be single and didn't seem desperate.

              The book is written just like a diary. It starts at the beginning of the year with her New Year's resolutions and then starts in earnest on January 1st. What I like is that at the start of each day Bridget writes down how much she weighs, how much she has drunk the day before, number of cigarettes she has smoked and the number of calories she has consumed. I think this probably fills the thoughts of most girls pretty much all the time and so is a great tag line for each day of the diary.

              I am going to quote the back of the book because I think it sums up the theme of the book extremely well:

              "Bridget Jones's Diary is the decastatingly self-aware, laugh out loud daily chronicle of Bridget's permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement - a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult - and learn to program the VCR.

              Over the course of the year, Bridget loses a total of 72 pounds but gains a total of 74. She remains however, optimistic. Through it all, Bridget will have you helpless with laughter, and - like millions of readers the world round, you'll find yourself shouting, Bridget Jones is me!"

              This novel had my laughing most of the time with all the situations Bridget finds herself in. Bridget has a crush on a most unsuitable guy at work (and let's be honest, it's the guy most of us would fall for too, the b****d, that would treat you like c**p but you still end up falling in love with him and going back for more.) His name is Daniel Cleaver. Then she meets Mark Darcy, a friend of the family's son whom she really doesn't get on with at first but then begins to see his charms but is she too late?Funny parts often include her gang on friends, two girls and a gay guy who make for great laughs as well.

              THis really is a book you can read again and again and never tire of it. I recently re-read it and still found it as funny as I did the first time around. The book is published by Penguin books and is quite short at only 270 pages but well worth a read.

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                16.01.2005 14:23
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                With the possible exception of J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, very few books of recent times have had quite the impact on popular reading habits as the original “Bridget Jones’s Diary”. Although chick-lit did exist prior to it’s publication in 1996, it wasn’t a genre that has the acceptance in quite the same way it does now. Whilst Helen Fielding cannot be credited with the creation of chick-lit, she can certainly be held accountable for its explosion into the mainstream and, indeed, for that of bloke-lit, which followed swiftly behind. We men don’t like to be left behind when a bandwagon rolls out.

                Bridget Jones first came to my attention when one of my female colleagues was reading it and was telling the rest of us about it. For a group whose conversations mostly revolved around “East Enders” and “Coronation Street”, this was a huge eye opener. As was the time I nearly got a slap from another colleague after spotting her reading it in the canteen and asking if it was a self help guide. I do now realise that I would have deserved it.

                It’s a simple story, following a year in the life of Bridget Jones, a single, thirty-something Londoner, who worries about her weight, dislikes her job and fancies her boss. We follow her trials and tribulations and her ups and downs at work, at home, and in her relationships with parents, friends and lovers. She also chronicles her running battle to lose, or at least control, her weight, smoke and drink less and her varying addictions to such varied things as Smoothies, Lottery Instants and dialling 1471.

                There’s no plot as such, as the diary meanders through Bridget’s life alongside her. She doesn’t seem to have much of an aim or a plan to follow through, other than vague non-specific aims to get a boyfriend and a better job. Bridget is fairly conscientious when it comes to writing in her diary, although there’s not an entry for every day, but she does share her good days and bad days. Given the amount that happens to her and those around her in the space of 12 months, there can’t be much she’s left out.

                The diary format the book is written in works well in this instance, despite this method not having been tried much outside of Sue Townsend’s “Adrian Mole” series. Although it means the writing doesn’t flow, it does allow Fielding to abandon the novelist’s normal reliance on good grammar and allows for radical changes of pace and direction that wouldn’t be possible under the constraints of a story. It also means that she can put words directly into the mouth of Bridget Jones and makes things a lot funnier at times, particularly in the summary of the day that begins every entry where her obsessive weight-watching and calorie counting come to the fore.

                This is what makes “Bridget Jones’s Diary” as good as it is. Bridget is not a woman who survives on her looks or has a lot of money to do whatever she likes with. She is not a lady of leisure who can spend all day shopping and drinking coffee with her friends. She’s not the woman with time on her hands to do all kinds of things and dash off to foreign climes at the drop of a hat. In short, Bridget Jones isn’t like any chick-lit woman you’ve ever seen before, because she’s not perfect.

                This is why “Bridget Jones’s Diary” is more successful and more fun to read than any other chick-lit book that came before or since. It’s because there’s a little bit of Bridget in all of us. Men and women alike will be able to find something in these pages that you can relate to. Men will relate less to Bridget directly, but you’ll almost certainly see shades of someone you know in her. Personally, as a thirty-something single person, I found I could relate to her a little more than I might have liked, being male and all, but this is so rarely true in chick-lit and in modern literature generally that the attractiveness of reading about someone real outweighs the discomfort of the potential of that someone real being partly me.

                There are a couple of things that can dent the enjoyment to be gained, however. There’s a little too much in here than could or would realistically happen to one person in a year. Over a longer period of time, for sure, but not in a year. Normally you have to expect there to be some suspension of belief in any work of fiction, but given how realistic some of the characters seem, it is a little more intrusive here.

                There’s also the problem of the men. They don’t seem to fit quite right, either. This may just be a male perspective, but I couldn’t find much of myself in any of the male characters here, which given how many comparisons I can draw between Bridget and people I know is a bit of a surprise and a shame. The men are less well rounded than the women and they all seem to be at the extremes of characters, with them either being complete bastards, mostly condescending or a hero or father figure. There isn’t really any one male character I can find myself relating to, which is a shame. However, I’ve noticed that this isn’t uncommon in chick-lit, as female writers don’t seem to write male characters terribly well, and the reverse is also true of male bloke-lit writers. It’s not a major flaw, and certainly not unique in the genre, but it is a pity seeing how so many of the female characters actions and personality seem realistic.

                These minor concerns aside, “Bridget Jones’s Diary” is certainly something worth reading. Women will get more out of it than men, but that’s only to be expected in a novel where most of the main characters are women. However, readers of either gender can’t help but be amused by Bridget’s antics and share her successes and failures with her. The diary format also makes it easy to stop reading at any point and pick up later on which is great for people who read to pass the time on a journey, as I do. Although as a man, I’ve noticed that you can get some strange looks if you read something like this in public.

                For anyone who hasn’t read chick-lit before, this isn’t typical of the genre, purely because of the diary style it’s written in. However, the story and the events within are a good example of the genre and better than most purely because it’s a lot more realistic.

                Being a relatively old book now, it’s one that be picked up cheaply, which adds to the allure. The RRP of £7.99 is very much overpriced, and I wouldn’t advise paying that much for it, but Amazon’s £3.99 (or £7.98 for both this and “Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason”) is a lot more reasonable, as is a price of £3.75 from Green Metropolis. Copes have also been seen from as little as 1p at both eBay and the Amazon Marketplace and, for those who don’t mind second hand books, I saw a copy of both Bridget Jones books in a branch of Oxfam recently.

                It’s not groundbreaking, and it’s not going to change your world. But it is going to make you laugh, especially if you do find someone or something you can relate to either in yourself or one of your friends and it is an entertaining way to while away an evening or a journey. I certainly don’t ask for much more than that in a book and if you seek the same, you can’t go too far wrong with this.

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                  30.11.2003 18:09
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                  Many books have been brought to my awareness whilst watching the Big Read over the last few months. Not only the final 21, but also the top 100. When I saw Bridget Jones coming in at around 79, I must admit I was extremely shocked. Not only did I think it would be in the top 21, but I also thought it would be in the final 10, at least. So, the other day at the library, I set out to find the Diary of the woman called Bridget Jones; also known as Bridget Jones’ Diary. I’ve wanted to read Bridget Jones for quite a while now. Ever since I saw the film, I was interested to see how it would be put out in the book. Would it actually be a diary? Or would it just be a narrator? My first impressions were, that it was nothing like I’d expected. The lay out, the words used, were very different to how I’d imagined it after seeing the film. The first chapter (or month) I was extremely hooked on, and was very interested to see what was going to happen. I finished Bridget Jones within the day! So, what’s it all about, then? Well, you can find out so much about this book from it’s title, really! You know the name of the woman, and you know it’s her diary, which is obviously a year of her life. What you don’t know is what kind of woman Bridget Jones is. Is she a teenager? A married woman? A divorced woman? An elderly pensioner? Well, actually, she’s none of them. She’s actually a single gal, on the look-out for Mr Right. There isn’t a plot to Bridget Jones, as you can expect from a book with diary entries. Bridget works in Publishing, is very conscious about her weight, and counts every single calorie that goes pass her lips. She also counts every single cigarette, unit of alcohol, and over things too! It’s easy to say that Bridget is a bit of a drama Queen at times, and she certainly loves to be the centre of attention – only at the good times, mind – and if she is, she
                  217;ll hog the limelight for as long as she can do. When Bridget falls in love with her boss – Daniel – she thinks all her dreams have come true, and dreams of going on “mini-breaks” with him (Showing she’s committing to the relationship!). But, does Bridget really never have to go back to Single town, anymore? Firstly, before I start nit picking, and talking about the things I didn’t like, I have to sat that I enjoyed Bridget Jones a lot, and I was so hooked that I never put it down from when I started reading it. But, there were just a few elements in the book that I didn’t like. Having seen the film first I was constantly whilst reading comparing the two, and trying to work out where I was, and picture what happened in the film, in my head. Well, this was a total balls up thing to do, really, because the film and the book, in so many parts, were totally different. With at least 9 extra characters, if not more, in the book than the film, and the ending being completely different. I really enjoyed the film when I saw it, and laughed many a time during it’s viewing. That’s why I was so interested to compare the book and the film, and try and work out which parts which, etc, etc. I think this totally spoilt the book for me, in a way. Because they were so different I was forever looking out for something that was in the film that rarely ever came up. I was constantly thinking “right, did she do this in the film?” And ended up loosing my concentration for the next page or two. I really wish I’d have read the book first! When a book is a diary, and a diary of one person only, you have to extremely like that character to be able to read the book. Because when you think about, whilst reading, we have to be them – see everything through their eyes, do everything they way they would. What I think Fielding succeeded at was the way she made us love Bridget. Although at tim
                  es you could have killed her, mostly, you really liked Bridget, and laughed with her (and at her at times!) and she also made you laugh as well. There won’t be anyone out there who disliked Bridget! Fielding’s style of writing was extremely good, in my opinion. It was intelligent, yet was actually diary slang at the same times, which made it so easy to read and absorb. It was extremely witty most of the time, and when she was talking about her relationship problems it was quite sad. But, I think at times Bridget lacked a lot emotion. I don’t think Fielding showed enough of her emotions side, which to me, is a diary. I think she should have been more open about them, than being emotional one day, and not the next. What I found good, though, was the way that Fielding dealt with so much during the book. The year that Bridget lived was full of action, and Fielding managed to put in so many of women’s problems in that space – pregnancy scare, boyfriends trouble(s), new job, mother left Father for another man, and there’s so much more. It’s as if Bridget Jones has had everything piled on top of her that one year, whereas other people (not only women) have the exact same things happening to them. And that’s such a good element in the book. You can easily relate to Bridget. I know I did, even though I’m a man. It made no difference what sex you are; men and women aren’t that different. What becomes very obvious in the book, obviously more so than in the film, is that Fielding set most of the things that happened on her. She’s actually admitted to the “fireman pole”, “blue soup” and many of the other main parts in the film actually happening to her in real life. I think that’s what made the embarrassment so powerful at times. The way that Fielding managed to make things so real, because she’d actually experienced it, and actually been there and d
                  one, and even got the t-shirt. The writing is often powerful, and you just laugh out loud at her honesty and embarrassment. I think these funny little parts are what make us relate to Bridget so well, and actually to be able to enjoy it. It did sum up a life of a thirty something single (at times), overweight (at least in her eyes), witty woman who basically, just wants to be loved, and it succeeded in that way tremendously. But as I’ve already said, the fact that I saw the film firs was so disappointing, and a big let down to me. I’d say the book was equally as funny/entertaining as the film. And if you have seen the film, and haven’t read the book, please don’t let this review put you off, because you can enjoy the book a lot if you just put all of the thought of the film to the back of your mind. I’m off to get the sequel (Bridget Jones: Edge Of Reason) tomorrow, and luckily, will have read the book before actually seeing the book, so it will be much better this time. I do recommend Bridget Jones to anyone who’s ever had a cringe worthy moment, or actually, lived a life. Bridget Jones is an example of everyone to us, and if there were a world of Bridget Jones’, it wouldn’t be all bad (although we’d run out of food, fags, alcohol). Read it, and laugh; I promise you, you will! Price - £6.99 ISBN – 0 330 33277 5 © Matt Roberts 2003. [P.S, the title’s the last sentence in the book. Make out of it, what you will.]

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                    01.06.2003 17:47
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                    Why do I love this book so much? Now that's a question with one simple answer. Never before have I read a book that I have so closely related to and spent so much time laughing at. Bridget's innate insecurities about her weight, appearance, sex appeal and her constant fear of dying alone and being found two weeks later half eaten by a pack of Alsatians can be found in most women, and even though they carry a sense of dread, are written here with such wit that they become funny. The book follows a character called Bridget Jones, a thirty-something whose intimate knowledge of every self help book on the planet helps her solve almost every problem, through one year of her life, during which she manages to cope with finding a "bronzed, long-limbed, blonde-haired, stark-naked woman" on her boyfriend's roof, her mother having an affair whilst unwittingly helping to commit fraud, having her weight changing daily, 251 days affected by hangovers, thinking she's pregnant with her bosses baby and many nights spent dissecting the male ideals and ideas. Fielding's writing rings so true, and the first person narrative really helps us get inside Bridget's head. The story flows easily, not requiring much heavy thought if you just want a light read, as much of the book can be taken at face value. Or you can also dig deeper, and see that through Bridget, Fielding is actually making a very valid statement about life in today's society - people have become obsessed with sex, money, alcohol and material goods at the expense of the nuclear family, morals, respect for themselves and others, religion and old ideas of courtship. The diary part of each day, in which she calculates such things as "Thigh Circumference", "Negative Thoughts", "Panic Attacks", "Alcohol Units" and her weight contain the funniest parts of the book ("9st 3 - excellent progress - 2lb of fat spontaneously combusted through joy and
                    sexu al promise, 9st 5 - state of emergency now as if fat has been stored in capsule form over Christmas and is being slowly released under skin") but apart from them there are many laugh out loud funny bits ("Woke up in floods of tears from a hideous dream I keep having where I'm sitting A-level French and realise as I turn over my paper that I have forgotten to do any revision and I'm wearing nothing but my Domestic Science apron, trying desperately to pull it round me so Miss. Chignall won't see that I'm wearing no pants"), so my advice would be - don't read this in public, unless you want to receive some strange looks. The descriptions of the characters ("I looked at her wistfully, her vast, bulbous bottom swathed in a tight red skirt with a bizarre three-quarter-length striped waistcoat strapped across it. What a blessing to be born with such a Sloany arrogance. Perpetua could be the size of a Renault Espace and not give it a thought") bring them to life so perfectly, you'll look around when you?ve finished the book, feeling a little disappointed, knowing that Mark Darcy won't ever be walking in the door, his trademark Smouldering Look in place, and there is no chance of Daniel Cleaver doing one of his impassioned drunken declarations of love stunts any time soon. I love the way in which is book is narrated, first person but leaving out a lot of the "I"s, which gives it a choppy, able-to-read-it-quickly kind of feel. I really like the format of the diary, as you can just pick it up and read a few entries, without thinking that you have to finish a chapter to get a feeling of finality before you leave it down. This book is worth reading, even if you don't think you'll like it - try it. It has something for everyone - humour, feel-good fluffiness, insights into the way a woman's mind works, sex politics, drunken rants, interfering mothers and a liberal chunk of paranoia compl
                    ete with an icing of slight insanity thrown in.

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                      12.03.2003 20:08
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                      I read the book BEFORE seeing the film (as I often do) and completely loved both. I don't get the time to read much normally but when I go on holiday I read for hours every day. This book is perfect for a holiday novel - funny and entertaining. As is often the case, there was quite a large chunk from the book missing in the film so even if you have seen the film I would recommend the book. I even LOL (laughed out loud) on the beach several times!

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                        05.02.2002 06:42
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                        If anyone doesn't know what Bridget Jones is by now that may be something to worry about the book Bridget Jones is based on following the diary of the life of well.....Bridget Jones and her rocky road to eternal happiness and contentment- if at all possible for us women these days. It all begins on New Years Day at her parents curry buffet which is an annual event - it is here that Bridget decides to shape up her life! And thus the diary takes shape of opinions, facts an resolutions including not to date ''emotional fuckwits' pardoning the language! The progression of Bridgets daily life goes from sleeping with her boss to consoling herself with VODKA, the loss of her parents and worse still the idea of dying alone and being eaten by alsatians! All ends well and if waatching the film as well after the book - the film does match the book very well. A stunning book and a must for anyone who has ever suffered loneliness, the idea of dying alone or being eaten by alsatians or both - also by those who continually date emotional fuckwits or pperverts and sleep with their bosses. A hilarious read that will keep you turning the page just to find out what that silly girl does next!

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                          22.12.2001 16:21
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                          Well, I have just finished reading "Bridget Jones's diary" by Helen Fielding. What is all the fuss about? I have to say that I am mystified by the plaudits lauded upon it. It's a mildly amusing story. I don't believe it made me actually laugh once, no, maybe I'm being a bit unfair there, I do remember laughing once though, tell the truth, I can't now remember what it was that made me do so. Compare it with the latest Pete McCarthy book, McCarthy’s Bar (think that’s what it’s called – I’ve just wrapped it up as a Christmas present for my Wife. Hope she reads it quickly. Can’t wait to read it myself). I picked that up by chance in Ottakars. I read just the first three sentences and creased myself laughing. Now that’s what I call funny. I understand that Bridget Jones’s diary arose out of a column in The Independent. Sorry if I’m a bit vague about that, I’m a Guardian reader (can’t you tell?). Apparently it was suggested that it would make a good book. Maybe it should have stayed as a column. I think it lost something in the “translation”. The story is, as the title suggests, the contents of the diary of a thirty-something single and her chaotic life. Maybe I just don’t have any sympathy with these characters? Bridget Jones is the sort of person you just want to grab hold of and shake and shout “Get a grip” at. She is permanently intimidated by a belittling Mother; perhaps that’s the root of her problems? She spends her life struggling to control her weight (continuously fluctuating – habitual calorie-counter), her smoking (never actually giving up despite good intentions), her drinking (continuously fluctuating), her boyfriends (or lack of or unfaithfulness of them), her life in general really. She is incapable of planning anything successfully.
                          Her cooking is a total disaster, always. She just seems to wander through life from one crisis to another. Her friends around her seem to be in many ways similar. Will it all end happily? Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out. I did persevere right to the end so I suppose it can’t have been that bad. Maybe I ought to see the film. Perhaps it translates better to the big screen that it does to the written word.

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                            14.10.2001 01:03
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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. Helen Fielding's exceptionally funny second novel. 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 sob
                            er) 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 wants to have it all - and once she's given up smoking and got down to 8st 7lbs, she will. This book is about a year in the life of a single girl on an optimistic but doomed quest for self-improvement.

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                              05.09.2001 00:24
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                              Although I am not a very compotent reader and do not usually think to pick up a book I did buy Bridget Jones's Diary for my holiday to Turkey recently. I have a short attention span and therefore tend to give books a miss but I thought I'd give Bridget Jones a go. I thouroughly enjoyed this book. It is a laugh a minute and Bridget Jones is portrayed as a very, very real character. This enables every reader to relate to some of the problems Bridget experiences. Although this is typically a girlie book, many of my male friends have read this book and they too have enjoyed it. Bridget's diary takes you through her everyday life, hassles at the office, hassles from her mother, man trouble, drunken nights with the singletons slagging off the Smug Marrieds! (read it to find out) I can guarantee that every single person who reads Bridget Jones's Diary will find many things that they can relate to. Bridget is a normal 30 something with a not so normal life! It is an excellent read and I could not put it down! It definitely lived up to my expectations and I hope to read Bridget Jones; The Edge of Reason soon! I would definitely recommend it to anyone!

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