[Reading] ➱ Bridget Jones's Diary ➹ Helen Fielding – Writerscompany.co.uk

I didn t enjoy this book in an ironic way, or in a it s good even though , or I can t believe I do but I perversely can t help it or any other angled, roundabout, halfway indirect from behind kind of way No I sat on my couch and wolfed this thing down in one sitting while laughing my ass off.I read it last spring when I decided I was curious about what chick lit was, so that I could form an opinion and generally improve my likelihood of passing as a somewhat informed member of civilization This was not the only chick lit book I attempted I tried Bergdorf Blondes , the first few pages of which made me want to stab my eyes out with a rusty fork well, maybe it made me want to stab someone else s eyes out Plum Sykes springs to mind , but my point is that it wasn t just bad but actually highly disturbing Disturbing as in, does not so much shake as demolish one s faith in humanity and makes one tremble in horror at the times we re evidently living in I also tried Good in Bed , which wasn t upsetting, but did seem pretty bad, or at least definitely not for me I even flipped open a Shopaholic book, which wasn t as awfully written as Bergdorf Blondes but did similarly make yearn for a grim Stalinist dystopia where this kind of trash just isn t permitted.Then there was Bridget Jones.Now, my enjoyment of this book was not uncomplicated by this terrifying I am Cathy feeling that I m now enough of a grownup to identify with a lovably neurotic character from fluffy popular women s fiction Because, dear bookster, identify I did Yes I had the 100% straightforward chick lit experience, which I guess must be exactly this sense of recognizing your own ridiculously stereotypical feminine traits in a light novel s plucky heroine And seriously That s exactly what happened to me Can I just explain that I m supposed to be packing right now, which is why this is getting so long and involved I m not really crazy, I m just procrastinating Also, though, I do want to tell you guys about Bridget Jones and how weirdly good it was There were a few things I didn t realize about BJ before I read this book One is, she drinks too much The other is, she smokes I know it sounds dumb, but I think I would ve felt differently knowing that, instead of just that she struggles with food I d sort of heard that a lot of it was about efforts to control her weight or whatever, and this typical, you know, on again off again dieting, blah blah blah, and I really couldn t imagine anything less appealing, partly because that isn t a problem I identify with, and partly because does the world really need another book about a self hating lady trying to lose weight And why would anyone want to read something like that anyway Well, I would And I did Because it s not really about her trying to lose weight although I guess it kind of is , it s about the constant, compulsive agony self inflicted by a woman cursed not only with zero impulse control and a ravenous id, but also obsessively high standards for herself and a ridiculous amount of guilt and self scrutiny about virtually everything she does.So yeah basically, this book is about me and a lot not all of my close female friends And it really, really I want you to hear this from me truly gets at some stuff about certain ways that a lot of women tend to act and think, which, I m sorry, all my fancy feminisms and gender theory aside, let s be honest, a lot not all of us are very crazy in some classically female ways, and Fielding just NAILS a lot of those Plus she s very funny.Is this the greatest book ever written No But it was fun to read.Obviously, not all men act one way, and not all women act like Bridget Jones However, I certainly do, and that must be the reason I got such a kick out of this book. I m torn as to how to rate this On the one hand, Fielding nails the humor Humor is very hard to capture in literature and I often found myself smiling or chuckling But when I wasn t, I was exasperated with Bridget Jones Fielding nails her too Why do women insist on being proud of being so shallow Idiotic, blind about themselves and their lives, and obsessed with all the wrong things in life I didn t sympathize with Bridget at all, nor did I really care about the holes she dug herself into This book is the perfect example of why I don t read chick lit I just don t relate to this definition of what women are More than that, I m embarrassed by it.I also didn t buy into the love story I didn t really get why Bridget liked him other than he was there But what else than a shallow love interest did I expect from Bridget I m glad that the Pride and Prejudice undertones were not blatant or I might of cried that Fielding so disgraced the characters I liked the way Renee Zellweger played Bridget so much than the way this is written At least in the movie she has a brain and a personality worth something and she seems a little above all the nonsense around her One of these days I d like to read chick lit with a protagonist I can relate to, but then again, would it really be light and chick lit ish Let s review this book the Bridget wayReading goal for 2011 35 books not bad Books actually read 38 v.g No of chick lits supposed to be read in a year 1 fair No of chick lits actually read 2 including Bridget Jones s Diary But wait a second Who can callBridget Jones s Diarya chick lit That would be an insult to such a master piece No, Bridget is no wannabe chick lit heroine and this book is certainly no trashy best sellerBridget Jones s Diaryis definitely a piece of literature It is well written, it s funny and it is extremely relate able Bridget, like most girls, tends to make mistakes, fall in love with the wrong guy and she gives an all new twist to the story ofPride and PrejudiceIn a way, it is a work of plagiarism and yet, it has the quality of being original It is at once the biggest tribute to Austen and one of the most successful experiments on creating a story which has its own elements of uniqueness and surprise And the best thing about this book is, you don t want to believe Bridget is not real It s like Santa Claus or Hogwarts all over again Yes, I know I can t stop gushing over it but trust me, had this book been anything like the usual chick lits, I most certainly wouldn t have given it a five star rating Of course, I approached it gingerly and rather hesitantly at first but once I was done, I felt like banging my head against the wall asking, Why didn t I read it before when I had the e book lying with me for the last three years But I guess I had to borrow it fromGayatri and then spend an entire fortnight gushing over it Do I recommend it to you Hell, yeah, I do Read as part of The Infinite Variety Reading Challenge, based on the BBC s Big Read Poll of 2003.Let me introduce you to the B chamel Test No, not the Bechdel Test, that s different And not the sauce, either.The B chamel Test is a very simply checklist to see if you should read a book or simply set fire to it Here s how it works 1 Is There A Gay Best Friend 2 Are There Moments When The Main Character Would, If The Book Was Set In The Current Time Period, Do Something Awkward and Say, Awkward Out Loud Afterwards In An Incredibly Irritating Faux American Accent With A Hint Of Irony But No Clue As To What Irony Actually Is 3 Is The Protagonist Selfish, Deluded, Thinks 9st Is Overweight, Doesn t Think Maybe A Bit Of Exercise Would Help Pretty Much Every One Of Their Problems, Not Care About Anything Except Men And Thinks That s Fine, But Can t Stand The Idea of Marriage And Kids, But Secretly Wants That , Hates Anyone Who Is Happy, Thinks Feminism Is Just Acting Like A Man Wouldn t Want To Be Thought Of As Delicate Now Would We 4 Is The Book Purported To Be Funny But Isn t And Is Just A Weird Way For People To Be Mean About Past Generations Without Actually Saying Anything Specific If you answered Yes to any of those then the book has failed the B chamel Test and should be burnt At once Don t bother leaving the bookshop ask them to help.And go and spend your money on some actual B chamel Sauce.P.S Also failed the Bechdel Test and the one that uses a needle on a metre to determine whether a noise was heard after a joke was made.P.P.S no noise was heard.P.P.P.S Read as part of the Infinite Variety Reading Challenge based on the BBC s Big Read poll of 2003.P.P.P.P.S Just watch the film.Blog Reviews Instagram Twitter Meet Bridget Jones A 30 Something Singleton Who Is Certain She Would Have All The Answers If She Could A Lose 7 Poundsb Stop Smokingc Develop Inner Poise 123 Lbs How Is It Possible To Put On 4 Pounds In The Middle Of The Night Could Flesh Have Somehow Solidified Becoming Denser And Heavier Repulsive, Horrifying Notion , Alcohol Units 4 Excellent , Cigarettes 21 Poor But Will Give Up Totally Tomorrow , Number Of Correct Lottery Numbers 2 Better, But Nevertheless Useless Bridget Jones Diary Is The Devastatingly 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 Of course the book is all about Bridget s feelings and emotions..it s a diary I think anyone, man or woman, would quietly admit to themselves the selfish thoughts they have when something terrible happens to someone they know, Bridget is just doing that in her diary The book provides an excellent outlet for anyone woman who feels the pressures of impending singledom, rubbish careers and crazy parents and it makes the reader see that IT S OK NOT TO BE PERFECT We love Bridget cos she is fun, honest and finds true love even though she is shock horror average and has arse the size of Brazil Obviously not for everyone but one of the best reads I have come across and a must for any single girl. Get up and make sensible plan Will work hard on journal paper during day, then go for well earned picnic at open air movie theatre Tonight s movie Bridget Jones s Diary v good Make salmon florentine for picnic, will eat half there and save rest for tomorrow Feel v organized.Hard to concentrate thoughts on journal paper After lunch go back to bed, need to recover energy Wake up again mid afternoon Decide to postpone working on paper until tomorrow, have to tidy apartment since guests coming for picnic and place looks like tip Pack picnic Guests arrive, walk down to water and find good spot to pitch camp While waiting for movie to start, eat all salmon florentine followed by large serve of chocolate mousse and most of two bottles of wine Halfway through movie, stretch out hand to grope girlfriend and spill remaining wine over brand new picnic rug v bad Girlfriend not happy Arrive back home pissed at 1 am Must do better tomorrow. This certainly wasn t a novel but, what s worse, it wasn t even a credible diary Who records their mishaps while cooking and running late in their preparations Perhaps if this were written in the phone texting age, I could imagine someone constantly chronicling their every move, no matter how pressing the situation or how inane and empty the commentary, but as it is, this book serves as a frightening precursor to a new generation of books with no established atmosphere, characters, dialogue, or insight Fielding would be better off looking into a crystal ball and telling people their fortunes than writing another non novel. Find all of my reviews at so many others out there the holidays can sometimes get me feeling blah Not like seasonal depression or can t get out of bed kind of depression, like just meh In an effort to combat that, I do things like going balls out on Christmas decorating well before Thanksgiving, making giant Sunday dinners with all the fixins as soon as the leaves start to change in case I turn into a please just go get Taco Bell kind of Mom between Thanksgiving and the New Year and tipping the scales heavier than usual when it comes reading watching things of the feel good rather than the stabby variety Thus is the case with Bridget Jones and her diary I m not a big re reader but I am HUGE re watcher My family always knows I m about to go spelunking in the basement for decorations as soon as I ve watched Christmas Vacation usually as close as possible to the day after Halloween and it becomes hot cocoa, cookies, snuggly blanket and cozy reads season with the annual viewings of Serendipity and Bridget Jones Diary There s just something about moments like these Oh and just in case you re wondering if I m a pod person, I assure you I m not In my world it s not officially Christmas until this happens Greatest Christmas movie ever Period.It seems ol Bridge is a fail for the newer generation The only thing I can say is this is not a story that s meant to be taken seriously so if you re not in on the joke, it definitely won t work for you Put yourself in the mindset of geriatrics like me and BridgetI am a child of Cosmopolitan culture, have been traumatized by supermodels and too many quizzes and know that neither my personality nor my body is up to it if left to its own devicesRealize that Bridget s inner dialogue regarding weight, alcohol and cigarettes is of a first world problem type of confessional rather than an I m going to go stick my head in the oven because I m a morbidly obese drunk with lung cancer and no one will ever love me admission. Gawd, this book was criminally hilarious I sat in the doctor s office waiting room literally snorting into my Nine West handbag there s something really metal about being a minimum wage worker who chooses to buy labels instead of food as I cradled my Kobo in my lap, with Bridget Jones and her life of ridiculous shenanigans all over the black and white screen Needless to say, the people I waited with were unimpressed They are probably not the first to wonder why someone like me would carry anything as elegant as Nine West.Sometimes I wonder that, too Honestly I took off a star because I was highly disappointed with the rushed and nonsensical ending But the rest of this book Pure gold A little warning, though this is not a shiny, polished tale of the stereotypical and in real life, extremely rare uptown and sophisticated south English thirtysomething It s an incredibly and often shamefully honest portrayal of a woman who likes sex and cigarettes and drinking and her foul mouthed friends It s not The Young Victoria It s modern Britain, like nobody wants to see it.Sure, it s a little ham fisted in places I won t say it doesn t idealize relationships, and get a little bizarre here and there But who cares I picked this book up expecting to be entertained It exceeded those expectations.Good job, Helen Fielding. Bridget Jones's Diary


About the Author: Helen Fielding

Helen Fielding was born in Yorkshire She worked for many years in London as a newspaper and TV journalist, travelling as wildly and as often as possibly to Africa, India and Central America She is the author of four novels Cause Celeb, Bridget Jones s Diary, Bridget Jones The Edge of Reason and Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination, and co wrote the screenplays for the movie of Bridget


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