Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones, #1)Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed both the Bridget Jones movies and now that there's a third one on the way, I decided it is about time to read the original “diary.” I liked the other chick lit books I've read (Sophie Kinsella's Remember Me, Can You Keep a Secret?, and Shopaholic & Baby) with their pseudo airhead main characters who are actually quite intelligent and competent. Since I hadn't read Helen Fielding's work prior to this, I was expecting something similar. The tone of Bridget Jones's Diary is light and the humor is fabulous. Bridget Jones, however, is not a brilliant woman trying to escape from an airhead facade. There isn't a competent bone in her body. When she succeeds she does so through luck and the good will of those around her. But somehow her self absorbed, scatterbrained personality works. I liked her.

The novel is dated, of course. For example, when Bridget thinks about a fairy tale wedding she talks about Princess Diana rather than the Duchess of Cambridge. But the core of the book is the immersion into the mind of a woman who is desperate to impress others by losing weight, drinking less, and gaining a boyfriend. There are still plenty of people like that. And what's even more significant is the fact that we all have a little of Bridget's personality in us. That's why the book is so funny.

There are books that need to be read slowly, so the reader can dwell on the concepts behind the story. Then there are books that are a fun read and need to be read quickly. Bridget Jones's Diary is one of the latter.

Steve Lindahl - author of Motherless Soul

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