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Bridget Joness Diary [Paperback]

Helen Fielding
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (915 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 20 1997
Bridget Jones's Diary was first published in 1996 and applauded by critics from Salman Rushdie to Jilly Cooper. A number one best-seller, Helen Fielding's book has sold over fifteen million copies worldwide and has been turned into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. Bridget Jones's Diary is followed by Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy. Bridget Jones is everyone's favourite spinster. In Bridget Jones's Diary she documents her struggles through the social minefield of her 30s and tries to weigh up the eternal question: Daniel Cleaver of Mark Darcy? She is supported through the whole process by four indispensable friends, Shazzer, Jude, Tom and a bottle of chardonnay. A dazzling urban satire of modern relationships? An ironic, tragic insight into the demise of the nuclear family? Or the confused ramblings of a pissed thirty-something?

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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

From Publishers Weekly

A huge success in England, this marvelously funny debut novel had its genesis in a column Fielding writes for a London newspaper. It's the purported diary, complete with daily entries of calories consumed, cigarettes smoked, "alcohol units" imbibed and other unsuitable obsessions, of a year in the life of a bright London 30-something who deplores male "fuckwittage" while pining for a steady boyfriend. As dogged at making resolutions for self-improvement as she is irrepressibly irreverent, Bridget also would like to have someone to show the folks back home and their friends, who make "tick-tock" noises at her to evoke the motion of the biological clock. Bridget is knowing, obviously attractive but never too convinced of the fact, and prone ever to fear the worst. In the case of her mother, who becomes involved with a shady Portuguese real estate operator and is about to be arrested for fraud, she's probably quite right. In the case of her boss, Daniel, who sends sexy e-mail messages but really plans to marry someone else, she's a tad blind. And in the case of glamorous lawyer Mark Darcy, whom her parents want her to marry, she turns out to be way off the mark. ("It struck me as pretty ridiculous to be called Mr. Darcy and to stand on your own looking snooty at a party. It's like being called Heathcliff and insisting on spending the entire evening in the garden, shouting 'Cathy!' and banging your head against a tree.") It's hard to say how the English frame of reference will travel. But, since Bridget reads Susan Faludi and thinks of Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon as role models, it just might. In any case, it's hard to imagine a funnier book appearing anywhere this year. Major ad/promo; first serial to Vogue; BOMC and QPB main selections; simultaneous Random House audio; author tour. (July) FYI: A movie is in the works from Working Title, the team that produced Four Weddings and a Funeral.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and fun read April 2 2014
Format:Paperback
For those of you who have been hiding under a rock for the last 20 years and haven’t read the book or seen the movie, Bridget Jones’s Diary is the story of a single woman in her thirties in London, England. This is a hilarious book about failed relationships and unsuccessful attempts at losing weight. It is also a sharp critique of modern society where women have to have a husband, children, a house in the suburbs and a fulfilling job to be considered a success. While the story feels a bit dated (no cell phones!), the issues are still very much what a single woman would experience nowadays. In addition, Bridget Jones is a lovable character because she is not perfect, and she makes mistakes. As a result, we identify with her and understand her struggles.

Bridget Jones’s Diary has paved the way for many romantic comedies and TV series (Sex and the City anyone?), and I am really grateful for the laughs and tears it has brought on.

Please go to my blog, Cecile Sune - Bookobsessed, if you would like to read more reviews or discover fun facts about books and authors.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gotta love Bridget! Feb. 16 2014
By Maddie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved this story, I think most adult women can relate to Bridget on some level. I really liked how she connected to the reader by sharing her thoughts.
The one thing I would change is the daily health assessment. I got tired of that after a few chapters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Giggle fest Sept. 7 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A must read for every woman!!!!! This book tells the truth about what every woman goes through during long periods of being single. All the drinking, smoking, calories counting, and lusting, is what makes this book truly like a diary. This is one book you will not want to put down once you've started it.
Bridget Jones is a British woman turning 30 and still single. She not the brightest crayon in the box, and not the prettiest either, making it a lot easier to relate to character. This is not a white knight story, no unrealistic things happen to her. Everything that happens to her can happen to anyone on a day-to-day base. And never in this book does Bridget play cat and mouse with a man
Although this book will not tease you intellectually, it will most certainly entertain you. If you loved the movie the book is one step up. Helen Fieldings is pure genius when it comes to describing the horrors woman put themselves through daily. I would recommend this book to anyone willing to laugh. Anyone who likes the old love story with a twisted will enjoy this book immensely, it pride and prejudice meets Alice and wonderland.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hurray for "Singleton" Bridget! May 29 2002
Format:Paperback
This is an awesome book! I had first heard about this book by seeing the movie, which was very funny. I then decided to read the book which I had heard was based upon Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Having read Austen's novel (which i did not like) I hoped that this version would be much more appealing to the 21st century reader. And, luckily it was. Bridget(a clumsy, insecure, chain-smoking Elizabeth Bennet) was lovable because of her flaws and self questioning. I think that anyone can identify with her obsessiveness over her weight, love life, and career. I thought that Bridget was also a complex character who was just trying to find her own definition of happiness in a world where TV and aquaintances are constantly trying to define happiness for her. The idea of telling the story of Bridget Jones through a diary was ingenious of Helen Fielding. It allowed the reader to go into the mind of the main character and see what she was really like without the facade of confidence that we all wear in front of others. I also enjoyed Bridget's lovable and also confused friends Sharon, Jude, and Tom. Their prescence made Bridget's behavior seem more normal and everyday. And I laughed out loud at Bridget's midlife crisis mother who is a great modern day parallel to Austen's marriage-crazed Mrs. Bennet. Her carefree and nonchalant attitude toward everything, including her own conviction, was hilarious! Her crazy antics were an overexaggeration of the things that mothers do that drive us crazy! While laughing at Mrs. Jones' crazy antics, i could also sympathize with poor Mr. Colin Jones, who was hung-out-to-dry by his wife. The last main characters are to me the most important beside Bridget herself. Daniel Cleaver is the epitomy of a modern day Mr. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars a hilarious and captivating read June 18 2001
Format:Paperback
Bridget Jones is one of the funniest books I have ever read. We have all had our "Bridget moments". She is a thirty-something who writes down everything she eats, her weight gain and loss, her daily intake of fags (cigarrettes) and alcohol consumption. The diary starts off detailing Una's New Year's Day Curry Buffet where she's asked "How's your love life?" She thinks to herself, "Oh God. Why can't married people understand that this is no longer a polite question to ask? We wouldn't walk up to them and roar, 'How's your marriage going? Still having sex?'" This is just one example of her engaging humor. While at the party, her parents try to set her up with Mark Darcy, a boy that she used to play in the wading pool with as a child while she was running around naked. She sees him and immediately disqualifies him as a potential candidate because he is wearing a V-neck diamond patterned sweater. "As my friend Tom often remarks, it's amazing how much time and money can be saved in the world of dating by close attention to detail. A white sock here, a pair of red braces there, a gray slip-on shoe, a swastika, are as often as not all one needs to tell you there's no point writing down phone numbers and forking out for expensive lunches because it's never going to be a runner." And so the diary goes. She later talks about her moments at work where she has ongoing e-mails with her boss's boss, Daniel, about the length of her skirt. This book is a must-read! I have already purchased Edge of Reason and can't wait to begin reading it.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the movie
I absolutely love the movies so i thought I'd give the book a try and i wasn't disappointed. You will love this book if you love the movie. Read more
Published on March 1 2011 by J. Carlick
5.0 out of 5 stars "cigarettes 0 (v.g.), calories 4825 (oh dear)"
This delightful book, written in diary form, follows a hectic and very funny year in the life of Ms Bridget Jones, 30-something English Singleton. Read more
Published on June 16 2006 by Kona
5.0 out of 5 stars How I started to love reading again!
Having previously been a literature snob (nothing written in the last 50 years please) I was delighted to discover Bridget. Read more
Published on Nov. 22 2005 by Nicole E. Langley
5.0 out of 5 stars Giggle fest
A must read for every woman!!!!! This book tells the truth about what every woman goes through during long periods of being single. Read more
Published on Sept. 7 2005 by Chelsea Hammond
5.0 out of 5 stars so funny, even if you consider yourself above it all
The best part of this audio book is the delivery of narrator Barbara Rosenblatt. She is so hilarious and really delineates the persona of each person with their very own... Read more
Published on April 4 2004 by A. Lin
5.0 out of 5 stars So true and sooo funny!
I loved this book! If you are (or were) single and nearing the dreaded age of 30, you must read this book! Read more
Published on Jan. 21 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars classic
"Bridget Jones's Diary" was the beginning of a small revolution in women's literature. It is the book that has begat dozens - if not hundreds - of other books as well as... Read more
Published on Sept. 15 2003 by erica
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Bridget...
How can you not love Ms. Jones?! Fielding's novel is a great example of singletons everywhere; all obsessed with love, work, weight, men, weight, men and of course...weight!! Read more
Published on April 15 2003 by Chiquetia
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind Candy at its best.
Come on now- if you are out shopping for your next read and browse the first paragraph in this book you will understand that no, this book was not likely to be nominated for the... Read more
Published on Dec 7 2002 by Stephanie
3.0 out of 5 stars OK book to pass time
This was enjoyable, and an ok book to pass the time, but it isnt one of those suspensful, cant-put-down books. It is very British.. Read more
Published on Sept. 13 2002 by Krista-Lea
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