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Bridget Joness Diary [Paperback]

Helen Fielding
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (916 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 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bridget Jones: realistic and hilarious! May 31 2002
By Ashley
For my British Literature class, I just finished Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The book tells the story of a year in the life of an average, single, thirty-something British woman, who, armed with only her wits and charm (and a diary), goes in search of the ever-elusive Mr. Right. Unlucky-in-love Bridget has two candidates: the fun and sexy Daniel Cleaver and the unfriendly Mark Darcy. Not surprisingly, she goes for Daniel, but he turns out to be a less-than-perfect catch. Then, just when she becomes interested in Mark (following his statement that he likes her just as she is), he begins dating Natasha, another lawyer, who is determined to marry him. Meanwhile, her parents' marriage is on the rocks and she embarks upon a career in television news.
There are many similarities between Bridget Jones's Diary and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. In both stories, the heroine is attracted to a charming rogue and repelled by his haughty former friend (whose name happens to be Darcy in both cases.) In both stories, the rogue wins her sympathy by telling her about all the rotten things his ex-friend did to him. But both heroines later discover that you can't believe everything you hear - and Darcy turns out to be the real charmer. With all these parallels, it isn't hard to determine that Helen Fielding is an Austen admirer, and that all of these similarities to Pride and Prejudice are intentional.
This book is witty and hilarious, from Bridget's list of New Years Resolutions on page 1 to her summary of the year on page 271. Furthermore, each of the characters is incredibly believable (especially Bridget), which makes it very easy for the reader to relate to this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Have you ever wondered how your crush felt? Thought your life would be perfect if you could only lose a few more pounds? Fell into bed with a guy too soon? Looked like a moron during a presentation? Been consoled by your outrageous but loving friends?
Congratulations -- you're Bridget Jones. I suspect most single women are -- except for those who are always completely confident, model-thin and intellectually dazzling. (I don't know those women. Do you?)
Told in diary form, this hilarious (and quick-reading) book tells a "Pride and Prejudice"-like story of love and mishaps. Bridget works in a go-nowhere publishing job. She's madly in lust with office scoundrel Daniel and despises Mark Darcy, the divorced lawyer her mother keeps trying to set her up with.
Along the way, Bridget drinks and smokes too much, finds a new job that may or may not be better than her old one, helps her parents patch up their own problems, and watches her weight fluctuate wildly. In short: It's just like real life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Literary Masterpiece!!! Oct. 24 2001
Where do I begin???? I'm angry that I can only give this amazing novel 5 deserves at least 5 times that amount! Bridget Jones is one of the best female characters ever created! She's witty and hilarious, and heart-warming at the same time. A year in her life would be one of the most hectic experiences a person could have, and yet she handles it with grace (and wine and self-help books). She flies through a "f**kwit" boyfriend, a beastly human rights barrister being forced down her throat by a mother who runs off with a rather nasty fellow with a gentleman's handbag, a new job with a boss who starts most sentences with "I'm thinking...", and a permanent weight crisis that never seems to be resolved. Overall, this is a wonderful book, especially for any "Singletons" who are sick and tired of hearing "How's your love life?". If you don't laugh at Bridget and her escapades, there must be something wrong...maybe you didn't read her right. Anyway, pick up this'll be glad you did!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I will admit that when this book first came out, I thought it was about a model. Then a friend told me she loved it, I read it and laughed so hard!! I saw the movie in the theater, loved it, and of course I now own the DVD. Fielding writes with no holds barred, not afraid to put exactly what she is feeling in ink, and as it turns out, she is pretty much right on just about everything. All women obsess over their weight, why that guy hasn't called, if they look fat, and why is everyone else happy but me?! Bravo, Helen for writing one of the best and funniest books I have ever read. It is now one of my top 5 favorite books of all time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "cigarettes 0 (v.g.), calories 4825 (oh dear)" June 15 2006
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. Bridget obsesses constantly about her weight and unmarried state, and as the year begins, she also obsesses about her playboy boss, Daniel Cleaver. They flirt madly and have an on-again, off-again relationship, but he is a commitment-phobe (and a bounder!).

All through the year, Bridget's flighty mother, Pam, tries to pair her up with successful barrister, Mark Darcy, but Bridget will have none of it. As the year comes to a close, however, Pam's legal woes bring Mark to the rescue, and the diary ends on a happy note.

Every page is filled with situations and emotions that all women who have dated, dreamed, been disappointed, and found solace in ice cream will find utterly hilarious. Bridget's descriptions of daily exasperation, desperation, and moments of sheer bliss make her very likeable and real. The short diary entries make this book perfect for reading when you just have a few minutes, although you'll find it hard to put down, and may find yourself laughing out loud (a lot).
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Breath of Fresh Air
"Bridget Jones's Diary" comes at you like a torrent of fresh air. I guarantee you will fall in love with the heroine who graduates from one hilarious situation to the next... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Michael Bridger
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and fun read
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... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Cecile Sune
4.0 out of 5 stars Gotta love Bridget!
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. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Maddie
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 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. 21 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 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
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