Considering the number of writers who've tried, and generally failed, to do plummy Bridget Jones one better, it only makes sense that Fielding should take a vacation from the genre she spawned and seek (sort of) greener pastures. Her new inspiration? Think Ian Fleming. Fielding's ridiculous, delicious, wildly improbable plot goes something like this: freelance journalist Olivia Joules ("as in the unit of kinetic energy"), formerly Rachel Pixley (her whole family got run over when she was 14), gets bumped from the Sunday Times's international coverage down to the style pages thanks to the titular imagination (e.g., a story about a "cloud of giant, fanged locusts pancaking down on Ethiopia"). In between ducking twittering PR reps and airheaded blondes at a Miami face cream launch party, she uncovers what looks like an al-Qaeda plot, headed by a dreamy Osama bin Laden look-alike, who is either (1) a terrorist, (2) an international playboy, (3) a serial killer or (4) all of the above. Languid, mysterious Pierre Feramo returns Olivia's interest, and thus begins an around-the-world adventure that has plucky Olivia eventually recruited by MI6. In addition to the fun spy gear (e.g., Chloé shades fitted with a nerve-agent dagger) there are kidnappings, bomb plots and scuba-diving disasters. Olivia is slim, confident and accomplished; ostensibly, she's "painstakingly erased all womanly urges to question her shape, looks, role in life," etc. But she still has her bumbling Jonesian moments, and though she may not need a man, she'll get one in the end. What's wrong with the book: two-dimensional characters, dangling plot threads, the questionable taste of al-Qaeda bombings in an escapist, comic spy novel. What's right: girl-power punch, page-turning brio and a new heroine to root for.
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More than anything, freelance journalist Olivia Joules wants to write serious news stories, but because of her "vivid" imagination, Olivia instead finds herself relegated by her editors to the style section. While in Miami covering the launch of a new face cream, Olivia meets mysterious, sexy Pierre Feramo, the scientist responsible for developing the cream, and once again Olivia's imagination takes over. Is Pierre really a cosmetics-developing, movie-producing international playboy or could he be an al-Qaeda agent in disguise? Olivia, who knows a thing or two about changing one's identity, can't decide if her suspicions about Pierre are correct or merely a product of her fertile imagination. What is even worse is that if Olivia turns out to be right about Pierre, it means she might be falling in love with a terrorist! The author of the phenomenally popular Bridget Jones's Diary (1998) gifts readers with another endearing, irrepressible heroine, who, armed with her lists and survival kit, discovers in this deliciously fun novel that she has a natural talent for spying. Fielding's latest has all the ingredients of a good thriller--exotic locales, a resourceful heroine, intrigue, and a touch of sexy romance--but the book is also electric with Fielding's wry wit, and the combination is simply delightful. John Charles
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Although it meanders like a poster child for ADHD, it's clever and I think it's what she wanted it to be - not Bridget Jones. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Cee Ess
If you're looking for a fluffy, fun, brain candy book, this is it! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Read morePublished on Aug. 13 2006 by Shepherdess Extraordinaire
Although not as good as Bridget Jones, this book was still light and fun. It kept me reading right until the end, laughing out loud at the silliness of Olivia - a good charachter... Read morePublished on July 21 2005
I had high hopes for this book having enjoyed both Bridget Jones book. One word -- BORING. The character was super annoying and the plot very weak and absurd.Published on May 26 2005
Journalist Olivia Joules (formerly Rachel Pixley) believes that Osama Bin Laden is masquerading as a millionaire French playboy. Read morePublished on Nov. 4 2004 by Ez
I can't tell you how glad I was that the kissing scenes were limited. I enjoyed reading this book. All of a sudden all sorts of thrillers are popping up. Read morePublished on July 19 2004 by "eehall"
Compared to Bridget Jones, Olivia Joules fails to entertain and bewitch the reader on so many levels. Might not be a fair comparison, but still.... Read morePublished on July 18 2004 by Tatjana Krivokapic
I'm afraid I must disagree with other esteemed readers. I loved Olivia more than I loved Brigid--and I liked her quite a bit. Read morePublished on July 15 2004
I give this book four stars instead of three since I read it during the summer. As a Bridget Jones fanatic I was a little bummed out by this one. Read morePublished on July 15 2004 by Sarah_Aliza