Monday, September 9, 2013

A Review of 'Bridget Jones's Diary' by Helen Fielding

"Meet Bridget Jones-- a 30-something Singleton who is certain she would have all of the answers if she could:

a. lose 7 pounds
b. stop smoking
c. 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's 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!'"

Where has this book been all my life?

This is one of the books that I will be reading for my Lit Theory class this next semester.  We'll be studying Pride and Prejudice and various other versions (so keep an eye out for more Pride and Prejudice-esque reviews!).

I love how real of a character Bridget was.  I was originally going to say that she was an honest character, because this is written in diary format (see title), but let's face it, real people aren't completely honest with themselves.  Not all the time, any way.  You can see that Bridget has created a version of herself while the other characters created their own versions of her.  Bridget was different with her friends than she was with those she worked with and with her family.  Bridget's a wonderfully round character who feels like she could be your slightly neurotic best friend.

One thing that I didn't like was that Bridget was upset that she didn't have a proper boyfriend.  I can understand that she was upset when the "first" guy (not the absolute first, but the man she worked with) was a jerk who treated her as a booty-call, essentially.  That's entirely unfair and very hurtful.  But then why keep, for lack of a better word, pining for him when he treated you as he did?  Perhaps this says something about the women of today.  Why do we "go after" someone whom we know is not good for us?  This part bothered me not because it wasn't real, but because it is.  It's something I don't understand.  Women need to realize that they're worth the wait and not try and settle for the first person who comes along.  Men should not control our lives.  We need to live for ourselves and if Mr./Ms. Right comes along, we take it in stride and live as happily as we possibly can.

Rant over.

This book is a wonderful page-turner.  It'll make you laugh, feel for Bridget, and force you to look in a mirror, even.  I highly recommend it to anyone!

I give 'Bridget Jones's Diary':
Thanks for Reading!


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