Recently, while I was doing my work placement in France, a friend of mine came to stay, bringing only one book with her. This book, she explained, was her favourite book in the world. Not because she saw it as the pinnacle of modern literature, but because she really identified with the main character, and with all her flaws and misplaced intentions...
Bridget Jones's Diary
Bridget Jones navigates diets, drinking and singledom with her many escapades involving colleagues, dashing lawyers, blue soup and an infuriating mother.
Having seen the film many times before finally getting round to reading the book, I couldn't help comparing the two pretty much constantly while I was reading. And I have to say, they both held up extremely well. But this review will be focussing on the book (since this is a book blog after all!)
Since the book is written in the form of a diary (hence the name...), the first thing that struck me was the character of Bridget, whose voice, naturally, resonates throughout the book. Though a little frustrating at times, Bridget rings painfully true in her comments on life, and her well-intentioned but lacklustre attempts at dieting, giving up smoking, and generally 'improve' herself. The reader sees the world through Bridget's eyes, so at times it was hard to distinguish her skewed viewpoint from the reality (i.e. is she actually supposed to be fat??? 9st doesn't sound all that heavy to me...). But hints are offered throughout as to what is real and what is simply Bridget's out-of-proportion view on things.
The writing itself is absolutely hilarious, yet sometimes surprisingly close to the bone with its laid-bare honesty. It's snappy, full of zing, and paced just right for maximum comedic effect.
Though I did enjoy the plot, I found myself somewhat annoyed at the constant onslaught of unfortunate and embarrassing events that occurred during the story. Those involving Bridget's mother were particularly infuriating. On many occasions, I had to force myself not to hurl the book across the room or punch a cushion I was imagining to be Bridget's mother's face. I know she's meant to be profoundly irritating, and I suppose it's a good sign that she got me so riled up, but there is a limit! Also, some of the events towards the end felt a little rushed, especially Bridget's inevitable romantic success. Give us some time to revel in it!
I found Bridget Jones's Diary to be a highly fun, satisfying read (though a little infuriating at times), with surprising depth of perception in certain parts. Though some parts were a little flawed, it certainly deserves to be read and re-read. Not exactly 'great literature', but a lot of fun nonetheless!
I give it:
What did you think of Bridget Jones's Diary? Did you agree with my review? Do you identify with Bridget? If so, in what way? Let me know in the comments.