Review | Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

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Paperback (Picador, 310 pages)

First published 1996; this edition published 1996

Rating on Goodreads: 4 stars

“A dazzling urban satire of modern human relations? An ironic, tragic insight into the demise of the nuclear family? Or the confused ramblings of a pissed thirty-something?”

 


Oh, Bridget. How wonderfully normal you are.

I’d been meaning to read Bridget Jones’s Diary for years and years – ever since I’d seen the film. I found the film hilarious, and I was sure the book would match it in humour.

Boy, was I right. I don’t think I went a page without either giggling, grinning or otherwise expressing a sort of amused show of solidarity. The humour is what makes this novel, and I applaud Ms Fielding for such comedic skill.

The structure of the novel is – of course – in diary form, and the events of the book take place over a year. Bridget starts a diary in an effort to reevaluate and change her life; what ensues is both life-affirming, funny and often shocking. The style is informal, engaging, and it is easy to read. The language isn’t flowery – rather, it is punctuated with many a choice word (new favourite: ‘fuckwittage’) that only adds to the novel. I don’t often say that swearing adds much to books, but it really does here.

The characters are fleshed-out, flawed and so, so human. Her mother is possibly the greatest comic example of a mother I’ve ever seen, and Bridget herself is one of the most realistic characters that I’ve come across. Daniel Cleaver makes me want to throw his own surname at him (disgusting pig of a man) whereas Mark Darcy makes me want to snort with laughter whenever I see his reactions to Bridget’s antics.

I don’t really have any negative aspects to speak about in this review, save that wonderful as it was, I don’t think I’ll be picking it up again. I think it’s one of those books that once you’ve read, you don’t need to read it again. That’s my personal opinion, however. Oh, and if you expect it to be similar to the book in terms of events – it isn’t. It’s the different events in the book that make it better – and so, so much funnier.

Bridget Jones, I salute you. Don’t ever change.

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