“It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.”
Title – Bridget Jones’s Diary
Author – Helen Fielding
Pages – 307
I feel like I’m about to become extremely unpopular with this next blog – but I always promised myself that I’d be completely honest here at Emma Reads.
Bridget Jones’s Diary was and still is a huge phenomenon. When the book was released in 1996, I would’ve been too young to have read it, so when I watched the film in the early noughties, I thought it was brilliant. Funny, romantic and completely honest, it’s the film I always reach out for when I’m having a bit of a crap day.
It was only when the third book, Mad About the Boy was released in 2013 that I realised that there were books to accompany the films. Francesca, my good friend, kindly borrowed me the three books to read and urged me to review them which I now am doing!
And I have to say, I feel completely disappointed with the first book. I can’t really put my finger on why exactly but there are a variety of reasons that contribute to my overall opinion.
We all know Bridget’s story. She’s approaching her thirties and is consistently blighted for a) being single b) being childless and c) being a career girl. She starts a relationship with her boss, Daniel which turns out to be a complete disaster and finds herself unexpectedly falling in love with a human law barrister. An overbearing mother, an aspiring career as a journalist and Una Alconbury’s unbearable turkey curry buffet, Bridget has had enough and decides to document her life in a diary over the course of a year.
There’s plenty of drama, crises with friends and colossal cooking disasters but at the end of the year, will she manage to achieve her New Year’s resolution?
Yes. There’s no denying that the book is funny and I did laugh in places but the film is just so much funnier! I’m not too sure if this is down to the cast or the highly adapted storyline, but I just found Bridget’s mother completely overbearing (in the film, yes, she is still irritating, but hilarious) and Mark a little bit boring (in the film, you can tell that he completely adores Bridget and I didn’t get this impression from the book at all). I was also quite surprised with how much the film diverted from the book – I really didn’t expect it. I’d also like to point out that whilst this book was written over 20 years ago, and society has definitely changed since then, we married couples are nothing like the ones written in this book anymore!
On the other hand, I really enjoyed the diary format of the book because I think it made it easier to read and Bridget highlights how many units of alcohol she’s drunk and the number of cigarettes she’s smoked, making it easier for the reader to get to know her and to know that she’s just a “normal” girl. I also thought the book did get progressively better, so I’ll give the following two a chance!
All in all, an easy to read book – ideal for a holiday or a long journey.
Score – 2 out of 5