The official movie tie-in edition is released with the Miramax/Universal Production starring Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant, and Colin Firth, scheduled to open nationwide on April 13.
In the course of the year recorded in Bridget Jones's Diary, Bridget confides her hopes, her dreams, and her monstrously fluctuating poundage, not to mention her consumption of 5277 cigarettes and "Fat units 3457 (approx.) (hideous in every way)." In 365 days, she gains 74 pounds. On the other hand, she loses 72! There is also the unspoken New Year's resolution--the quest for the right man. Alas, here Bridget goes severely off course when she has an affair with her charming cad of a boss. But who would be without their e-mail flirtation focused on a short black skirt? The boss even contends that it is so short as to be nonexistent.
At the beginning of Helen Fielding's exceptionally funny second novel, the thirtyish publishing puffette is suffering from postholiday stress syndrome but determined to find Inner Peace and poise. Bridget will, for instance, "get up straight away when wake up in mornings." Now if only she can survive the party her mother has tricked her into--a suburban fest full of "Smug Marrieds" professing concern for her and her fellow "Singletons"--she'll have made a good start. As far as she's concerned, "We wouldn't rush up to them and roar, 'How's your marriage going? Still having sex?'"
This is only the first of many disgraces Bridget will suffer in her year of performance anxiety (at work and at play, though less often in bed) and living through other people's "emotional fuckwittage." Her twin-set-wearing suburban mother, for instance, suddenly becomes a chat-show hostess and unrepentant adulteress, while our heroine herself spends half the time overdosing on Chardonnay and feeling like "a tragic freak." Bridget Jones's Diary began as a column in the London Independent and struck a chord with readers of all sexes and sizes. In strokes simultaneously broad and subtle, Helen Fielding reveals the lighter side of despair, self-doubt, and obsession, and also satirizes everything from self-help books (they don't sound half as sensible to Bridget when she's sober) to feng shui, Cosmopolitan-style. She is the Nancy Mitford of the 1990s, and it's impossible not to root for her endearing heroine. On the other hand, one can only hope that Bridget will continue to screw up and tell us all about it for years and books to come.
From Publishers Weekly
A huge success in England, this marvelously funny debut novel had its genesis in a column Fielding writes for a London newspaper. It's the purported diary, complete with daily entries of calories consumed, cigarettes smoked, "alcohol units" imbibed and other unsuitable obsessions, of a year in the life of a bright London 30-something who deplores male "fuckwittage" while pining for a steady boyfriend. As dogged at making resolutions for self-improvement as she is irrepressibly irreverent, Bridget also would like to have someone to show the folks back home and their friends, who make "tick-tock" noises at her to evoke the motion of the biological clock. Bridget is knowing, obviously attractive but never too convinced of the fact, and prone ever to fear the worst. In the case of her mother, who becomes involved with a shady Portuguese real estate operator and is about to be arrested for fraud, she's probably quite right. In the case of her boss, Daniel, who sends sexy e-mail messages but really plans to marry someone else, she's a tad blind. And in the case of glamorous lawyer Mark Darcy, whom her parents want her to marry, she turns out to be way off the mark. ("It struck me as pretty ridiculous to be called Mr. Darcy and to stand on your own looking snooty at a party. It's like being called Heathcliff and insisting on spending the entire evening in the garden, shouting 'Cathy!' and banging your head against a tree.") It's hard to say how the English frame of reference will travel. But, since Bridget reads Susan Faludi and thinks of Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon as role models, it just might. In any case, it's hard to imagine a funnier book appearing anywhere this year. Major ad/promo; first serial to Vogue; BOMC and QPB main selections; simultaneous Random House audio; author tour. (July) FYI: A movie is in the works from Working Title, the team that produced Four Weddings and a Funeral.
From Library Journal
In the course of one year, Bridget Jones will consume 11,090,265 calories, smoke 5,277 cigarettes, and write a series of delightfully funny diary entries. This will be no ordinary year in the life of this single, on-the-cusp-of-30 Londoner. She's going to keep at least one New Year's resolution, have dates with two boyfriends, create legendary cooking disasters, and be seen on national TV going up a firehouse poleAinstead of the planned dramatic slide down. If that isn't enough, her mom is getting a new career as the host of the TV program Suddenly Single and will disappear with a Portuguese gigolo. Supported by friends and confused by family, Bridget emerges, if not triumphant, at least hopeful about life and love. Already a best seller in Britain and winner of the Publishing News Book of the Year Award, this book should be equally popular in the United States. Recommended for all fiction collections.
-AJan Blodgett, Davidson Coll., NC
In the wake of the hit TV show Ally McBeal, the market for stories about the lives of hip single women continues to boom. Now British journalist Fielding, in her first novel, which is already a best-seller in Britain, blows all the competition right out of the water. Wry diarist Bridget Jones details a year in her life and her endless search for "inner poise." Such poise is hard to come by when you've invited 10 people to a five-course dinner party, and the velouteof tomato comes out blue because detergent was left in the blender. But Bridget is a master at turning humiliation into ever funnier riffs on everything from date preparation ("Being a woman is worse than being a farmer--there's so much harvesting and crop spraying to be done") to the pleasures of Yuletide ("I hate Christmas. Everything is designed for families, romance, warmth. . . . It makes you want to emigrate to a vicious Muslim regime, where at least all the women are social outcasts"). Brimming with a deliciously irreverent sense of humor and a keen sense of women's deepest insecurities, Bridget Jones's Diary is a must-read. Joanne Wilkinson
The novel started life as a series of newspaper columns and is soon to debut as a motion picture. It gives a comic glimpse into a year's worth of diary entries by the title heroine, a single British working woman in her early 30's. Tracie Bennett makes her a fully dimensional character. Listening to her, even men will say to themselves, "There but for the grace of God go I." Bridget's foibles, anxieties, humiliations, frustrations and heartbreaks, as Bennett presents them, are too real and personal to elicit laughter; we can't laugh at the expense of someone we know so intimately. The amusement we take is gentler than that inspired by the paper Bridget. The careful abridgment is just the right length for such passionate acting. A truly stellar job. Y.R. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner
From Kirkus Reviews
Newspaper columnist Fielding's first effort, a bestseller in Britain, lives up to the hype: This year in the life of a single woman is closely observed and laugh-out-loud funny. Bridget, a thirtysomething with a midlevel publishing job, tempers her self-loathing with a giddy (if sporadic) urge toward self-improvement: Every day she tallies cigarettes smoked, alcohol unitsconsumed, and pounds gained or lost. At Una Alconbury's New Year's Day Curry Buffet, her parents and their friends hover as she's introduced to an eligible man, Mark Darcy. Mark is wearing a diamond-patterned sweater that rules him out as a potential lust object, but Bridget's reflexive rudeness causes her to ruminate on her own undesirability and thus to binge on chocolate Christmas-tree decorations. But in the subsequent days, she cheers herself up with fantasies of Daniel, her boss's boss, a handsome rogue with an enticingly dissolute air. After a breathless exchange of e-mail messages about the length of her skirt, Daniel asks for her phone number, causing Bridget to crown herself sex goddess. . . until she spends a miserable weekend staring at her silent phone. By chanting ``aloof, unavailable ice-queen'' to herself, she manages to play it cool long enough to engage Daniel's interest, but once he's her boyfriend, he spends Sundays with the shades pulled watching TVand is quickly unfaithful. Meanwhile, after decades of marriage, her mother acquires a bright orange suntan, moves out of the house, and takes up with a purse-carrying smoothie named Julio. And so on. Bridget navigates culinary disasters, mood swings, and scary publishing parties; she cares for her parents, talks endlessly with her cronies, and maybe, just maybe, hooks up with a nice boyfriend. Fielding's diarist raises prickly insecurities to an art form, turns bad men into good anecdotes, and shows that it is possible to have both a keen eye for irony and a generous heart.
length: (cm)20.4 width:(cm)12.9