I bet most of you have already seen the movie starring Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant, it’s one of my favorites (and so is the sequel), but today I’m going to be talking about the book.
If you’re like me and like to read the book before watching the movie, then I can definitely tell you that, in this case, it doesn’t really matter what you do first. The book and the movie are very different.
Bridget Jones's Diary is a 1996 novel by Helen Fielding. Written in the form of a personal diary, the novel chronicles a year in the life of Bridget Jones, a thirty-something single working woman living in London. She writes (often humorously) about her career, self-image, vices, family, friends, and romantic relationships.
The thing I loved the most about Bridget Jones’s Diary is that it kept me laughing the whole time, it is brilliantly written (in the form of a diary, as the title suggests) and it can be read in just one sitting, it’s not very long and you never get tired of it, at least in my case.
If you didn't know already, it is loosely based on Pride and Prejudice (oh yes, Fielding kept Darcy’s name, very nice). Don’t you just jump to the conclusion that Bridget must be some kind of Elizabeth Bennet, oh no, poor Bridget is far from that (she does have a neurotic, crazy, nerve-racking mother alright), but you can’t help love her nonetheless. Every day she keeps track of how much she drinks, smokes and eats, adding hilarious comments depending on how she did that day.
Bridget is also obsessed about her love life, she, along with her somewhat unusual friends, complains very often about men always preferring women in their twenties no matter their age and everyone expecting a woman in her thirties to tie the knot as fast as possible, what with her biological clock ticking and the very high possibility of ending up a spinster and being found weeks after dying in her apartment half-eaten by an Alsatian... Oh, you’ll know.
In the book we also got ourselves a little love triangle, including Bridget and two gentlemen who are complete opposites: the perverted Daniel Clever and the stuck-up (but actually charming) Mark Darcy. We do get a lot of Darcy in the movie, but not in the book, which I found to be really disappointing but I survived, there’s more of him in the sequel. But I’m not going to talk about the third book…
Since it is written as a diary, you get to see things from Bridget’s perspective, but not just that, you also get to see how paranoid she can be, especially when listening to what her friends have to say, which is a lot, she spends half of the book talking on the telephone.
Like I said, this book is based on Jane Austen’s masterpiece Pride and Prejudice, which is my favorite novel, so I thought it would be fun to see some of the similarities between the two:
- The crazy mother.
- Her relationship with Mark Darcy.
- Her being deceived by love interest.
- Big scandal somewhat involving Bridget.
- Big scandal solved by Darcy, since he really fancies Bridget.
- Society’s view of single women, especially as they get older.
Fielding did a great job, I must say. And how amazing is that they got to cast Colin Firth as Mark Darcy in the movie, since he played the original Mr. Darcy in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes having a good laugh while reading, especially if they’re women. I can’t get enough of Bridget’s awkwardness and self-destructive behavior… And oh sure, I wanted to punch her in the face more than once, I’m not going to lie, but in the end that’s just who she is and it’s funny how one can feel identified with her in some of the situations she goes through.
Some of my favorite quotes / parts:
- “It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.”
- “Emotional fuckwittage.”
- “Please shut up. I am very busy and important.”
- “One must not live one’s life through men but must be complete in oneself as woman of substance.”
- “Necessity of open mouth during mascara application great unexplained mystery of nature.”
- “Singletons should not have to explain themselves all the time but should have an accepted status - like geisha girls do.”
- “Thigh circumference 18 inches, negative thoughts 600 per minute, panic attacks 4, crying attacks 12 (but both times only in toilets and remembered to take mascara).”
- “2 p.m. (…) I’ll just close my eyes for five minutes. Catnaps are said to be an excellent way of reviving oneself. (…) Good idea. Maybe I’ll lie down on the bed. 7.30 p.m. Oh, Bloody Hell.”
- “Remember, I gave you the gift of life. Where would you be without me? Nowhere. Nothing. A dead egg. A piece of space, darling.”
- “I will not get upset over men, but instead be poised and cool ice-queen.”
- “Aloof, unavailable ice-queen. Aloof, unavailable ice-queen.”
- “I’m not married because I’m a Singleton (…). And because there’s more than one bloody way to live."
Thank you for reading. Bye-bye! ♥