Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding: A-

From the back cover:
Bridget Jones’s Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget’s permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement—a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult—and learn to program the VCR.

I’d seen the film but never read the book, so recently listened to the unabridged audio read by Barbara Rosenblatt. She was particularly adept at making Bridget’s mom even more crazily annoying, and did lots of amusing things with all of Bridget’s aha!s and la la las.

This is a quick, funny, and enjoyable book, with a few flaws that are forgivable. I’m still not convinced how Mark Darcy fell in love with Bridget to start with, and seriously, 131 lbs. is so totally not fat whatsoever. I can’t believe Hollywood made a big deal of Renee Zellweger plumping up for this role when the character only weighs 131 lbs. at the most! It’d be one thing if Bridget were the only one to believe this, but various people she meets seem to reinforce the notion.

The parallels with Pride and Prejudice are cleverly done. I particularly like how Bridget’s mom is sort of Mrs. Bennet and Lydia simultaneously. It’s also v. addictive in terms of language. Go read it!

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