Skip to main content

Review: Bridget Jones's Diary, by Helen Fielding

This book is a classic of the "chick lit" genre- a book which no others has been able to touch. Bridget Jones, in a hectic year, experiences many of the things that real women face--work problems, men problems, friend problems, problems at home. But somehow Fielding manages to make all of it funny. Bridget is one of the wittiest, funniest characters I've run into in a long time. If you can believe it, in college, I read Bridget Jones's Diary for a Women Writers class!

This book is, of course, a takeoff of the Jane Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice. However, by bringing her characters to a modern setting, Fielding somehow manages not to loose the original air that P&P possessed. The are the obvious Elizabeth and Darcy/Bridget and Darcy comparisons; the mother in Bridget Jones is a combination between Mrs. Bennet and Lydia (even down to running away with unsavory characters); and Daniel Cleaver as Mr. Wickham. Helen Fielding does not write at all like Jane Austen; but the ambience is roughly the same.


Lisa said…
I read this a couple weeks ago, and I have to say, I didn't really love it. I know it's supposed to be the beginning of all chicklit, but for me it didn't do it. I only saw the barest resemblance to P&P as well.
My review is here, if you're interested:
Anonymous said…
I read this several years ago and remembering thinking it was really funny. I read it before becoming involved with Austen books so, at the time, I didn't see the connection. Now that I read your review, it makes me want to reread this one now that I'm an Austen fan!
Matt said…
I saw the movie first because Colin Firth was in it! Then I completely forgot about the book. My friends have told me about the Pride and Prejudice connection and I'll pick it up for a fun read. :)
Stephanie said…
Have you seen the movie? It's pretty good (and has lots of eye candy - Colin Firth and Hugh Grant).
Anonymous said…
I read this a long time ago and I really enjoyed it. I haven't read any of the follow ups, but it did spark a short sprint of all British chik lit. :) The only other one I remember reading is Gemima J, which was okay.

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor

Pages: 972 Originally published: 1944 My edition: 2000 (Chicago Review Press) How I acquired my copy:, 2004

Forever Amber takes place in the 1660s, immediately follwing Charles II's ("the Merry Monarch") return of the Stuarts to the English throne. The book features Amber St. Claire, a young woman who starts out as a sixteen-year-old country girl, naieve to the workings of the world. She immediately meets Bruce Carlton, a dashing young Cavalier, with whom she has a passionate love affair in choppy intervals throughout the book. They have two children together, but Bruce won't marry her for the reason he tells his friend Lord Almsbury: that Amber just isn't the kind of woman one marries.

Upon following Bruce to London, he goes to Virginia, leaving her to fend for herself. What follows is a series of affairs and four marriages, with Bruce coming back from America now and then. Amber's marriages are imprudent: her first husband is a gambler, her second is…

Review: Jane Austen's Letters, ed. by Deirdre Le Faye

Pages: 667 Original date of publication: 2011 My copy: 2011 (Oxford University Press) Why I decided to read: How I acquired my copy:, April 2013
This is a compilation of many of Jane Austen’s letters, most of them sent to her sister Cassandra between 1796 and 1817, the year of her death. Although many of Austen’s letters were destroyed by her sister in order to preserve the family reputation, the collection contains over 160 letters in which Austen gives her sister details about her life in Chawton—as well as giving us a tantalizing glimpse of what was going through her mind as she was writing her novels (especially the novel that was to become Pride and Prejudice, First Impressions). There are other letters here, too, giving advice to her niece and professional correspondence to publishers—as well as a couple of letters that were written by Cassandra Austen after Jane’s death.
To the sisters, the letters acted in the way that phone calls do today; Austen’s news is all about pe…

Review: Midnight in Peking, by Paul French

Pages: 259 Original date of publication: 2013 My copy: 2013 (Penguin) Why I decided to read: How I acquired my copy: Phoenix bookstore, May 2013
In January 1937, the body of a young British girl, Pamela Werner, was found near Peking’s Fox Tower. Although two detectives, one British and the other Chinese, spent months on the case, the case was never solved completely, and the case was forgotten in the wake of the invasion of the Japanese. Frustrated, Pamela’s father, a former diplomat, tried to solve the crime. His investigation took him into the underbelly of Peking society and uncovered a secret that was worse than anything he could have imagined.
At first, I thought that this would be a pretty straightforward retelling of a true crime, but what Paul French (who spent seven years researching the story) reveals in this book is much more than that. Foreign society in Peking in the 1930s was stratified, with the British colonials at the top and the White Russian refugees at the bottom, but…