Review “Bridget Jones Diary” by Helen Fielding
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.” From ‘Bridget Jones Diary’ by Helen Fielding.
The sentence above is considerably typical for the life of the British woman Bridget Jones. She just passed thirty, is slightly overweight, smokes and drinks too much and hasn’t found her perfect man yet. Because everybody around her seems to have the perfect life she decides it’s time to create her own. With the beginning of her own perfect new life also comes the beginning of a diary in which she writes down all her adventures. The book is written in the form of a diary and doesn’t have real chapters. The diary starts in January and goes until December. Will this book be another boring wide open story about the life of an insecure woman? Or will it be an ironic, tragic insight into the demise of the nuclear family? Or the confused ramblings of a pissed thirty-something?
Bridget Jones Diary is a gloriously funny story but not very interesting. It’s about love, male attention and family. There has been a lot of research on the difference between male and female comedians. The research shows that men are generally found to be much funnier than women. But Bridget is a creation of comic genius, even men will laugh. This woman is characterized by a physical attitude that is extremely and loose. This attitude may take the form of excessive drinking, smoking and cursing. This genre is based on a tradition of psychological comedy, in which the unruly woman often is seen as a female clown. But her behaviour is not only meant funny, it also represents a critique on the behaviour that women should have. The story rings with the unmistakable tone of something that is true to the marrow. It defines what it describes. That’s a strong part of Helen Fielding’s work making a statement about the “place” of women during a funny story. The little details of the diary, like the counting of calories and cigarettes are making the story even better.
Bridget Jones Diary is going to struck a chord with many women who are going to recognize a piece of themselves in the story. Helen Fielding admitted she did use some of her personal experiences for the adventures of Bridget Jones, but the story is definitely not autobiographical. I cannot recommend a book more joyfully. Miraculously observed, endlessly touching. The story is a brilliant evocation of the life of a single girl in a certain time, and every woman who has ever had a job, a relationship or a mother will read it and roar.
Nina Rozendaal, V5E