A few chapters in to Bridget Jones’s Diary I was feeling a little bored. After recently reading the complex and multi-layered novels of Confederacy of Dunces, Rebecca and Dracula, Bridget Jones seemed all to simple and predictable.
A few more chapters in I was hooked and had to quickly eat my words. This book was fun to read.
There were two aspects of the book – about a 30-something desperate-for-love single living in the 90s – that I came to enjoy immensely. The first was the constant contradictions of the main character Bridget were at times laugh-out-loud funny, e.g. her extreme swings between obsessing over men and hating all men; her vows to quit smoking followed by smoking 35 Silk Cuts in five hours; her calorie-counting diet severely broken when she reaches her goal weight and a friend says she looks tired.
The second part I enjoyed was that this book is now a historical record of life in London in the 1990s. The video player she can’t program, the home phones and answering machines, the challenges with smoking on public transport… All a capture of a world that happened briefly and now no longer exists. Bridget’s life seemed complicated but also strangely simpler than today’s world.
(The other cool thing is that, in the book, the main character Bridget compares people she knows to Hugh Grant and Colin Firth. Incredibly, when the book was turned into a movie, these actors played the two leading male roles. Can you imagine how chuffed Fielding would have been about that!?)
I read this book quickly and happily throughout. Would I recommend it to a friend? Yes, definitely. Do I think it belongs on the 100 book challenge list? Maybe not.
But for my sake, I’m glad it was.
In July 2014 I set myself the challenge to finish 100 must-read books before I die. For my ongoing tally click here.Follow @jessieansons