Thursday, 13 October 2016

Book #52

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding


Lurching from the cappuccino bars of Notting Hill to the blissed-out shores of Thailand, Bridget Jones searches for The Truth in spite of pathetically unevolved men, insane dating theories, and Smug Married advice ("I'm just calling to say in the potty! In the potty! Well, do it in Daddy's hand then!"). She experiences a zeitgeist-esque Spiritual Epiphany somewhere between the pages of How to Find the Love You Want Without Seeking It ("can self-help books really help self?"), protective custody, and a lightly chilled Chardonnay.

After my embarrassing self-discovery review of Bridget Jones's Diary, where I admitted to the world that yes, I was Bridget Jones, I launched into the sequel ready for more relatability and laughs. I was disappointed to learn that Fielding had decided to throw Bridget to the wolves of sequels, and deliver to her readers a multitude of setbacks that became less believable as the diary went on.

Jones in her underwear outside and being happened upon by her ex. Jones finding a small Oriental boy and a bunny rabbit in her boyfriend's bed. Jones arrested for drug trafficking. Jones being targeted by a lunatic murderer. The ridiculousness of it all made the story less funny than its predecessor, as one spent the entire time exasperated by this hapless bad luck magnet. It was so forced. It felt like Fielding was capitalising on Bridget's wit and irrevocable calamity, so she hammed both of these up to an uncomfortable degree. Utter slapstick.

The diary format I so loved in the previous novel failed miserably this time. Fielding opted for longer diary entries, giving the story more of the feel of a novel, where previously the shorter glimpses into Bridget's life given the air of writing on the go, again in the most unfeasible places. God knows how she managed to smuggle her diary into a Thai prison, or to write exactly 0 minutes after having sex.

A catalogue of stories you'd hear from exaggerating drunks, and, quite frankly, an organised mess. I'm pleased to report I'm no longer Bridget Jones, as (and I struggled to believe this previously) she truly is a fictional being whom I cannot relate to. Fielding lost her everywoman.

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