Thursday, January 19, 2006

Book Review: Bridget Jones's Diary & Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

Both by Helen Fielding. Both made into movies featuring Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant, and Colin Firth.

Forget the movies.

First off, a confession: I have lately become obsessed with Colin Firth. Not quite sure why, but I've been on a Firth-a-thon lately. I may have to break down and buy the DVD of his BBC version of Pride & Prejudice.

I have read Bridget Jones's Diary previously and enjoyed reading the inner turmoil and travail of Bridget Jones, a 30-something career woman in London who is trying to find her inner serenity and the perfect mate. Since it had been awhile, I checked it out of the library and read it first. Last night. In one sitting. DD#1 came in and asked, "Don't you have to go to bed?"

I'm glad I did read it first because I had forgotten some of the crazier bits and plot lines. Like Bridget's mother, Pam. I know why Helen Fielding put a disclaimer in her acknowledgements to her mother.

Next up, Edge of Reason. I snuck a peek before getting out of bed and was almost late for work. (I hate when I become obsessed like that!) Read it on BART. Snuck peeks during work. Read during lunch. Snuck more peeks. (It was very slow today.) Will have to re-read juicier bits later.

Turns out I'm not the only one who is obsessed with Colin Firth.

The book is quite different from the movie. For one thing, I suppose it would have been rather schizophrenic to have Colin Firth play himself as a character and play Mark Darcy. And the book Mark Darcy is not quite as much of an arrogant ass as in the movie. The book Mark Darcy is standoffish because he isn't sure of himself. And the book Bridget isn't quite as needy or irritatingly clingy as in the movie. I kind of liked her better. I liked him better, too.

The character of Rebecca is completely different. So different I wonder why. (Note: Ms. Fielding wrote the screenplay for Diary, but not for Edge of Reason. Andrew Davies, who did the screenplay, also did the BBC screenplay for Pride & Prejudice.) Bridget's friends--Tom, Jude, Shazz, and Magda--are much more important in the book.

This is definitely a chic lit type of book. Good when the day is stormy and dreary, there's nothing good on TV and you don't want to go out. Indulge with a box of chocolates. Or a bottle of Chardonnay.

I will admit that, although I enjoy reading about Bridget's life, I have never lived anything remotely like it, even when I was single. The fact that this is set in London just makes this more of a fantasy/fairy tale.

On the March Hare scale: 4 bookmarks out of 5 if you're also obsessed by Colin Firth; 3.5 if you're not. ;)