Monday, April 30, 2012

Book Report (And a Trip to the Library!) - Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

The Saturday before last I finally bit the bullet and visited my local library.  I'm fairly certain that I've blogged about not liking libraries before, particularly their musty smell and mystery-stained books.  But a desire to get to know my adopted town better, and yes, thriftiness (those paperback purchases add up!), finally conspired to open my mind.

Turns out I picked a good day.  No sooner had I settled into one of these groovy lime and cobalt blue couches than did I hear a chorus of dog barks and English accents filling the lobby behind me.  From what I gathered, the library was hosting a bring-your-dog party to honor Queen Elizabeth II's 86th birthday.  It seemed very quaint, the kind of thing you would - and this is just too perfect - read about in a book!  For my part, I was reading my own edition of The Pajama Girls of Lambert Square but went home with a careworn copy of Bridget Jones's Diary (in honor of Britain and all).  Somehow, I'd never read it, although I'd of course seen the movie.  Checking it out was another amusing episode, as I hadn't used my county library card since I was a minor!  The librarian looked at me curiously (I was decked out in a weekend's worth of Tote Trove finery), finally asking how old I was now.  In the end she issued me a shiny new card.  All in a day's adventuring :)

So, Bridget Jones's Diary.  At first it took some getting used to, what with its somewhat choppy diarist's tone.  But before long I became so immersed in Bridget's daily indignities that they began to seem like my own, especially as a fellow thirtysomething.  Which made me think how crazy it would be if Bridget had blogged about her romantic, professional, and family traumas, not to mention her daily weight, cigarette, drink, calorie, and lottery ticket tallies, instead of tucking them away in her notebook.  Having kept a journal for years, I couldn't help but wonder if anyone does that anymore. 

Anyway, I found the plot of Bridget Jones's Diary to be more involved and a little darker than the one in the movie.  For example, there's this whole over-the-top sequence in which Bridget's mom (or rather, mum) leaves her dad for a smooth-talking swindler and a glitzy TV career, creating a compelling (not to mention hilarious) parallel between she and Bridget as independent women in different phases of their lives.  Bridget's a "career girl" (whatever that means) who kind of wants to settle down, whereas her mom, who's devoted her whole life to her family, feels like she needs to grab at life's last gasp of adventure.  I can't imagine why all of this didn't make it onto the silver screen, except that maybe it would've overshadowed the whole Daniel vs. Mark Darcy romantic tug-of-war and/or made the movie too long. 

I think it's safe to say that this library lark will hover around for awhile.  I can't wait to see what I find next time. 


Cel said...

*giggles* sounds like you had a fun day at the library and you picked a fun book to read too! I agree, the Bridget Jones book is more fun than the movie, I enjoyed it thoroughly when I read it too :D

Valerie said...

I loved this book too!