Weight: 143 lbs.
Alcohol units: 1 (drinking glass of red wine)
Food: Don’t know, but I had lunch at Wendy’s so it can’t be good.
Time spent stressing over the bar: None, v.g.
Yes, that’s right, the official Best Book For Bar Stress Relief: Bridget Jones’ Diary. I read this while en route to Michigan for a good friends wedding. The plan was to go through the 700+ flash cards I’d made for the bar. But, in my zealous overpreparation, I forgot how much I loathe flying. The combination of the dreaded airplane and the more dreaded thought of spending two hours reviewing the Rule Against Perpetuities meant that I sought solace in the kindle.
Beautiful photo, courtesy of Kyle Bultman.
Anyway. I’d seen the movie many years back, but had never actually read the book. Unsurprisingly, since I went through a pretentious period when I refused to read anything other than Pulitzer and Booker prize winning novels. And I liked the movie well enough, but I never liked Renee Zellweger, which meant that I found it somewhat. . .less charming. . .than many others. Still, there it was, on the backlog of my kindle.
It took exactly 5 hours to read the book. . .which was, fortuitously, exactly the time to fly to and from Grand Rapids. The book is charming and precious, and the narrator’s voice is a joy to read. The plot is simple: Bridget is a hapless, somewhat lost young woman. She has no career to speak of, and her mother and father are in the process of breaking up, as her mother converts into a floozy. She has a hopeless crush on her dastardly boss, while the handsome but aloof man of her dreams wanders the peripheries. By the end Bridget has, of course, found her Prince Charming, avoided the dastardly boss, and maybe procured employment.
For 90% of the book, it’s hard to figure out how Bridget manages to land her very own Prince Darcy. She doesn’t seem to be particularly attractive, she’s not all that bright: she can’t cook, or clean, or manage to dress appropriately for any occasion. But, of course, therein lies her charm: she cares endlessly about her friends and family, and she is always, eternally, real. She’s a kind of foil to reality: in real life, if one behaved or went about like Bridget does, one would end up destitute and alone. But in the magical world that Fielding’s created, this kind of bumbling creature can nab a character straight out of Pride & Prejudice, and have equally eccentric friends there to cheer her on.
That, in truth, was my favorite part of the book: throughout the novel, Bridget is accompanied on his misadventures by three dear friends (who do not make nearly enough of an appearance in the film, if I remember correctly): Sharon, the indignant feminist: Jude, who is into self-help books and men who are bad for her: and Tom, the requisite gay sidekick. Therein is the connection for today’s career women: as Bridget struggles with family and men, her friends are always there to fall back on, as predictable as anything.
In conclusion: a bit of a lark, but a joy to read, and it did make me want to rewatch the movie, which must count for something! Returning shortly to more interesting reviews: in the middle of “After the Workshop” which I’m enjoying, and I suppose I’ll have to rewatch Bridget Jones to determine whether the book or movie is better.