Monday, 21 December 2009

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

Famously starting each entry with a run down of the day’s consumption of calories, cigarettes and units of alcohol, Fielding’s book captured the lives of unmarried thirty-somethings so astutely that it’s now a publishing byword for books aimed at the same demographic.

The eponymous heroine starts the year with great intentions to eat properly, get a boyfriend and to drink less, but pretty soon on into 1995 things are beginning to slip. Not only has she got involved with a complete bounder, but he’s giving her the run around. There is only one course of action which is to get thoroughly drunk with her friends, leading to the inevitable the next day:

8 a.m. Ugh. Wish was dead. Am never, ever going to drink again for the rest of my life.
8.30 a.m. Oooh. Could really fancy some chips.
11.30 a.m. Badly need water but seems better to keep eyes closed and head stationary on pillow so as not to disturb bits of machinery and pheasants in head.

The course of true love never running smooth, Bridget finds herself back with the cad. Unfortunately, he’s also engaged to someone else. This new revelation leaves her needing the support that only good friends and hard spirits can provide:

Went immediately to Tom’s, who poured vodka straight down my throat from the bottle, adding the tomato juice and Worcester sauce afterwards.

As Bridget bumbles from one minor setback and humiliation to the next, she approaches Christmas, a season in hell for the singleton. The round of parties and get-togethers seem designed to point out her miserable status, as well as play merry hell with her alcohol intake:

For ten days now have been living in state of permanent hangover and foraging sub-existence without proper meals or hot food.

Never mind. Things turn out fine in the end and she finishes the year in the arms of Mr Right...

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