1.7.11

Book Quote Friday: Returning to the Book

     From the film, I mean.  

     I was too young for Bridget Jones the book when it came out, but was ideally placed for Bridget Jones: the Movie and Bridget Jones: the book genre/purveyor of massive pants. I knew it was a book, of course, and knew it was a classic, but never felt any great urge to seek it out as I’m not the biggest fan of chick lit or British comic writing (sorry!). However, having finished the magnificent 'City of Bohane' earlier in the week (blog post about that coming soon), I found myself on holiday in my beautiful French farmhouse with nothing to read and someone else’s bookcase to raid; i.e. THE DREAM. So, Bridget Jones’ Diary finally entered my hand.

     It’s much funnier than the film and much more sarky, witty and caustic. There were no surprises plot-wise as most of it is in the film (rather faithfully in fact), although her mother’s home shopping channel gig is actually a TV chat show segment called ‘Suddenly Single’, and the ending is slightly different, although I won’t give that away. The Mark Darcy character is far less interesting though, I felt: maybe the explicit Colin Firth link in the film is necessary to give him a bit more ummph. I didn’t really warm to him, or feel him the hero for loving Bridget ‘just as she is’ (hehe). He seemed a bit bland, to have a succession of skinny lawyer girlfriends and to be there at his parents’ anniversary party at the end. Hmm. This was pre-iconic-BBC-production-that-made-everyone-love-Mr-Darcy though, so maybe the idea we all have of Mr Darcy now is slightly different to the idea we had of him as a character then. There is a scene where Bridget and Shazza discuss Mark Darcy and Mr Darcy’s relative merits though, which is rather funny. I think the visual pun was a stroke of genius though.

     Anyway, to the quote. I felt this diary entry was rather a classic. A classic example, maybe, of often imitated, never bettered. Even if a whole genre have set out to try.

     So skip them; read this.

     I wonder if anyone can help me with one final thing: there is only one mention of rather large pants in this book, but nothing to make Bridget a shorthand reference. Are they more of a feature in the Edge of Reason? Please say yes. I’d hate for not to be the pure pop culture lit reference I have always believed it to be…


     *tiny bad language warning*


     ‘Wednesday 1 February

Bridget Jones's Diary     9st, alcohol units 9, cigarettes 28 (but will soon give up for Lent so might as well smoke self into disgusted smoking frenzy), calories 3826.

     Spent the weekend struggling to remain disdainfully buoyant after the Daniel fuckwittage debacle. I kept saying the words , ‘Self-respect’ and ‘Huh’ over and over till I was dizzy, trying to barrage out, ‘But I lurrrve him’. Smoking was v. bad. Apparently there is a Martin Amis character who is so crazily addicted that he starts wanting a cigarette even when he’s smoking one. That’s me. It was good ringing up Sharon to boast about being Mrs Iron Knickers but when I rang Tom he say straight through it and said, ‘Oh, my poor darling,’ which made me go silent trying not to burst into self-pitying tears.
     ‘You watch,’ warned Tom. ‘He’ll be gagging for it now. Gagging.’
     ‘No, he won’t,’ I said sadly. ‘I’ve blown it.’
     On Sunday went for huge, lard-smeared lunch at my parents’. Mother is bright orange and more opinionated than ever, having just returned from week in Albufeira with Una Alconbury and Nigel Coles’ wife, Audrey.
     Mum had been to church and suddenly realised in a St Paul-on-road-to-Damascus-type blinding flash that the vicar is gay.
     ‘It’s just laziness, darling,’ was her view on the whole homosexuality issue. ‘They simply can’t be bothered to relate to the opposite sex. Look at your Tom. I really think if that boy had anything about him he’d be going out with you properly instead of all this ridiculous “friends” nonsense.’
     ‘Mother,’ I said. ‘Tom has known he was a homosexual since he was ten.’
     ‘Oh, darling! Honestly! You know how people get these silly ideas. You can always talk them out of it.’


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