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undomielle

The Boat Was My Friend

...The cliff edge of workaday morality

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Mr. Darcy's not an Arsenal supporter

The Edge of Reason - Helen Fielding

My dear Elizabeth Bennet.. I mean Bridget Jones, sorry!

 

The only reason it took me so long to read your first diary (an unexpected 4 out of 5 stars by the way) is that I absolutely can’t stand the disturbing mentality behind the chick-lit genre.

 

Don’t get me wrong; I totally get how the “failed romance + showy-offy girly chitty chatty” combo can be good fun to read. That’s not a problem; that’s entertainment and I dig it too sometimes. The problem starts when you realize that there is nothing else in these books. Either the author lacks talent and inspiration, or they assume that the use of said combo cannot harmonically co-exist with ANY other elements in literature because women-will-not-care-for-it, or – the HORROR - both. And that’s why I almost always make sure I keep away from chick-lit, Bridget.

 

Almost always Bridget. Almost!

 

Because I did make an exception just for you and went ahead and read your diary. And luckily for you Bridget and suffice to say for me as well, Helen Fielding is a genuinely talented author. On the feelgood side maybe, but a GOOD one on that side nonetheless. She writes effortlessly, she has a great sense of humour, impeccable taste (I mean, she draws inspiration from Pride and Prejudice man) and she can tell the difference between a real character and a caricature. And this, Bridget, is why you’re not super annoyingly chick-lit. You are a real person; not a snooty girl from some random book about sex’n’the mall that I want to smack in the face.

 

But enough about the conceptual element of Bridget Jones. That’s already dealt with in the first book anyway. What about “The Edge of Reason”? Is this the Unnecessary Sequel perhaps?

 

Well.. yes actually. It is. Another year, another diary, same personality traits for everyone, more get-your-life-together stories. It’s not exactly a life changing experience, if you know what I mean. So, minus one star already, because I’ve read all this before Bridget.

 

But hang on. This doesn’t mean that the book will not be judged on its own merits.

 

First of all:

 

9st 4, alcohol units 6 (2)*, cigarettes 12 (0), calories 4,284 (1,500), lies told to fitness assessor (14).

 

*Figures in brackets denote data given to fitness assessor.

 

Also,

 

Οbviously I am going to vote. Better get changed, though. I do not look very lefty in this.

 

Moreover,

 

Telephone! Maybe Mr or Mark Darcy, must quickly put impressive jazz or classical record on

 

I don't think I would have liked not to have read those!

 

And have I mentioned the unmanageable laughter that the HILARIOUS Colin Firth interview made me break into:

 

BJ: (Pause) You know the oncoming film Fever Pitch?

CF: Yes.

BJ: What do you see as the main differences and similarities between the character Paul from Fever Pitch and ... ?

CF: And?

BJ: (Sheepishly) Mr. Darcy.

CF: No one's ever asked me that.

BJ: Haven't they?

CF: No. I think the main differences are ...

BJ: Do you mean it's a really obvious question?

CF: No. I mean no one's ever asked me that.

BJ: Don't people ask you that all the time?

CF: No, no. I can assure you.

BJ: So it's a ...

CF: It's a totally brand new, new-born question, yes.

BJ: Oh goody.

CF: Shall we get on now?

BJ: Yes.

CF: Mr. Darcy's not an Arsenal supporter.

BJ: No.

CF: He's not a schoolteacher.

BJ: No

CF: He lived nearly two hundred years ago.

BJ: Yes.

CF: Paul in Fever Pitch loves being in a football crowd.

BJ: Yes,

CF: Whereas Mr Darcy can't even tolerate a country dance. Now. Can we talk about something that isn't to do with Mr Darcy?

BJ: Yes,

(Pause. Rustling papers)

BJ: Are you still going out with your girlfriend?

CF: Yes.

BJ: Oh. (Long pause)

  

So yes, it’s the Unnecessary Sequel, but still a charming one. An unpretentious, yet stylish enjoyable read. And I cannot stress UNPRETENTIOUS enough. Well done Helen Fielding. Bridget is still in top form!