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Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy
Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy
by Helen Fielding
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.00

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Written in a hurry?, 11 Jan 2014
Having really enjoyed the first two Bridget novels, I avoided all reviews and read this in a week or so over Christmas. I am so disappointed with it. I knew that Mark had died before reading it, and tried to read with an open mind, but was honestly shocked at how poor it was, on every level.

First, Mark's death (and the impact on Bridget and the children) is so heartbreaking that it darkens the whole book. Although Helen Fielding has written a touching and at times amusing story about a single mother looking for love and rediscovering sex, it just doesn't work against this backdrop. While it's understandable that Bridget is lonely and wants sex, it doesn't ring true that she prioritises this above sorting her life out. It is made clear throughout that she is in bits after losing the love of her life, is lonely and depressed, and cannot even face getting out of bed on some days. So she goes out and finds a new man to replace him - which, after a couple of false starts, looks likely, when one of the teachers turns out to be Mark Darcy 2.0.

I found myself getting incredibly irritated with her character, as she wastes entire days eating cheese and texting, then fails to sort the children out. It's quite unbelievable that her friends wouldn't encourage her to find satisfying work, seek decent counselling or get out more. The inference is clear, and dismal: only by getting another man will she recover.

My biggest problem, however, was with how sloppily it was written. Pages and pages go by with nothing happening at all. There's a very broad parody of what happens when your film script is torn apart by Hollywood which seems purely there as filler, inspired presumably by Fielding's own experiences. So much of the book references events which happened in 2013, and in such detail, that it seems it was written very close to deadline - something also suggested by the many mistakes (Daniel is godfather to the kids, yet at the end none of her children were ever christened), typos and poorly-constructed sentences. The resolution is visible a mile off, the new characters are caricatures, and only the scenes with the children are at all true to life.

I agree with the many reviewers who advice against reading it. This is not only a very poor sequel to two great books, but it also spoils the memory of them, and lessens their impact. It really is that bad. No surprises, endlessly repeated jokes ("ooh, ooh, look at me!" is done to death), and the ruination of a great character.

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