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4.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected ( some spoilers)
This has had such awful press that I only picked it up in the library as an afterthought. Let me say now that the end is a complete cop out, and was well signposted throughout the book. And what women in her early 50s has that much mind blowing sex without the nasty spectre of the menopause ( and, ahem, associated problems) raising it's unpleasant head.
But this is...
Published 9 days ago by Caroelle

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A terrible disappointment
I bought this having read the original two books years ago and I enjoyed those thoroughly. The singleton Bridget of the 1990s was a cultural phenomenon many could relate to. However, this third instalment is a huge disappointment and I fear that Helen Fielding may have tarnished Bridget's legacy permanently. I had to force myself to finish it as it was actually a...
Published 18 days ago by Lucy


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A terrible disappointment, 2 Aug 2014
I bought this having read the original two books years ago and I enjoyed those thoroughly. The singleton Bridget of the 1990s was a cultural phenomenon many could relate to. However, this third instalment is a huge disappointment and I fear that Helen Fielding may have tarnished Bridget's legacy permanently. I had to force myself to finish it as it was actually a rather unpleasant read.

*This review contains spoilers*

In my opinion Helen Fielding has transformed Bridget from a loveably scatty character into a selfish monster. It made sense that a singleton in her 30s such as Bridget would be wrapped up in her own feelings and goals, because she was a single working woman trying to make her own way in life. However, in 'Mad About The Boy', Bridget is 51 and a widow with two young children. Therefore, you would assume that she would have developed as a character during the 15 fictional years that have passed since the last instalment but for some strange reason, she has not. 51-year-old Bridget does not appear to have developed psychologically in any way since the last book, despite having been through several life-changing experiences. Although the opening section of the book is quite moving, it soon becomes clear that Bridget's general approach to life has remained the same as before, which just doesn't make sense. This in itself makes it extremely difficult to visualise Bridget as being 51 rather than in her mid-thirties.

Helen Fielding has taken Bridget's least attractive traits and exaggerated them to the point where all her former charm has been obliterated. Bridget is completely obsessed with her own needs and desires, primarily the pursuit of men and her physical appearance. Everyone else in her life comes way down her list of priorities, including her children. Bridget doesn't work and employs a nanny and a cleaner, yet still struggles to achieve the very short list of domestic tasks she has to deal with. I just can't understand this. 30-something Bridget may have been disorganised and chaotic but she was never an idiot. This new Bridget seems to be unable to handle much at all, to the extent where you wonder if she's actually mentally unstable.

My biggest problem with Bridget's character is her sidelining of her children. She shows a distinct lack of interest in them; for example, she barely shows any concern when she receives a message from her daughter's school saying her daughter has a septic finger! Bridget doesn't seem to be bothered about having much quality time or conversation with her children and spends most of the time palming them off on the nanny, friends or family - the result of this is that we are left knowing very little about them as characters. They are essentially objects wheeled into the story periodically to provide some pathos and then wheeled out again so that Bridget can go back to thinking about herself. Is this really the kind of parenting style Helen Fielding intended Bridget to have? If so, she (Ms Fielding) should be thoroughly ashamed of herself for creating such a self-centred, detached mother.

Helen Fielding has done a similar disservice to Bridget's 'co-stars', making them (almost) as unpleasant and two-dimensional as her heroine. Bridget's friends have been transformed from a witty support network to little more than cynical commentators whose main function is pushing Bridget around and criticising her. This is a shame, as in the earlier books Bridget's friends played such an important role in keeping her going.

As for the plot, it's hard to actually remember what happens in the story, even a couple of days after finishing the book. The key developments are that she dates a toy-boy, is dumped by him and then gets together with a man she initially disliked, after learning that he has integrity and hidden depths. It is essentially a re-hash of the first book's romantic plotline but even then, Roxster and Mr Wallaker are much blander versions of Daniel and Mark. Helen Fielding doesn't manage to make either relationship that believable - both men are left two-dimensional and unrounded as characters. The speed with which Bridget cements her relationship with Mr Wallaker at the end of the book is also totally implausible - she barely knows the man but within a few paragraphs and an epilogue has created domestic bliss with him. It's lazy writing on Helen Fielding's part to plonk a happy ending onto the end in such a vague and clumsy manner and expect readers to be satisfied and in my view, also quite arrogant.

Other than the romance, there is very little else of note in the plot. Bridget's day-to-day life is very dull and a sub-plot about her writing a screenplay, which could potentially have been compelling, is toyed with and ultimately left unresolved. Bridget's obsession with Twitter and texting quickly becomes extremely tedious, as does her friends' preoccupation with online dating. These elements are obviously a mechanism for bringing Bridget into the current era but Fielding overdoes it to such an extent that it becomes ludicrous and cringe-worthy.

When reading the book, I felt strongly that Fielding's mind was firmly focused on the inevitable movie adaptation. She has shoe-horned the character of Daniel Cleaver sporadically into the plot, presumably as a means of getting him on the movie poster and there is ubiquitous product placement throughout the book - I can't think that is purely unintentional. Furthermore, by the way certain characters are described, I got a strong impression that Fielding had already decided who she wanted to be cast for some parts and formed the characters accordingly. Rebecca smacks of Helena Bonham-Carter and Mr Wallaker, a former SAS man with a 'ripped body' who Bridget describes directly as 'James Bond', makes me wonder whether Fielding has her eye on Daniel Craig for that role. We will have to wait and see...

Of course, Bridget's world is still populated by upper middle-class, affluent, mainly white men and women who are obviously shallow in their friendships and world-view. This was the case in the previous books but in this one, Fielding positively revels in her portrayal of an elitist collection of parents decked out in designer clothes, dropping their pretentiously-named children off at the private school gates and seemingly having little else to do but e-mail trivialities about school events to each other. We are all used to this stereotypically charmed world which has been repeatedly shown in Richard Curtis movies but, in the context of a post-recession, ethnically diverse country, it is all rather distasteful and anachronistic.

I think I've gone on enough! I will end by saying that Bridget fans who decide to read this book should be prepared for disappointment.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bridget Jones Bad Dream, 25 Mar 2014
This book was so much more than a disappointment, it actually made me physically cringe at certain points. Fielding's pathetic attempts to reflect the modern world were totally out of touch with reality. I don't know a single person who might identify with Bridget or her friends, who only seem to pop up to quote some crappy mantra, from a self help book that most of the world has forgotten about. Bridget has been blessed with children but they are far too young considering that she and Mr Darcy ran off into the sunset almost two decades ago. What's most annoying, the children seem to be at the bottom of Bridget's upper middle class priority list, making her a pretty unlikable character. This book's most unforgivable fault, is that it killed off Mr Darcy before the first page in order to clear the way for Bridget to enter the modern dating world. The reader would have forgiven Fielding for splitting up the happy couple, in a trial separation or divorce, maybe throw in a teenage child or two and some dating disasters which the reader may relate to, before they ultimately realise their love for each other again. In fact, I would still urge Fielding to write that book, the first chapter could start with Bridget waking up from a bad dream.....This awful book. Honestly, Fielding its not to late to scrap it and start again!!

One star and that's being generous
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars such a shame...., 22 Oct 2013
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I had great expectations and was incredibly excited about the release of this book but sadly I failed to enjoy it as much as I'd hoped

Although it's a good read in its own right and we all love Miss Jones it's not a good follow-on. To kill off such a great character whom we all love and then simply have the story follow a familiar path didn't really cut it for me,
essentially Mr Wallaker is just a recreation of Mr Darcy.

Nothing new here sadly
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Book of Two Halves, 24 Oct 2013
By 
***SPOILERS BELOW***

Like most people, I was sad to hear that Mark Darcy had been killed off. It's gutting to realise that the 'happy ever after' you'd imagined never came to pass. That, combined with some less than stellar writing meant that the first half of this book was a struggle. It took a while for an actual plot to develop, and when one tentatively emerged, it revolved around Bridget learning to use Twitter. The endless Twitter updates, combined with her merrily texting away during production meetings about her own script made me put this book down in rage a couple of times.

Once the Twitter thing died down and Roxster was introduced as a person and not just a Twitter handle, the book started to pick up. The second half felt like Bridget Jones again. There were some beautiful moments with her children ('Daddy, Heaven, Space' had me blubbing like a 5 year old) and by the end of the book, I was rooting for Bridget to find happiness. If it's made into a movie, I think it will actually make quite a decent one, although I hope the producers find some way to bring Colin Firth back for at least a couple of flashback scenes...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Really disappointed, 23 April 2014
This review is from: Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy (Hardcover)
I LOVE the first two books, and the films, so was really looking forward to this.

Before I get into what I didn't like, I will just say that it was a very easy read, I purchased it at the airport while travelling with work and got through it in 3 days (which is warp speed for me).

I found the character of Bridget to be very annoying in this latest edition, so much so I almost stopped reading. She is supposedly now a screen writer and yet she has got the author of the book she has adapted wrong, and persistently texts throughout her meetings with the production company....I'm sorry but these aren't the actions of a 51 year old woman with two children!

I also found all of the Twitter stuff really cringey, and her use of the words 'poo' and 'fart', I'm only 27 and couldn't imagine myself being as inane as this.

All in all it was a very poor to average read, I really hope they don't make it into a film. It actually reminded me of the film adaption of 'I don't know how she does it' - I enjoyed that book but found the film to be very childish and cringey.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars dear lord, 26 Dec 2013
By 
Lynn Pearce (Australia) - See all my reviews
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this is a travesty - a book about nothing with a heroine that doesn't have the appeal she did int he earlier books. Not worth the money
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars New Bridget Jones book, 24 Nov 2013
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A. J. Best "anita" (west sussex. uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy (Hardcover)
This does not compare to Helen Fielding's previous books. It is boring and not really funny, It concentrates on twitter outpourings and is Bridget is no longer a character you can empathise with. Bad mistake to kill off Mark Darcy as there now seems to be a big gap in the story and it all seems unrealistic.
Unhappy previous Bridget Jones fan!!!
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74 of 82 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Laughs: 0 (not vg) Eye Rolls: too many to count., 5 Dec 2013
This review is from: Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy (Hardcover)
Diabolical.

Lovable, cuddly, foot-in-mouth, just-the-way-you-are Bridget is long gone. In her place is a 51 year old widow obsessed with finding a man (yes, still,- and while we're on the subject, what kind of a name is Roxster?!), losing weight (yes, still, - a referral to an obesity clinic at a size 14? Really Helen? Way to relate to a huge chunk of your original fans there...) and booze (mouthful of wine in the middle of a children's diarrhea/vomit incident? Really?).

As for "hilarious" - if you find nits, poo, vomit, farting, technophobia and juvenile name-calling among parents funny, then you'll split your sides within the first 150 pages. Otherwise, you'll sit as I did, cringing for this ridiculous woman.

Just keep in mind when reading this that Bridget is no longer in her thirties and trying to work out where her life is going. She's 51, with children raised by a Nanny (even though she doesn't work) and a stupid boyfriend. Her friends haven't grown up either, and her mother is still commenting on her life even though she's now in her seventies.

Helen seems to think we've all forgotten who Bridget is - lines from the first two books and films crop up repeatedly. "Daniel, my former emotional f*ckwit boyfriend and Mark's former arch-enemy" or "Running around naked on his parents lawn". Look, I'm all for finding love and discovering who you are no matter what your age, but when these characters are supposed to be in their fifties and they're still having telephone conversations that involve the words "what colour are your knickers, Jones?" - it's time to stop reading.

Helen made a huge mistake getting rid of one of the most popular characters, but she made an even bigger one by writing this drivel in the first place. It's obviously written with the intent of being turned into a film, because it's lost all the sparkle of the first two books and instead is heavily reliant on visuals that will work in a Hollywood movie. The sentence "it's raining men" is actually in here. Repeat references to the Dalai Lama's twitter account and numerous mentions of checking for followers made me want to heave.

Awful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Epic Fail, 28 May 2014
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This is one of those books that should never have been written.
It must be very tempting for an author to return to something so successful - and so lucrative. Everyone loved Bridget, and carrying on with her story just about worked in The Edge of Reason (which was basically the first book all over again).
But this is a disaster. The main reason Bridget was so popular was that her world was so recognisable. We laughed at her, but we also identified with all those crises in her love life and at work. But now Mark has died (big mistake, surely?) leaving her so well-heeled that she can live in Chalk Farm and employ a full-time nanny without having to get a real job, this has become rather difficult. While scatty thirtysomething Bridget was adorable, self-obsessed fiftysomething Bridget is plain annoying.
And it's really not believable, is it? A thirty year old toy boy who loves you for yourself - really? Those children - too, too thweet (and surely much too young?) And by the time she gets round to creating a second Mark Darcy in the shape of a sexy teacher with a past - who's got enough cash for them to live together in "a messy old house near Hampstead Heath" - she's lost all touch with reality. It's lazy, and so lame - rather like all that tweeting.
I can't think of many successful sequels which lift the curtain after a fairytale ending - it's never worked with Lizzie Bennet and Mr Darcy - but this is surely one of the worst. It makes Jilly Cooper look like Shakespeare.
I'm crossing my fingers that this blatant attempt to squeeze out another film and make the author pots of cash turns out to be an Epic Fail.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, 23 May 2014
This review is from: Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy (Hardcover)
Was so disappointed when reading the reviews of this when it first came out that I decided to wait and get it for free from my local Library. I'm glad I did as if I had paid for it I would have been sorely disappointed.

I remember for Comic Relief a few years ago that Helen Fielding went on Twitter as Bridget Jones as part of a 'prize'. I found her tweets hilarious and of course Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver also had a Twitter account each and with them all interacting with each other had some hilarious results. I was hooked on reading those tweets which disappointingly died down pretty soon after Comic Relief had finished. I'm not sure if Helen Fielding was encouraged by the response from Twitter to then decide to write another novel but considering Mark was featured on Twitter in the current timeline it came as a shock to find out that Mark is no longer with us in this book. Why oh why that choice was made by Helen Fielding I don't know.

I found Bridget's character in this book absolutely ridiculous. The age she is and she's still acting like a teenager. I just didn't like it and as much as I loved the previous books and the films this book just seemed like a complete waste of time and possibly just a money spinner for Ms Fielding. Killing Mark off was just a big 'no, no' for me.
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Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy
Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding (Hardcover - 10 Oct 2013)
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