Author: Helen Fielding
Genre: Fiction, Chick-Lit
First Published: 1999
Fact: Helen Fielding is a comic genius. Now, if only someone told her she didn’t have to try so hard in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Fielding succeeded in turning a beloved character into a laughable caricature.
Bridget Jones is back—and her life is crazier than ever! In Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, we find our hilarious British heroine ‘four weeks and five days in’ in what she describes as a ‘functional relationship with (an) adult male.’ Indeed, everything seems to be going well for our dear, Bridget. She’s happily back to smoking and drinking, she’s a legit TV journalist, she has the dashing Mark Darcy in bed with her—all appears peachy keen.
But not ONE chapter in and the drama starts. Having established the rapport between Bridget, Shazzer, and Jude in the last book, you’d expect a bit of envy from the singletons and miserably-attached. But when her friends accuse her of being a “Smug-Going-Out-with-Someone,” and attempt to convince her that Mark Darcy is cheating on her with his rich and skinny bitch colleague, Rebecca, the whole thing becomes a bit too much. And it only gets worse. Somewhere between Bridget Jones’s Diary and this book, Bridget has sadly become somewhat spineless.
Case in point, when she and Mark find a naked and insane Asian boy on Mark’s bed, she runs off instead of demanding an explanation right off the bat. She automatically assumes that Mark’s some sort of ‘gay bestial pervert.’ Then, when she pays a carpenter an exorbitant sum to install shelves she doesn’t want, and he refuses to work, it’s as if she can’t do anything about the situation. Finally, she gets the opportunity of a lifetime—an interview with Colin Firth—and she screws it up. She misses her plane, botches the interview (because she’s too obsessed with the image of Firth emerging from the lake, soaked and sexy as Mr. Darcy in P&P), and misses her deadline. Although she ends up writing a side-splitting piece, the interview turned out to be immensely cringe-worthy.
Throw in a crazy trip to Thailand where she gets charged with drug trafficking and gets locked up with prostitutes—a situation made better by a bra and Madonna—and what you have is a funny yet slightly foolish read. What this sequel lacks is the fine mix of wit and relatability present in the first novel. Yes, this one’s still witty and somewhat relatable, but it doesn’t measure up to its predecessor.
That being said, was the book bad? No. It’s well-written and at times, laugh-out-loud funny. BUT I do believe that when set beside Bridget Jones’s Diary, this book feels a bit flat and forced. Will still recommend this book to people who are after a quick and fun read.
“I gave a strangled cry, mind reeling. Surely it cannot be true that men have football instead of emotions?” p.96