Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boyby Helen Fielding
A GoodReads Reader's Choice
Bridget Jones—one of the most beloved characters in modern literature (v.g.)—is back! In Helen Fielding's wildly funny, hotly anticipated new novel, Bridget faces a few rather pressing questions:
What do you do when your girlfriend’s sixtieth birthday party is the same day as your/b>
A GoodReads Reader's Choice
Bridget Jones—one of the most beloved characters in modern literature (v.g.)—is back! In Helen Fielding's wildly funny, hotly anticipated new novel, Bridget faces a few rather pressing questions:
What do you do when your girlfriend’s sixtieth birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend’s thirtieth?
Is it better to die of Botox or die of loneliness because you’re so wrinkly?
Is it wrong to lie about your age when online dating?
Is it morally wrong to have a blow-dry when one of your children has head lice?
Is it normal to be too vain to put on your reading glasses when checking your toy boy for head lice?
Does the Dalai Lama actually tweet or is it his assistant?
Is it normal to get fewer followers the more you tweet?
Is technology now the fifth element? Or is that wood?
If you put lip plumper on your hands do you get plump hands?
Is sleeping with someone after two dates and six weeks of texting the same as getting married after two meetings and six months of letter writing in Jane Austen’s day?
Pondering these and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of loss, single motherhood, tweeting, texting, technology, and rediscovering her sexuality in—Warning! Bad, outdated phrase approaching!—middle age.
In a triumphant return after fourteen years of silence, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is timely, tender, touching, page-turning, witty, wise, outrageous, and bloody hilarious.
TODAY Book Club Selection
England's sweetheart Bridget Jones returns after over a decade in Field's latest novel (after Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason). Bridget, now a single mother to two young children, is trying to catch up with the rest of the world. Just figuring out how to program the remote and her son's X-box is overwhelming enough, but now her friends are pushing her to get back into the dating scene. Determined to stay hip, Bridget is dating Roxster, a man 15 years her junior, who she meets through her trials and errors on Twitter. But juggling motherhood and a new boyfriend, while dealing with producers trying to turn her screenplay from tragedy to comedy may be more than Bridget can handle. Whether she is unintentionally announcing her family's head lice infestation to her production team or getting stuck in a tree while looking after her daughter, fans will find Fielding's third Bridget Jones installment hilarious and thoroughly entertaining. This book is sure to be a hit among new and old readers alike. Fielding's awkwardly charming character has aged well—but of course not gracefully. (Oct.)
Today Show’s second Book Club Selection!
“Mad About the Boy is not only sharp and humorous, despite its heroine’s aged circumstances, but also snappily written, observationally astute and at times genuinely moving. Fielding has somehow pulled off the neat trick of holding to her initial premise – single woman looks for romance – while allowing her heroine to grow up into someone funnier and more interesting that she was before. Who knew middle age could be so eventful? . . . Fielding beautifully conveys the constant seesaw of emotions a parent feels toward the young and demanding: one minute overwhelming love, the next minute overwhelming desire to lock oneself in the bathroom with a bottle of gin . . . We get some good long narration, but large chunks of the book come in diary form, introduced by select statistics of the day, hilariously expanded to reflect grown-up Bridget’s concerns…. Its big heart, incisive observations and zippy pace . . . make the prospect of middle age not so bad at all. It is possible I cried a little at the end, but then, as Bridget might say: am sucker for happy endings.”
—Sarah Lyall, The New York Times Book Review
“With Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding created a new female archetype. Now she’s brought Bridget back to conquer the 21st century. (Rule No. 1: No texting while drunk) . . . Texting and Twitter play an outsize role in the new novel, which finds Bridget solo-parenting two young children and seeking romance after a decade under Mark Darcy’s chivalric guard . . . The diary form itself pays homage to Austen, lifting Fielding’s work above many pale imitations. Austen’s heroines aren’t writers, but Fielding’s is . . . Austen’s plots are marriage plots, and ultimately so are Bridget’s. But Fielding’s novels (like Austen’s, and like Sex and the City and Girls) also revolve around friendship—something at which Bridget excels. Nor is the character’s staying power an accident. Fielding . . . is still very much a writer. ”
–Radhika Jones, Time
“She's back! Our favorite hapless heroine returns after a decade-plus hiatus, juggling two kids, potential boyfriends, smug marrieds, rogue gadgets, and her nascent Twitter feed.”
“Fielding’s comic gifts—and, just as important, her almost anthropological ability to nose out all that is trendy and potentially crazy making about contemporary culture, from Twitter (“OMG, Lady Gaga has 33 million followers! Complete meltdown. Why am I even bothering? Twitter is giant popularity contest which I am doomed to be the worst at”) to online dating—are once again on shimmering exhibit. And Bridget, although now a fiftyish single mother who has to deal with putting her two young children, Billy and Mabel, to bed, along with treating their hair for nits, cleaning up vomit, and attending Sports Day school picnics, is still recognizably her ditzy but ultimately unfazable self . . . Bridget is so specific a character that it’s hard to believe that she’s been invented from whole cloth . . . [Has] the sort of narrative propulsion that is rare in autobiographically conceived fiction, not to mention an unsolipsistic worldview (for all of Bridget’s fussing over herself) that invites broad reader identification.”
—Daphne Merkin, Elle
“Bridget’s back! And as irrepressible as ever . . . Yes, Bridget has changed her dismal (Born-Again Virgin) status via the scary world of online dating, and she’s in turmoil. Repentant after masses of sex and drunken Twitter over-sharing, she comforts herself with grated mozzarella, her adorable, vomit-prone children and cockeyed attempts at self-improvement . . . sweet, clever and funny. Yay Bridget!”
—Helen Rogan, People
“Mark has been gone five years. Children have nits. Mother still difficult. Jude still tormenting Vile Richard. Daniel Cleaver is children’s godfather . . . Good fun, like gathering with friends.”
“Tender and comic.”
—The New Yorker
“Fielding manages to both move and delight the reader time after time . . . Hilarious.”
—New York Journal of Books
“Plenty has changed for everyone’s favorite London singleton since her v. funny diary first charmed the world in 1998. In Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Bridget’s a widow with two kids, a Twitter account and a ‘toy boy’– but she’s still adorably clueless.”
“Three years before ‘Sex and the City’ staked its claim to the smart-sassy-single stereotype, Helen Fielding created Bridget Jones, a vessel for educated, urban thirtysomethings’ secret fears about cellulite and dying alone and the probable correlation between the two. Nearly 20 years later, in Fielding's latest, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, a 50-year-old Bridget is looking for love again . . . This time around, though, instead of dialing 1471 to see who's called while she was in the shower, she's refreshing her Twitter at-replies . . . Delightful . . . Bridget Jones was a character made for the Internet, from her confessional tone to her casual creation of memes.”
—Ann Friedman, Los Angeles Times
“Hearing Bridget dissect wardrobe choices (’a brand chillingly called Not Your Daughter's Jeans'), parenthood (’Why can't everyone just F-ING SHUT UP AND LET ME READ THE PAPERS'), and exercise (‘Usually love Zumba...stomping angrily like horses, transporting one into a world of Barcelona or possibly Basque-coast nightclubs, and fire-lit gypsy encampments of undetermined national extraction') feels like visiting with your funniest friend.”
—Jessica Shaw, Entertainment Weekly
“She’s back! And even though she’s a fifty-something single mom, she’s still the Bridget Jones we all fell in love with.”
—Jenna Bush Hager, Today
Read an Excerpt
Saturday 8 September 2012
Just woke up from delicious, sensual dream all mixed up with Daniel and Leatherjacketman. Suddenly feel different: sensual, womanly and yet that makes me feel so guilty, as if I’m being unfaithful to Mark and yet . . . is so sensual feeling like a sensual woman, with a sensual side which is sensually . . . oh. Children are awake.
11:30 a.m. Entire morning has been totally sensual and lovely. Started day with all three of us in my bed, cuddling and watching telly. Then had breakfast. Then played hide and seek. Then drew and colored in Moshi Monsters, then did obstacle course all in pajamas, all the while with roast chicken emitting delicious fragrance from the Aga.
11:31 a.m. Am perfect mother and sensual woman with sensual possibilities. I mean maybe someone like Leather- jacketman could join in with this scenario and. . . .
11:32 a.m. Billy: “Can we do computer, now it’s Saturday?”
11:33 a.m. Mabel: “Want to watch SpongeBob.”
11:35 a.m. Suddenly overwhelmed with exhaustion and desire to read papers in echoing silence. Just for ten minutes.
“Mummeee! De TV is broken.”
Realized, horrified, Mabel had got hold of the remotes. I started jabbing at buttons, at which white flecks appeared, accompanied by loud crackling.
“Snow!” said Mabel, excitedly, just as the dishwasher started beeping.
“Mummy!” said Billy. “The computer’s run out of charge.”
“Well, plug it in again!” I said shoving my head into the cupboard full of wires under the telly.
“Night!” said Mabel as the TV screen went black, and the tumble-dryer joined in the beeping.
“This charger doesn’t work.”
“Well, go on the Xbox!”
“It’s not working.”
“Maybe it’s the Internet connection.”
“Mummy! I’ve unplugged the AirPort, I can’t get it in again.”
Realizing my thermostat was veering dangerously towards red, I scampered off up the stairs saying, “Time to get dressed, special treat! I’ll get your clothes.” Then ran into their bedroom and burst out, “I hate fucking technology. Why can’t everyone just FUCKING SHUT UP AND LET ME READ THE PAPERS.”
Suddenly lurched in horror. The baby listener was on! Oh God, oh God. Should have got rid of it ages ago but paranoid as single parent, fear of death, etc., etc. Ran downstairs to find Billy racked by sobs.
“Oh Billy, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean it. Was it the baby listener?”
“Nooooooooo!” he yelled. “The Xbox is frozen.”
“Mabel, did you hear Mummy in the baby listener?”
“No,” she said staring delightedly at the television. “De TV is mended.”
It was showing a page asking for the Virgin TV password.
“Billy, what’s the Virgin password?” I said.
“Isn’t it the same as your banker’s card, 1066?”
“OK, I’ll do the Xbox, you put in the password,” I said just as the doorbell rang.
“That password won’t work.”“Mummeee!” said Mabel.
“Shh, both of you!” I yelled. “There’s SOMEONE AT THE DOOR!”
Ran up the stairs, head a mass of guilty thoughts: “I’m a terrible mother, there is a hole inside them left by the loss of their father which they are trying to fill with technology,” and opened the door.
It was Jude, looking glamorous but hungover and tearful.
“Oh Bridge,” she said, falling into my arms. “I just can’t stand another Saturday morning on my own.”
“What happened . . . tell Mummy . . .” I said then remembered Jude was a grown-up financial giant.
“The guy I met on Match.com and went out with the day before the Stronghold? The one I had a snog with?”
“Yes?” I said trying vaguely to remember which one.
“He didn’t call. And then last night, he copied me in on a global text saying his wife has just had a baby girl 6 lbs 12 oz.”
“OhMyGod. That’s disgusting. That’s inhuman.”
“All these years I didn’t want children and people kept saying I’d change my mind. They were right. I’m going to get my eggs unfrozen.”
“Jude,” I said. “You made a choice. Just because some guy is a fuckwit it doesn’t mean it was the wrong choice. It’s a good choice for you. Children are . . . are . . . ” I glanced murderously back down the stairs.
She held out her phone showing an Instagram picture of the Fuckwit holding his baby.
“. . . cuddly and lovely and pink and 6 lbs 12 oz and all I do is work and hook up and I’m all on my own on a Saturday morning. And. . . . ”
“Come downstairs,” I said, darkly. “I’ll show you cuddly and lovely.”
We clomped back down. Billy and Mabel were now standing cherub-like, holding out a drawing saying, “We Love You Mummy.”
“We’re going to empty the dishwasher, Mummy,” said Billy. “To help you.”
Shit! What was wrong with them?
“Thank you, children. That would be lovely,” I purred, bustling Jude back upstairs, and outside the front door, before they did something worse like emptying the recycling bin.
“I’m going to defrost the eggs,” sobbed Jude as we sat down on the steps. “The technology was primitive then. Crude even, but it might work if . . . I mean I could get a sperm donor and. . . . ”
Suddenly the upstairs window in the house opposite shot open and a pair of Xbox remotes hurtled out, landing with a smash next to the dustbins.
Seconds later, the front door flung open and the bohemian neighbor appeared, dressed in fluffy pink mules, a Victorian nightdress, and a small bowler hat, carrying an armful of laptops, iPads, and iPods. She teetered down the front steps and shoved the electronics in the dustbin, followed by her son and two more boys wailing, “Noooooo! I haven’t finished my leveeeeeeel!”
“Good!” she yelled. “When I signed up for having children, I did NOT sign up to be ruled by a collection of inanimate thin black objects and a gaggle of TECHNO-CRACKHEADS refusing to do anything but stare with jabbing thumbs, while demanding that I SERVICE them like a computer tech crossed with a five-star-hotel concierge. When I didn’t have you, everyone spent their entire time saying I’d change my mind. And guess what? I’ve had you. I’ve brought you up. And I’ve CHANGED MY MIND!”
I stared at her, thinking, “I have to be friends with that woman.”
“Children of your age in India live entirely successfully as street urchins,” she continued. “So you can just sit on that doorstep and instead of putting your ENTIRE BRAINS into getting to the next level on MINECRAFT, you can apply them to CHANGING MY MIND about letting you back in. And don’t you dare touch that dustbin or I shall sell you to the HUNGER GAMES.”
Then, with a toss of her bowler-hatted head, she flounced back into the house and slammed the door.
“Mummeee!” Shouting and crying erupted from my own basement. “Mummeee!”
“Want to come back in?” I said to Jude.
“No, no, it’s fine,” Jude said, happy now, getting to her feet. “You’re completely right. I have made the right choice. Just a bit hungover. I just need to have breakfast and a Bloody Mary at Soho House and read the papers and I’ll be fine. Thanks, Bridge. Love you. Byee!”
Then she teetered off in her Versace knee-length gladiator sandals, looking hungoverly fabulous.
I looked back across the street. The three boys were sitting in a line on the doorstep.
“Everything all right?” I said.
The dark-haired son grinned. “Yeah, it’s fine. She just gets like this. She’ll be all right in a minute.”
He glanced behind him to check the door was still closed, and pulled an iPod out of his pocket. Then the boys started giggling, moved closer together, and bent over the iPod.
Meet the Author
Helen Fielding, a journalist and novelist, is the author of four previous novels—Bridget Jones's Diary, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Cause Celeb, and Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I was apprehensive when I read that Darcy was dead prior to the book release. I wondered if this were an Author's last bid to cash in on a once popular protagonist. Happily, I was wrong to worry. The narrative voice, so quotable, true and hilarious I previous outings, is both fiercely honest and heartbreakingly real. Bridget remains relatable, hysterically funny and observant and more relevant than an icon has a right to be.I would Give it six stars if I could. To all detractors who thought. The death of mark Darcy heralded the end of the world, quit whining and read it!
I laughed. I cried. This 3rd Bridget is a charm. Less over the top than 1st two novels: more depth, more emotion, more empathy. Highly recommend.
Just lovely. The book is lovely and bittersweet. The author does not pick up where she left off, so Bridget Jones is all grown up now. In the era of “leaning in” and “having it all”, she is still disarmingly charming and delightfully imperfect. While the idea of a 51-year old Bridget may be hard to accept at first, her struggles, dreams, illusions and disappointments are more real and heartfelt than ever before. For the original fans of the series, the reading serves as a gentle reminder that they, too, grew older over the past fifteen years but that the joy of love, laughter, family and "cuddles" can be found at any age.
This book tried too hard. Twitter is confusing? Online dating is hard? These aren't exaxtly fresh observations. The author tries to recapture the sparle of the original (and to a lesser extent the second novel) and just fails. Spoiler etiquette forbids me from revealing more, but Spoiler colors the whole novel and not in the bittersweet way I think Fielding meant.
hi everybody, I barely speak English, so don't care too much about mistakes in this review. I read all 2 previous Bridget Jones books and I was looking forward to see what happens to her after more than 15 years, so I was surprised to see that not too much was changed in the way she approaches to life. does the author want to say that even a lot of - also sad- things happens to us, we are not able to change our way to face reality? same group of friends suggesting her what to do, same way to waste time during all day, same weird way to approach men, same delusions and at the end a magical outcome like things happen even you are not working hard to make them happen. that's my point of view...nicoletta
Bridget Jones has been off the radar for many years now, because the last novel ended with a Happily Ever After. However, time has passed, life doesn't generally grant us HEA's, and Jonesy is again neck-deep in the complications of life, including dealing with two v. young children. Some fans may be ticked off that (spoiler alert) the author did not allow Bridget and Mark Darcy to live to a ripe old age as a married couple. But if she had, this book would not exist, and I ENJOYED this book tremendously, found it believable, poignant in more than a few places, and laugh-out-loud hilarious in others, The humor is still stellar and entirely relatable. Here's one of Bridget's (and my own) resolutions: "Deal with emails immediately and so that email becomes effective means of communication instead of terrifying Unexploded Email in-box full of guilt trips and undetonated time-vampire bombs." Yes, well, something about good intentions, hell... Social Media distracts her from what she SHOULD be working on: "...Is absolutely imperative not to tweet today, but finish screenplay. Have just got to do the ending. Oh, and the middle lot. And sort out the start." Regarding online dating, Bridget's friend Tom uses this catchy metaphor for a potential partner with whom he is flirting: "All text and no trousers." Then there was the twunken (drunken Tweeting) bird fiasco... Bridget's mental digressions are delicious: "he picked me up in his arms, as if I was light as a feather, which I am not, unless it was a very heavy feather, maybe from a giant prehistoric dinosaur-type bird..." It works as a stand-alone even if you haven't read the previous novels. If you have, it offers a peek at the glory of Mark and Bridget's past married life. It offers all the delights of mummyhood including lice infestations, vomiting, and cuddling in bed at storytime. I'm mad about this book.
If you like Bridget Jones, do yourself a favor and don't read this book, it ruins the series. What is cute at 30 and single is pathetic at 50 with kids. Bridget is older and no wiser and the ending is improbable.
It was a little hard to get into because Bridget has aged since we last saw her and her life is completely different than one would expect. However, once you get over the initial shock, you find the old Bridget we know and love at the heart of the book. And in the end, it's a satisfying read. The end very literally justifies the means.
I was so excited when I started this book; however, I feel that I wasted my time in reading the first 300 (out of 356) pages (the number of pages might be incorrect due to my Nook settings). The last chapters are along the lines of what attracted me to the Bridget Jones series; we read about her flustered, though frustrating dingdongy, life, and everything works out in the end. The first 300 pages are focused on her rather depressing and infantile twitter posts or texts involving farts, sex, vomiting by adults and her boy toy; I probably missed key points as I was flipping like crazy to get off the boredom train. She had no redeeming qualities until the last chapters, she was just a 50+ plus boy toy-obsessed mother of young children who flipped like a weathervane in the wind. Also, at times I found very few redeeming features about her daughter until the end, but I did laugh at the predicaments posed by her children (especially the lice part – I work with children and still get the creepy crawlies thinking about the bugs). More of Bridget Jones classic, please, although it’s unfortunate that she isn’t younger so that we can have more years with the classic version.
Not particularly fresh or interesting. Touching memories about Mark, but the fact that she killed him speaks poorly of her writing. Mark and Bridget are interesting enough without Fielding having to fall back to Bridget-looking-for love plot.
I love Bridget. I loved her in the first 2 books, and still love her now that Mark Darcy is dead and she is left with 2 children. To me, she is exactly what would have expected her to be, given Mark's untimely death and her hysterical past. Several times when reading this book I had to put it down because I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. There were even parts where I had tears running down my face and yet I was still laughing, v. strange indeed. I was almost hesitant to read it because the first reviews were so awful, but I'm so happy I overuled them and read it anyway. If you love Bridget, Tom, Jude, Daniel and the rest of her world I think you will love her in her latest adventures. V. V. Good.
I didn't finish it,life is too ssd already... the idea of Mark being gone was too much. :/
Hi, I have only one question :) This book has really original signature by Helen Fielding? I'd like to buy this book for my wife ;) J.C.
Without giving anything away, I was VERY disappointed with the way the author decided to continue this series. That said, it was still classic Bridget Jones. I laughed, I cried, and I cheered for her once more.
Bridget Jones is back and single again! Her husband, Mark Darcy, passed away 5 years earlier, and she is raising their two children alone in London. As a single mom, Bridget has to deal with vomit, head lice, and other kid-related catastrophes, as well as with new technologies such as texting, Twitter and online dating. Life is hard, but she keeps “buggering on”. When she meets a hot younger man, she starts feeling alive again. Could this be a new beginning for the loveable “singleton”? Once I got over the shock that Mark Darcy was dead, I quite enjoyed the story. In fact, I don’t think there would have been a third book if Mark was still alive, as it would not have been as interesting a story. Reading the third installment of the Bridget Jones series feels like meeting with friends you haven’t seen for years. Bridget has the same pals with the addition of a couple more. The book is written as a diary and in the first person, like its predecessors. And as before, Bridget finds herself in hilarious predicaments. However, I thought it was odd that Daniel was godparent to her children. Would someone name an ex-boyfriend as a godparent, especially when this person is immature and untrustworthy? I wouldn’t in a million years leave my child alone with this guy! However, while the ending of the book was a bit predictable, it was nevertheless satisfying. Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy was a fun and entertaining read, and I think people who loved the first two books in the series will enjoy this one too. I wonder if a movie is in the works… If it is, I would love to see it! Please go to my blog, Cecile Sune - Bookobsessed, if you would like to read more reviews or discover fun facts about books and authors.
I loved Bridget Jones Diary which I read years ago. It made me laugh out loud, something I never do when reading. So I wasn't expecting a repeat reaction with Mad About the Boy, but I was wrong. It was hysterically funny! However, one friend found it only "entertaining" and another found it "not funny at all". Guess I'd suggest it only to women who loved the original, Bridget Jones Diary.
I love the bridget jones movies so when this book came out I was excited. But really it was unbelievably boring. I bought this book nearly a year ago and still haven't finished. Probably never will.
While searching for a fun read, I recalled books I had read in the past that I enjoyed for just this purpose. Of course, Bridget Jones was my go-to back when I was a singleton myself, so naturally, to find another installment & phase of Bridget's life was very appealling! It was difficult throughout the book to realize the time lapse since "Edge of Reason"; therefore, picturing the fifty- one year -old Bridget can be tricky. However, her humor is still boldly uproarious, as evidenced at some passages where I had to stop reading altogether as I was wheezing with laughter! These events and the inclusion of Bridget's friends -both old & new- gave me the fun read I desired and was accostomed to from Fielding. Additionally, there was a more heartfelt tone this time that added more layers for me that I hadn't expected, but was a surprising pleasure. There is a sad undertone, without giving much away, in Bridget's new role in life and in missing a previous character (often mentioned and truly jumps off the page in a way that speaks to the author's clear development in past books), but it is balanced by her sweetness in her role as a mother that resonants for me, now married and a mom myself, and endears the character all the more. Fielding returns to her readers this "everywoman" who has become a dear friend for all seasons.