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In Brief: "Bridget Jones's Diary"

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It’s not at all hard to imagine the movie version of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary, the serialized newspaper spoof of Pride and Prejudice that took England by storm (Viking; $22.95): Weeping, miniskirted, just-30 singles; a gay best friend -- after My Best Friend’s Wedding, the worst hysterical stereotypes are fair game. Pound for pound, weeping and bingeing, Bridget Jones, like Emma, Cher, and the rest of the modernized Janeites, is a really good time. Concerned for her weight, unconcerned with her hemlines, she rises to the top of the dating pool -- and, incidentally, becomes a media sensation -- because of her complete lack of interest in anything beyond food and fashion. The book is perfect for that long Jitney ride, and it’s entirely likely that “a Bridget Jones type” will become descriptive shorthand here as it is in London. As a beach read, it offers an additional felicity: As we all know from the BBC’s P&P, Mr. Darcy knows how to swim.


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