Exclusively for Comic Relief, Bridget Jones offers readers lots of handy hints in household management in this special edition "Bridget Jones's Guide to Life". Especially for Red Nose Day, the limited edition will be available from the 12th of March.
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No one will be fooled by this little piece of ephemera. This is not anything like a new Bridget Jones book. It's a revisiting of old jokes, old characters, old stories. That said, there's something curiously addictive about Helen Fielding's creation, and this bonbon should satisfy a Jones jones until the (inevitable) next full-length novel comes along. The Guide to Life is a brief (64 pages) how-to manual from the notoriously inept singleton. To wit: In her chapter on homemaking (titled "The Fragrant Home"), Bridget gives her reader advice on the atmospheric charm of a cozy fire. "The key words here are 'in the grate.'" As to food, she largely confines herself to finding a piece of old cheese in the fridge and cutting off the moldy bits. She does, however, get in one really useful suggestion when she explains how to play the parlor game Shag, Marry or Push off a Cliff. The rules? "Each of the players suggests three names.... The person on the player's right must then decide, if they absolutely had to shag one of them, marry another, and push another off a cliff, which it would be. It is usually best to pick three which are similar in some way." Examples: Russell Crowe, Mr. Darcy, Hugh Grant. Or, Muammar al-Qaddafi, Ayatollah Khomeini, Idi Amin. The author then adds a caveat of typically Jonesian sensitivity: "It doesn't matter if any of them are dead as it is only a game." For those who cry foul at Helen Fielding's cashing in on her phenomenal franchise, it should be noted that some of the proceeds from the book will go to Comic Relief. That's the very organization, incidentally, that the author sends up in her non-Jones novel Cause Celeb--a smart, highly entertaining book that also makes a decent stopgap for Bridgetphiliacs. --Claire Dederer
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