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June 14 - LONDON - On a good day Bridget Jones weighs no more than 120 pounds smokes no more than five cigarettes imbibes no more than three alcohol units comes up with one or two clever ideas at the office meeting and checks her voice mail maybe two or three times to see if her boyfriend has phonedOn a bad day - of which there are many - the statistics are less satisfying Still the obsessive Jones dutifully records them all in her hilarious but poignant diary Saturday 12 August 129 pounds alcohol units 3 vg cigarettes 32 vv bad particularly since first day of giving up voice mail calls 22 minutes spent having cross imaginary conversations with Daniel 120 minutes spent imagining Daniel begging me to come back 90This thirtysomething Londoner is in short the exemplar of a contemporary type the angst-ridden ever-dieting I-wonder-if-this-skirt-is-too-short-for-the- office junior executive who hears her mother nagging and her biological clock ticking but cant seem to find a man who is not already married or interested merely in casual sex - or bothTheres a lot of truth among the laughs here Thats why the charming novel Bridget Joness Diary has turned out to be a publishing sensation in Britain 50 weeks on the best-seller lists and a million copies sold Thats why Bridget Jones and her self-described marital status - singleton - have entered the language here as standard parlance among her thirtyish peers of both sexes And thats why Bridget Joness Diary is likely to make a large literary splash in the United States when Viking Press publishes the book this monthThe US edition has already been named a main selection of the Book-ofthe-Month Club Bridgets creator the author Helen Fielding is set for a busy round-robin of the major US talk showsFielding a former BBC producer and freelance writer has admitted that many of Bridgets misadventures were based on her own life as
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