Cover image for Olivia Joules and the overactive imagination
Olivia Joules and the overactive imagination
Fielding, Helen, 1958-
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Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Penguin Audio and Books on Tape, [2004]

Physical Description:
8 audio discs (approximately 9 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
She's a dazzling independent beauty journalist turned secret agent, and she's got her priorities right on the money: pack the hairdryer first, the nerve agent dispenser later. Her name is Olivia Joules ("as in the unit of kinetic energy") and she's ready to take America by storm with charm, style, and her infamous Overactive Imagination. Could her arch-enemy truly be Pierre Ferramo, he of the hooded eyes, impeccable taste, unimaginable wealth, exotic international homes, and dubious French accent? Could he be a terrorist bent on the destruction of the Western world, or is it just Olivia's imagination investing a naughty playboy with deadly significance?
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Audiobook on CD


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FICTION CD Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
FICTION CD Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
FICTION CD Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

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At the close of the last millennium, Helen Fielding debuted the irrepressible (and blockbuster-bestselling) Bridget Jones. Now, Fielding gives us a sensational new heroine for a new era . . . Move over 007, a stunning, sexy-and decidedly female-new player has entered the world of international espionage. Her name is Olivia Joules (that's ldquo;J.O.U.L.E.S. the unit of kinetic energyrdquo;) and she's ready to take America by storm with charm, style, and her infamous Overactive Imagination. How could a girl not be drawn to the alluring, powerful Pierre Ferramo-he of the hooded eyes, impeccable taste, unimaginable wealth, exotic international homes, and dubious French accent? Could Ferramo really be a major terrorist bent on the Western world's destruction, hiding behind a smokescreen of fine wines, yachts, and actresses slash models? Or is it all just a product of Olivia Joules's overactive imagination? Join Olivia in her heart-stopping, hilarious, nerve-frazzling quest from hip hotel to eco-lodge to underwater cave, by light aircraft, speedboat, helicopter, and horse, in this witty, contemporary, and utterly unputdownable novel deluxe.

Author Notes

Helen Fielding was born in Morley, West Yorkshire, England on February 19, 1958. She studied English at Oxford University.

After college, she got a job working for the BBC television studios. She worked for numerous years as a newspaper and TV journalist. Her first book, Cause Celeb, was based on the experiences she had while filming documentaries in Africa for Comic Relief. Her other books include Bridget Jones's Diary, The Edge of Reason, Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination, Mad about the Boy, and Bridget Jones's Baby. She co-wrote the screenplays for the movies Bridget Jones's Diary and the sequel based on The Edge of Reason.

She has received several awards including British Book of the Year in 1997 and the Evening Standard Award Best Screenplay in 2002. She works as a full-time novelist and screenwriter.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

More than anything, freelance journalist Olivia Joules wants to write serious news stories, but because of her vivid imagination, Olivia instead finds herself relegated by her editors to the style section. While in Miami covering the launch of a new face cream, Olivia meets mysterious, sexy Pierre Feramo, the scientist responsible for developing the cream, and once again Olivia's imagination takes over. Is Pierre really a cosmetics-developing, movie-producing international playboy or could he be an al-Qaeda agent in disguise? Olivia, who knows a thing or two about changing one's identity, can't decide if her suspicions about Pierre are correct or merely a product of her fertile imagination. What is even worse is that if Olivia turns out to be right about Pierre, it means she might be falling in love with a terrorist! The author of the phenomenally popular Bridget Jones's Diary (1998) gifts readers with another endearing, irrepressible heroine, who, armed with her lists and survival kit, discovers in this deliciously fun novel that she has a natural talent for spying. Fielding's latest has all the ingredients of a good thriller--exotic locales, a resourceful heroine, intrigue, and a touch of sexy romance--but the book is also electric with Fielding's wry wit, and the combination is simply delightful. --John Charles Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

London freelance reporter Olivia Joules may just be imagining that sexy Pierre Ferramo, whom she met at a face cream launch in Miami, is a terrorist, but she's not taking any chances. She follows him first to L.A., where she picks up a "spy ring" and a bug detector disguised as a calculator, and then to Honduras, where she falls in with a group of local scuba divers and learns that Pierre may be involved in some shady underwater dealings. But Olivia's travels don't end there. Before long, the aspiring spy finds herself in Egypt and then Sudan. Narrator Bailey handles the frequent change in setting skillfully, switching nimbly from the accents of a Honduran housekeeper to those of an Egyptian taxi driver. Although her American accent never quite rings true, no other reader could rival her performance of Olivia. Bailey's voice captures the essence of Fielding's intrepid heroine, her self-assurance, her determination to face challenges head on and her yearning to be appreciated for her strength, keen intuition and wild imagination. Fielding (Bridget Jones's Diary) has created a heroine for a new era, and with Bailey at the helm of this audiobook, listeners will gladly sit back and enjoy her outrageous exploits. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

The Bridget Jones series is entertaining and witty, but this new Fielding novel is disappointing. Olivia Joules (orphaned at age 14) moves to London and works as a writer for an international publication. She goes as a freelance journalist to the United States to cover the unveiling of a new face cream. At a party she meets Pierre Ferramo, an attractive Arabian film producer, who captivates her with his good looks and wealth. However, Olivia starts to connect Pierre to other frightening events going on in the area. She becomes convinced that he is a member of an al-Qaeda group in which Islamic fundamentalists drink, smoke, and womanize to disguise their true hatred toward Western culture. A ridiculous, thin, improbable plot based on world events, this wry thriller, read by Josephine Bailey, was clearly intended to be funny, but there is not much humor in this make-believe spoof. Not recommended.-Carol Stern, Glen Cove P.L., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



1 LONDON "The problem with you, Olivia, is that you have an overactive imagination." "I don't," said Olivia Joules indignantly. Barry Wilkinson, foreign editor of the Sunday Times, leaned back in his chair, trying to hold in his paunch, staring over his half-moon glasses at the disgruntled little figure before him, and thinking: And you're too damned cute. "What about your story about the cloud of giant, fanged locusts pancaking down on Ethiopia, blotting out the sun?" he said. "It was the Sudan." Barry sighed heavily. "We sent you all the way out there and all you came up with was two grasshoppers in a polythene bag." "But there was a locust cloud. It was just that it had flown off to Chad. They were supposed to be roosting. Anyway, I got you the story about the animals starving in the zoo." "Olivia, it was one warthog-and he looked quite porky to me." "Well, I would have got you an interview with the fundamentalist women and a cross amputee if you hadn't made me come back." "The birth of Posh and Becks's new baby you were sent to cover live for BSkyB?" "That wasn't hard news." "Thank God." "I certainly didn't imagine anything there." "No. But nor did you say anything for the first ten seconds. You stared around like a simpleton, fiddling with your hair live on air, then suddenly yelled, 'The baby hasn't been born yet, but it's all very exciting. Now back to the studio.'" "That wasn't my fault. The floor manager didn't cue me because there was a man trying to get into the shot with 'I'm a Royal Love Child' written on his naked paunch." Wearily, Barry leafed through the pile of press releases on his desk. "Listen, lovey ..." Olivia quivered. One of these days she would call him lovey and see how he liked it. "... you're a good writer, you're very observant and intuitive and, as I say, extremely imaginative, and we feel on the Sunday Times, in a freelancer, those qualities are better suited to the Style section than the news pages." "You mean the shallow end rather than the deep end?" "There's nothing shallow about style, baby." Olivia laughed. "I can't believe you just said that." Barry started laughing as well. "Look," he said, fishing out a press release from a cosmetics company, "if you really want to travel, there's a celebrity launch in Miami next week for some-perfume?-face cream." "A face-cream launch," said Olivia dully. "J.Lo or P. Binny or somebody ... there we go ... Devorée. Who the fuck is Devorée?" "White rapper slash model slash actress." "Fine. If you can get a magazine to split the costs with us, you can go and cover her face cream for Style. How's that?" "Okay," said Olivia doubtfully, "but if I find a proper news story out there, can I cover that as well?" "Of course you can, sweetheart," smirked Barry. Excerpted from Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.