Thursday 16 September 2021

πŸ“– Book Nostalgia ~ Love Story by Erich Segal


I'm really privileged to read so many latest release books which are so current they haven't even hit the book store shelves that I forget about the books which have influenced my reading over the years.

So, welcome to my mid-month Book Nostalgia feature where I'm allowing myself the luxury of going back in time with some of my favourite reads.

Let's wallow in book memories...

1970 edition

Oliver Barrett IV went to Harvard and Jenny Cavilleri to Radcliffe. He was rich, she was poor. 

He was sporty, she played music.

But they fell in love

This is their story.

Love Story was originally adapted as a screen play and then picked up by Paramount Pictures. The author, Erich Segal was asked to write the play into a novel as a preview for the film, and so, Love Story, all 127 pages of it, was published to coincide with Valentine's Day in 1970. It became a publishing phenomenon spending 41 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. 

This book came to my notice when the movie, starring Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw, became a box office sensation. After its general release in the UK, I went to see the film with friends from school and my lasting memory is of sitting in a darkened cinema on a summer afternoon watching this tragic tale unfold. It is the first film that made me cry and the only film that I have watched twice back to back on the same afternoon, in the same cinema! It's also the first grown up book I bought for myself.

I was already familiar with Ryan O'Neal having been a teen fan of the American daytime drama Peyton Place in which O'Neal had a starring role but it was Love Story which catapulted this charismatic young actor into the hearts of millions. Safe to say Love Story remains one of the highest grossing films of all time.

Segal's original idea, became THE film of the early seventies, and the book, despite it's small size, has become a publishing giant and is definitely a case of less is more. The story which is simplicity itself is a classic tale of boy meets girl. They meet at college, fall in love, marry against the odds and just when they have struggled through hardships and are facing a more settled future, tragedy strikes at the very heart of the novel. The book has remained in print since the day it was published, and sadly, after a couple of house moves, I lost my original, well-thumbed copy but I quickly replaced it with a new copy in 1987. I've lost count of the amount of times I've read it and it remains one of my favourite stories of all time.

Classic, beautiful, timeless Love Story is the novel which led me, by the hand, into a lifelong love of romantic fiction.

What can you say about a twenty-five year old girl who died? 

That she was beautiful. And brilliant. 

That she loved Mozart and Bach. 

And the Beatles.

And me.

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