When I first met R, I thought he was a typical womanizer and wouldn’t give him the time of day. He tried his best to win me over and when he finally succeeded in taking me out on a date, I gave him the third degree. One of the first questions I asked was, “What is your favorite book?”
“Love Story,” he replied without hesitation.
I laughed him off for two reasons: (1) I knew Love Story well, because it was one of my favorite movies…and I had never come across any reference of it being a book also; and (2) I thought he was blowing smoke up my ass in an effort to get into my pants.
The next time I saw him, he handed me a dog-eared paperback. It was clear it had been read many times over, and it actually seemed to fit perfectly into his hands.
I began reading that night and didn’t stop until I finished.
I later discovered that the book was based on the screenplay for the movie – Paramount had pre-released the book to promote the movie. The book became an immediate success, quickly becoming the best selling fiction in the U.S. in 1970.
The plot itself isn’t particularly creative: boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy marries girl despite objections from his family, boy and girl struggle then finally make it to the top…but at what should be the happiest moment of their lives, the girl gets cancer and dies.
Rather, it is Erich Segal’s writing that draws the reader in:
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. The Beatles. And me.
Those first lines of the novel summarizes the book while captivating and preparing the reader, in my opinion, one of the best stories of real, imperfect love that is just so damn achingly beautiful.
I have always been a bookworm. I begged my parents to teach me to read at the age of three and have constantly had my nose in a book since. I own hundreds of books and read thousands in my lifetime.
That being said, Love Story still remains one of my all-time favorite books.