Love Story by Erich Segal

Love Story by Erich Segal: the moment I posted it’s pic on Social Media, saying that I am going to read it, my friends got excited. Apparently most of them had read it, and they all loved it. Praising the story as the original and best Love Story ever, even asking me to keep a box of tissues handy, as I will surely burst into tears, while reading this book.

Love Story Erich Segal

Well, I had my doubts! I am not a sentimental reader or viewer. I hardly cry while reading books or watching movies or while facing problems in real life. I consider myself an analyst, a problem solver, someone who likes to maintain a distance from emotions and watch the process of pain and suffering from a neutral position!

Okay! I am exaggerating a bit. I do burst into tears, but not by a Fictional Story, that too a romance. Nope, no ways! It’s just impossible.

Though, as I began reading Love Story, I was amused by Segal’s wit, his brilliant repartees, easy humor and the cool slangs his protagonists indulge in. With Sonovabitch and bastard ruling the roost! And, as Segal continued with his tale of chalk and cheese falling in love, I was amused by the fiery romance.

Yes, Love Story is after all the story of two youngsters, studying in college, and what else to expect when tall muscular Harvard hockey jock Oliver meets the mousy, bespectacled Radcliffe music undergrad in a library! A hot affair, a hurried proposal and a sweet acceptance. Isn’t it? See, I have already cracked it, I whispered to myself. A good book, but tears, hell no.

But, half way down, I realized that I am getting too involved with Jenny and Ollie, laughing in their good moments, getting nervous during their first meeting with parents, feeling sad at their misery, and relishing their intimacy, even wishing for them to hit the jackpot and enjoy a lifetime of eternal bliss together. Something was stirring inside me. It was as if I had slowly become a part of their world. I was no longer an outsider, a mere reader. I was with them in the room as they indulged in sweet banter; in the church, as they exchanged vows, in a do-it-yourself poetic wedding; in the boat, as they spent their honeymoon, rowing a vessel!

Something was amiss.. I was getting sucked into this emotional rollercoaster unconsciously! I closed the book and thought about the effect it was producing on me.

I tried to analyze… The story is simple enough. A rich boy has fallen in love with a poor girl, rebeled against his family and married the girl of his dreams, but as he is now broke, she is the one managing finances and both of them are trying hard to get over the bad times. Soon enough, in perhaps three years, Oliver Barrette does become a hotshot lawyer, who is paid handsomely by a prestigious firm, and their life is back on track. Pretty ordinary story, isn’t it?

No, its not, because Erich Segal’s narrative has weaved magic and I am in a trance! He isn’t writing a story, he is creating a World, a real world, where emotions matter, where a headstrong boy is smitten with a pretty but equally spirited girl. She is not just his wife, she is his perfect mirror, goading him to smash his adversaries and yet gently prodding him to make peace with his parents.


The characters in this story are so well developed that you can not but accept them as real people. And perhaps that’s why I skipped a heart beat when Jenny went missing. I too ran helter skelter with Oliver, praying for her. And I did feel relieved, when she was found sitting on the steps of their house itself.

After a small breather, I began reading the book once again. This time, knowing fully well that Segal plans to kill this girl pretty soon and I am going to cry over her death, much much against my own predicament. And, surely I did as I reached the last few pages and felt my heart weighed down, by Oliver’s loss. It’s one thing never to taste love but quite another to lose it.

I confess the book is the finest piece of romance I have read so far. I found it witty, funny, engrossing, moving and heartwrenching by turns! The story did take a few potshots at religion, athiesm and vain pride and I thoroughly enjoyed these overtures. Oliver Barrette IV was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, yet he resented his roots. Jennifer was born in working class, yet dreamed of flying higher. And together they spend some of the best moments, only to be separated cruelly after four short years.

Love Story is not a mushy mushy sappy romance, it’s not a coming of age story, it’s not a family saga.. it is something completely different. It’s much much more than that, defying all attempts to define. It is a classic in every aspect, a story that stays with its readers for years, so much so that mere mention of its name is nostalgic. And as I give finishing touch to this review, my emotions are still in a mess. Perhaps smudged ink on tear stained paper would have expressed my state better than this hurried review!! Erich Segal, you have got one more die hard fan in your kitty now! I am in love with your Love Story…


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