"Love Story" By Erich Segal

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ERICH SEGAL "LOVE STORY"(BOOK REPORT) During next ten minutes I would like to speak about the book by Erich Segal "Love Story". The first introduction to Segal and his works was rather prosaic. For the first time I read this book when I was a schoolgirl. There was such subject as World Culture. One day my classmates and I got the task to read Segal's "Love Story" for the further discussion. Since that time Erich Segal has become one of my favourite writers.

Being a professor of literature at Yale, he is also well-known as the author of scholarly books on classical antiquity and is considered a member of the National Advisory Council of the Peace Corps. Besides this, Segal is a screenwriter. The screenplay to the Beatles' Yellow Submarine is his brainchild.

When "Love Story" was published he was hailed as "the first important new writer of the 70's" and almost immediately the book became the number one bestseller.

The screen adaptation of the book made the headlines. The names of Ali McGraw (Jenny) and Ryan O'Neal (Oliver) were on everyone's lips. Moreover, Ali McGraw was proclaimed as a trendsetter. Thanks to her, the so-called "college style" became very popular again.

However, on the face of it there are no reasons for reading "Love Story" by Erich Segal. A preppie millionaire and a social zero's love story is a rather tedious plot with all inseparable components that are characteristic for saccharine novels. Yet, the book, written like a diary, made my emotions vibrate. Very memorable characterizations haunted me long after I had finished it.

The meeting of Oliver Barrett IV and Jennifer Cavilleri in the college's library became fated for both. The offspring of the famous millionaires and the daughter of the pasta chef understood that it was love at first sight. After graduation they decided to get married. In the eyes of Oliver Barrett III the marriage was a misalliance. There was nothing left for Oliver but to walk out of his father's life and begin his own.

With the marvelous economy of the words, the writer conveys complicated feelings of the lovers rather than mere descriptions, and it is not so much what he does say as what he leaves to us to grasp between the words. It is these simplicity and lucidity of the author's style that foregrounds love. Love, which was born out of the blue. Love, which was so candid. Love, which drastically changed Oliver's and Jenny's lives.

Truly the life did switch for the newly-weds. "If a single word can describe our daily life during those three years, it is "scrounge". Before Oliver was called to the bar, he'd learned to like spaghetti, and Jenny'd learned every conceivable recipe to make pasta seem like something else. "And there is nothing romantic about it." But a genuine love, mutual understanding and patience were with Oliver and Jenny all the way.

What astonishes me most is the author's knowledge of the life-style of the youngers, their deep commitments their independence towards the parents.

The nightmare began whereas the young couple was obsessed with the idea of making a baby. Oliver was told that his wife at the age of twenty-five was dying from the incurable form of leukaemia. Till the last minute of Jenny's life, Oliver tried to act normally. The death did Jenny and Oliver part but became a push for reconciliation between the father and the son.

Having woven a mesmerizing novel about love, Segal has managed to stay at the heart of the matter and avoid a sticky bit. In a subtle manner he reminds us about love - supreme thing in life.

At the end I want to recite the words of Paul Goldberger, a man from New Journal. "Segal hag tricked us into reading a novel about youth today that hag little sex, no drugs, and a tear-jerking ending; and worse, he has made us love it, ponder it, and feel it to be completely contemporary."