Monday, April 1, 2013
Love Story by Erich Segal
Skeptic scale: ♥♥♥♥♥
Allow me to transcribe the note I had scrawled as a young Skeptic in 1996 into the front cover of my ratty old copy of this book.
"ONLY READ THIS IF YOU WANT TO CRY UNCONTROLLABLY FOR MANY DAYS. DON'T DO IT. DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT. TOO MANY DAYS HAVE BEEN LOST MOPING AROUND AFTER READING THIS GDAMN BOOK. IT'S TOO MUCH.
ARE YOU LISTENING????"
But I never listen to good advice, even my own, and I have read this thing maybe once a year for the past 17 years. Why? Because I am a sucker and a huge, pathetic sap.
From the first line ("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.") to the last ("And then I did what I had never done in [my father's] presence, much less in his arms. I cried.") I am a sniveling, wet chump who has the inglorious distinction of falling for the same sh*t again - like that girlfriend you have who has daddy-issues and who Just Never Learns.
It's the old story of young lovers from two different worlds who give up everything to be with each other only for everything to be ripped away from them by death. Death, you miserable b@stard.
I know this is an old book, and everyone has probably already read it. But I saw it on the shelf this morning and I felt that familiar punch in my tummy and sat down to read the bits that I had underlined. Turned out that I had underlined stuff on almost every page so I ended up spending a couple hours zipping through the whole thing. Needless to say, my productivity levels today are shot.
It's beautiful and brilliant and even when I read it as a young sapling at 15, I knew that THIS was love. ES is funny, clever and heartbreaking and even though I am going to feel like cr@p all day now, I'm glad I knew this book.