Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wacky Wednesday - LOVE STORY by Erich Segal: A Manual on HOW NOT TO ROMANCE A MAN

In 1970, Erich Segal published the hit novel, LOVE STORY and on December 16, 1970 the movie was released to acclaimed reviews and became a huge hit. That was the year I was in junior high (aka known as middle school these days). I read LOVE STORY when it was first released and later that same year when the movie released, I saw that too. Recently, Avon Romance sent me a copy of LOVE STORY by Erich Segal re-released on May 29, 2012. I thought about re-reading it but then I remembered how I felt about it the last time I did read it. By the way, I've read it more than once and seen the movie a couple of times, too. Yes, it's been around that long.

I was 12 years old the first time I read LOVE STORY and thought it the greatest romance story ever written. I thought it as tragic as ROMEO AND JULIET. I thought the characters were as destined for one another as Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler but never destined to live our their lives in bliss. I loved the book so much that I eagerly anticipated the film and wept at the end when Jennifer lay dying in her hospital bed looking like the supermodel that she really was. It's easy to get that past adolescent girls.

I was in my thirties when I came across my original copy of LOVE STORY by Erich Segal and opened it to delve into the undying love that I remembered between Jennifer Cavilleri and Oliver Barrett III. When I finished, I thought - what a bitch! Some time later, I came across the movie on HBO or such and sat down to watch. I cringed at the dialogue, I cringed at Ms. McGraw's look-down-her-nose attitude and I wanted to punch Ollie in the gut and tell him to man up!

LOVE STORY by Erich Segal is a classic and something I believe every woman and every man should read so that they may learn from it.

Women will learn that THIS is not the way to treat a man who is willing to walk over hot coals for you, treats you like you're the most precious thing on earth, and tolerates your constant berating. THIS is NOT the way to ROMANCE any man. I've seen it many times over the years - a really nice man, a truly kind, generous man who any other woman would kill over to claim as her own completely and utterly controlled by a vicious, denigrating bitch of a wife who has no idea what a great guy she has and doesn't particularly care as long as she is in complete control. This is Jennifer Cavilleri.

Men will learn that THIS is not the kind of woman you want in your life. Oh yes, the opposites attract theorem is fabulous in Romance Novels, the I hate you but can't resist you sexual draw that we love to read in our novels but disdain in real life. You have to truly like each other and respect each other to fall in love with each other. Only a masochist would even wish to be married to a woman who denigrates you constantly, expounding on how much smarter she is, how her less than wealthy roots makes for a better person, calls you 'preppie' every minute of the day when not referring to you by your last name and even orders you away from her death bed.

What were we thinking when we thought this a love story?

It's still a great read despite my seeing it now with wiser, more experienced eyes. It will make you think and perhaps make you sigh for it still has the best first three lines ever - 
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?

I'd like to give my new copy away to someone who hasn't read LOVE STORY yet. Is that you?

Blurb for LOVE STORY:

Oliver Barrett IV, a wealthy jock from a stuffy WASP family on his way to a Harvard degree and a career in law . . . Jenny Cavilleri, a sharp-tongued, working-class beauty studying music at Radcliffe . . .

Opposites in nearly every way, Oliver and Jenny are kindred spirits from vastly different worlds. Falling deeply and powerfully, their attraction to one another defies everything they have ever believed—as they share a passion far greater than anything they dreamed possible . . . and explore the wonder of a love that must end too soon.

One of the most adored novels of our time, this is the book that defined a generation—a story of uncompromising devotion, of life as it really is . . . and love that changes everything.

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GIVEAWAY -
Comment (any comment will do - I love hearing what you have to say) and leave me an EMAIL ADDRESS to be entered for a chance to win my copy of LOVE STORY by Erich Segal.
This Giveaway is OPEN to US RESIDENTS ONLY!
You will be entered only if you leave an email address in the comment - Remember, to enter:
COMMENT + EMAIL ADDRESS = ENTRY!!

Giveaway will run until 11:30PM EDT, Friday, July 20, 2012. Winners will be randomly chosen and announced in a special Saturday post. Good Luck! 

Happy Reading Everyone!!     THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!

LOVE STORY by Erich Segal, Avon, re-release date May 29, 2012, available in print and ebook formats.

                                                                

14 comments:

Nikki said...

Great post!

I must find this movie :)

Amy Valentini said...

Netflix Nikki!!! : )

bn100 said...

Nice post. I've never read this book.

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

erin said...

thanks for the great post and giveaway! This book sounds fabulous :)

Anonymous said...

Amy! Shame on you! This is the ONLY book my mother EVER told me I couldn't read, but I was only 11 when it came out. I read it anyway. Read it fairly often, watch the movie when I can and cry my eyes out while doing either of those 2 things or just hearing the theme makes me bawl like a baby.
Don't you think you were a little harsh? Come on, Jennifer calling Oliver "Preppie" was a term of endearment as far as I could see and I never felt like she was putting him down as much as she was trying to make herself look better for (not to, but FOR) him. But we do know love DOES mean saying you're sorry, and usually saying it often!

Amy C

Amy Valentini said...

LOL!! Amy C, I'm not saying it was a bad book merely that seeing it through adult eyes opened it up to criticism. I did say that EVERYONE should read it, didn't I? ; )

Having read this again after reading P & P, I couldn't help but think of Lizzie telling Darcy how insulted she was that he proclaim his love for her even as it went against his own best judgement. That was how I felt about this relationship - Jen was a snob and felt poor Ollie with all of his name, wealth and family connections was beneath her and she reminded him of it every day even as she admonished herself for loving him.
I'm glad you still idolize this story - it's a modern CLASSIC! : )

Jen Shields said...

Thanks for opening my eyes, I had never heard about this book before. Sounds quite controversial!

Anonymous said...

Jen, you've never heard of this book before? OMG I feel so OLD!!!!

And Amy, Yeah, I've always thought Jennifer was self=deprication (did I spell that corrctly?). She never felt as though she measured up to Oliver (sorry, I can't call him"Ollie", that's my father-in-law's nam and Oliver is my grandson's name :) ) so se kind of put him down to feel more equal to him.
I DO know why my mother didn't want me to read this, all the 4-letter words, of which I was still pretty virginal about. BUT, our little bitty town had a great library with a GIANT encyclopdia and so I just looked up all those words I didn't know! Man, what an education that was!!!
Amy C

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, EVERYONE should watch the movie after they read the book, of course. Any OPRAH fans out there may remember her last season she had Ryan O'Neil and Ali McGraw on for an intervew since it's like the 40th anniversary of the movie. It was Ryan's first interview after Farrah had passed away but he did add some humor to the interview. Oprah asked him if he ever thought he'd fall in love again and he looked at Ali and said something along the lines of, "yes, say what are you doing later?". It was so sweet and loving and so Ryan O'Neil.
Amy C

Zippy said...

I've never heard of this book! I would love to win! Kim C.

Amy Valentini said...

Jen and Zippy (Kim C) - if either of you would like a chance at winning this copy of LOVE STORY, you MUST leave an email address, it's part of the entry process. Thanks for visiting.

Amy Valentini said...

Amy C, forbidden fruit alway tastes better than fruit allowed.

I think about the times in which Mr. Segal wrote this book. Women were seeking to be empowered through their actions and their words. Many female characters were being portrayed like Jennifer Cavilleri - independent and tough while terrified of failing. Women weren't yet comfortable in their new freedoms. I think this is the reason we, as adult women who experienced the times as young girls grew out of it with more self-reliance and self-esteem but see a character like this as shrewish. Just a thought. : )

Neha said...

If you have read Love Story, please erase all your expectations you have on this book.
The story revolves around the after-life of Oliver (the lead character), after losing his wife, Jenny, with whom he was deeply in love with. After two years of his lose, he is more single than anything. The time he spent with Jenny, together, was brief, but it was enough to last a lifetime. Now, after 2 years that incident, he wants to move on. He wants to get out of that darkness called loneliness.

Amy Valentini said...

Neha, you're talking about OLIVER'S STORY. I read that one, too. I actually liked LOVE STORY better but don't anyone get me wrong. These were both intensely emotional love stories and definitely worth the reading time.

Thanks Neha. :-)

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