Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Love Means Never Making Me Read That Book Again

We remember, oh, so well, the mania that erupted, when the book, soon followed by one of the sappiest movie ever made, came out, the buzz, the hosannas for the work ...

And, if you had sisters, holy cow, it was 24/7, over-the-moon, heart-clutching anguish, bemoaning the wait for their "Oliver" to come driving up in a little MG.

You couldn't escape it.

So, we pose a query to you out there.

Who else has gone so far, with so little?

Erich Segal, 72; authored hugely popular ‘Love Story’

He had originally written “Love Story’’ as a screenplay about the star-crossed love between a working-class Italian girl from Radcliffe and a Harvard boy from an old family. The 1970 film, which starred Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal and became a huge hit, was in production before Dr. Segal reworked it as a novel. When “Love Story’’ was released in paperback, it had the largest print order in publishing history at the time, with 4,325,000 copies.

Although Dr. Segal’s work resonated with the public, critics almost uniformly lambasted it. The judges for the National Book Award threatened to resign unless “Love Story’’ was withdrawn from nomination.

“It is a banal book which simply doesn’t qualify as literature,’’ said novelist William Styron, the head judge of the fiction panel.

But thrust into the limelight, Dr. Segal made weekend jaunts to Paris and London, returning to Yale for his classes on classical civilization. Dr. Segal also parlayed his love of running and knowledge of ancient Greece into a job as an ABC TV commentator for the Olympic Games.

If that was today, he'd have his own Reality television show, by now.

What love really means is never making me read that book again

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