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Love means never having to say you're sorry, except that's buuuuullshit

All right, this post will be entirely full of spoilers, so if you've somehow made it 43 years without knowing the plot of Love Story and were REALLY looking forward to reading or watching it, I guess skip this post.


That is my awesome copy that cost me $1.25. I'd like to point out -- number 1 bestseller and on the bestseller list for NINE. MONTHS. That book is tiny. Less than 150 pages tiny. Why do our bestselling novels nowadays have to be GINORMOUS? It makes no sense. Our attention spans are less than they were in previous decades, yet we're expected to read some person's 700 page tome called The Sad Truth About Violets

And I know Love Story is from 1970 and surrounded by 1970s hippie nonsense, but here's the thing: I really, really liked it.

So basically, it's all narrated by the male lead, Oliver, who's a senior at Harvard and comes from gobs of money and plays hockey very well and has ISSUES WITH HIS FATHER, which normally would make me put the book down right away, as strained father/son relationships are the most overdone thing on the planet. Author, this is fascinating to you and only you. Maybe see a therapist.

I'm just sayin' it's been done

BUT, in this book, I was totally fine with it. Partially because I genuinely liked the narrator a lot. There are so many potholes you can fall into in novels from the 1960s and '70s -- ex: something like Philip Roth where you've been psychoanalyzed to death and you're overly self-aware and constantly thinking about what your actions could mean about your subconscious desires and so all your writing is trying to get ahead of the reader and say "Yes I already know this about myself and ha-hah, look how I act towards my mother, maybe I'm into her -- didn't think I'd be THAT OKAY with myself, did you?"

This narrator doesn't do that. He just tells you the story of him and the girl he falls in love with. And it's charming. And normal. And great. And I got a bit weepy.

They meet (at a library) and she's refreshingly blunt and he's flummoxed by this and she comes to his hockey games and gets happy when he punches people (which, to be honest, is another kind of refreshing) and they get engaged in a delightful way and get married and she puts him through law school and then he graduates and gets a nice job and is SO EXCITED because he can buy her things and they were so poor before, and then they try to have a baby and can't and they go to the doctor and the doctor says -- Jenny's sick.

Jenny has leukemia and she dies. It's such a short book. My main reasoning on why it had to have been so popular is their relationship is real. It's so real and relatable and there's nothing really that dramatic or out of the ordinary, but you love them because they genuinely love each other.

My two issues with the book (which you can read in less than an hour, by the way) are 1) The most famous part, which was made fun of in the film What's Up, Doc (starring one of the leads of the film version of Love Story):


Love means never having to say you're sorry? EHHH. WRONG. I say sorry to my friends ALL. THE. TIME. They know I love them, but if you act like an asshole to someone, you respect the damn relationship by apologizing to them. (I'd say 'or don't act like an asshole in the first place,' but everyone's got their days, amirite) I cannot even imagine life without the concept of apology. It sounds awful.

So there's that. Then there's something that's way more indicative of the time, but because I was born in the '80s still prompted a big 'WTF': Jenny's sick. The doctor calls OLIVER and tells him to come to his office. Where the doctor tells OLIVER that Jenny is sick, and they both agree NOT TO TELL JENNY. "We're gonna let you worry on your own in a delightful state of mysterious agony over what's wrong with you and why you feel terrible all the time." 



And the doctor is totally good with keeping this from her. She has MONTHS OR WEEKS TO LIVE and she does not know. Because Oliver and the doctor decide it's better for her. OMG.

So aside from that. Great, great, awesome book. And that's probably an embarrassing opinion, but

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