Abhinav's Reviews > The Class

The Class by Erich Segal
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Feb 19, 12


Have you ever read a book that has the undefined power to take you through a journey even when you know that you are not a part of the theme but still feel the happiness, agony, frustration that the characters go through? That is what makes this work special, yet awesome and that is what you call the class in real sense.

Written about The Harvard class of 1958 (though fictional), Erich’s story circumscribes around the lives of five main characters who enter Harvard as children and exit as men who defy all the obstacles to become the heroes of the class of 1958. One peculiar virtue of Erich’s writings has been his mesmerizing way of defining his characters be it Love Story or be it Doctors (I haven’t read others) and how these characters, being special in their own, capture the theme of the story as a unit. The story talks about Danny Rossi, who breaks away from his father, to transform himself from a musical prodigy to an icon that the whole world bows when he takes the stage. There is Ted Lambros, who spends his Harvard years as a commuter, ascents to the top and finally achieves what he always craved for: tenure at Harvard. Then there is Jason Gilbert who is born as a hero, lives his life as a hero and also dies as a true hero. George Keller, the Hungarian, enters Harvard barely knowing the intricacies of English language but masters everything to reach a place where everyone aspires to be but only a few dare. And lastly, Andrew Eliot, who could not satiate himself with his entity and purpose of life, eventually finds solace at the end.

A good story cannot be but a striking balance between the ups and down of the life. And this is where Erich Segal has proved himself time and again. This reveals itself from the fact when Andrew writes in his diary “I guess he just didn’t know how to be happy. That's the one thing they can't teach you at Harvard”. Although all these men find whatever they ever desire, one thing they ultimately realize that there is one more thing that is above success, above all and that is happiness and it is priceless. The people get so much blinded by success that they forget that there even exists a word in the dictionary called success and that is what the author has tried to convey to his readers, and to this world. Another interesting feature that I could make out is Erich Segal’s ability to involve real events like war, elections etc and playing fictionally with the real characters that have stood out in the history, which makes this novel all the more real and less fictional and that is what enthralls the readers.

In my opinion I would juxtapose this book with all the other must reads because it truly justifies what we say in literal sense “vicarious thrill” of reading any book.
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