Books: Yardbirds the Class

by Erich Segal Bantam; 592 pages; $17.95

As every author knows, people are reading lighter these days. A chapter can't be too short; a character can't be too thin or too rich. It doesn't hurt to have walk-on parts for real celebrities. Erich Segal is an able practitioner of glitz lit. As a classics scholar (he has taught at Harvard, Yale and Princeton), he understands that readers never tire of seeing the proud and the privileged lowered by fate. Love Story, his bittersweet ode to the Ivy League, established him as the preppies' Pindar. The Class is his bid to be their Homer.

The new novel follows the...

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