Eric

( 25 )

Overview

This is the bestselling story of Eric, a boy with leukemia who refused to give up living—as told by the person who was with him through it all, his mother.

     Eric was seventeen when he heard the doctor's verdict about the disease that wanted his life. At first he and his family could not believe it. Eric was the picture of everything a youth should be—a champion athlete, a splendid human being, vibrant with energy and loved by all who knew him.

     The doctors...

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Overview

This is the bestselling story of Eric, a boy with leukemia who refused to give up living—as told by the person who was with him through it all, his mother.

     Eric was seventeen when he heard the doctor's verdict about the disease that wanted his life. At first he and his family could not believe it. Eric was the picture of everything a youth should be—a champion athlete, a splendid human being, vibrant with energy and loved by all who knew him.

     The doctors could promise little. They would do as much as was medically possible. Eric had to do as much as was humanly possible. But if the odds were not good, they were good enough for Eric. Given the choice between life and death, Eric chose to live.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060956370
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/2000
  • Series: Harper Perennial
  • Edition description: 1ST PERENN
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 713,430
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Doris Lund was a writer for a variety of magazines, including Parents, Ladies Home Journal, and Good Housekeeping. She lives in Connecticut.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


Words on the blackboard in Eric's room during his last year:

We are all in the same boat, in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.
-- G. K. Chesterton


Good friends have said, "But how did it begin? You must have seen it coming."

No one could have seen it coming. This had been a summer like many others. We live in a small Connecticut town in a house just a block from the beach, so our vacations are usually spent at home, swimming, picnicking, patching up small boats. And the front hall that September was, as usual, full of sand, mysterious towels that didn't belong to us, and an assortment of swimming fins, soccer balls, and basketballs. Like many mothers, I was half longing for school to start, half dreading it. Our twenty-year-old daughter, Meredith, had been married for two years and lived a thousand miles away. Now Eric, seventeen, was packed and ready to go off for his freshman year at the University of Connecticut. We would still have fourteen-year-old Mark and ten-year-old Lisa at home. With Eric gone, there would be fewer kicked-off shoes in the living room, fewer crumbs and Coke bottles scattered around. Yet now and then, a glimpse of him running past our bedroom door would start me feeling wistful.

One late afternoon as I went through the house watering the plants, I found Eric stretched out on the living room couch. I knew he'd been running earlier up at the high school track, yet there was something now in his languid sprawl that made me pause. It was rare to see Eric lying down."Mom," he said, "I don't feel right. I haven't got it when I run.And my head hurts a little."

Scarcely more than a week ago he'd had the complete physical for entering freshmen--blood tests, X-rays, the works--and he'd passed it all without a single hitch.

"Does your throat hurt? Or your stomach?"

"No. I've just got a headache."

Tension, I thought. Going to college is the big jump. Only two days away. He'd been a star in a small arena. Class officer, member of the special Key Club, the Drama Club, but more than all this a soccer hero. The game hadn't come easily for him, though. In our town, Greek and Hungarian boys dribble soccer balls as soon as they climb out of their cribs.

"That Phil Kydes," I remember Eric saying mournfully. "He's got about a twelve-year start on me. I could practice twenty-four hours a day and never catch up. What a player! When I'm on a field with Kydes and Sahnas and Marmanides, it feels so great. I have such respect for guys like that."

But Eric had studied the game and driven himself to the point where he, too, was respected at last. They called him "the blond Greek," and this made him proud. They were a good team. Three times they took the county title in a playoff against their traditional rivals in neighboring Westport. Usually they made it to the state finals, and once they won the championship for the whole state of Connecticut. The mayor of our town and the governor had attended the banquet that celebrated this event.

Now, as a college freshman, he'd be starting all over at the bottom. There would be more Greeks, more Hungarians, more talent from all over the state coming to the big university. There would certainly be a struggle for places on the team.

And there was something else. While soccer filled Eric's world at the moment, and he enjoyed dressing and acting the part of the casual jock, he knew there was more to come. College asks the big questions, or at least makes you ask them of yourself. His father had been a brilliant student, graduating from college with many honors. He was also a powerful six-foot-four-inch champion athlete. Eric had always been a thin little fellow until he started to train for sports. Although he'd shot up in the past two years, he surely wouldn't be taller than six-foot-one or -two. In many ways, Sidney was a hard man for Eric to follow.

I was thinking of these things as I poured the last drops of water on the jade plant. What I said was, "I think maybe you've been pushing yourself too hard, Eric. It's awfully hot and muggy anyway. Why don't you ease up? I'm sure you're going to make it at school."

He gave me the look that sons have given mothers for a thousand years. To avoid more conversation, he went out on the porch and lay down again to wait for supper.

The following afternoon Eric and I both wanted the car at the same moment. He wasn't languid now. He was dressed for action: soccer shorts, Adidas running shoes. "I've got to run at the track, Mom. I've only got two more days and I'm not in shape."

I was holding a sheaf of corrected type proofs Sidney had left for me to take to the printer. He was on a business trip. A few months before, he had been "reorganized" out of his job after seventeen years with the same firm in New York. Now I was trying to help him; we were both free-lancing--writing, drawing, doing everything we could to keep the boat afloat. Clearly work outranks sports, but Eric had his need.

"Look, you drive us to the field," I said. "Then I'll take the car and go to the printer's. I'll do a few other errands and pick you up later."

"Okay." He scowled to show me it was a compromise, got in, and started the...

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Great Book

    Read this book in 8th grade and it changed my views on life.Very well written.

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  • Posted June 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A wonderful book that will make you laugh and cry.

    I read this book years ago and still remember the story line and the emotions that it brought forth. It's wonderfully written and I really enjoyed it. It makes you stand back and realize that the things that come to us in life shouldn't be taken for granted as you read about this boy and his stuggle.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2006

    Fantastic book

    Eric..was a classic we had to read in 8th grade,after I read the first chapter I eneded up being at least three chapters ahead of our class.I could not place this book down for I was captivated by this mans courage and deterinmation to live a normal life.I often thought how much I would of liked to of met Eric and thanked him for the impact he made on my life.Often we go thru life complaining of the lil things that disturb us or make us uncomfortable but these patients who suffer and their families who endure it,makes our every day problems seem almost neal.Eric was a book I will never forget and after almost 25 years I remember every thing in the book,Doris Lund opened up her life for us all to have a glimpse into it and I thank her for that bravery,I know Eric is looking down from the heavens and smiling knowing his disease has helped many others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2006

    INSPIRING

    This book makes you appreciate life. Eric's story inspired and fascinated me. His strength and courage is something everyone should read about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2006

    Touching, and book for your spirit

    I'm not a reader, i coud count all the books i've read with my fingers, but this one, was so AMAZING, beautifuly written, I read the spanish version of it and adored it... bought some english versions to give to some friends as presents, and they all loved it, this' a book that'll help you appreciate and value what life gives you, I've had it for about 10 years now, and still keep it as a treasure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2006

    Unbelieveable

    I actually cried when I read this book. I would only recommend it to people who dont get upset easily because this is an upsetting book but very good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2005

    Eric

    This book has stayed with me for 22 years. I read it over the summer (required reading)right before I started high school. I am now ordering it for my 11 year old to read over the summer. It is a powerful, heart wrenching book. A truly wonderful read. You will not be able to put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2005

    HEARTBRAKING

    i read this book and almost cried i will never forget this book it is great and i am so glad i read it!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2004

    Heart Breaking

    I liked this book. I had to read a biography for school and trust me I picked the right one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2004

    Eric

    I first read this book when I was a teenager. It made such a wonderful impression on me. I truly felt as if I was in Eric's struggle with him. It was the first book that made me cry. I am 36 years old now and can't wait for my three children to be ready to read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2004

    Powerful

    This is one of the first books I ordered while in high school (I am now 37)and have read it several times since. I recently reordered the book because mine 'gave out' from so many people reading it. This heart wrenching and heart warming story of a young man's will to survive shows how one persons life affects so many. A must read anytime you need to find stregnth, because if Eric and his family and friends can endure what they went through, we can endure just about anything.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2004

    NOT AS GOOD AS EXPECTED

    All my friends told me that this was an unforgettable book, yet I cannot even now even remember any of the main events. This book moves very slowly, and some parts just seemed to drag on and on forever. And my friends told me that I was going to cry my eyes out, didn't really happen. I didn't feel connected to Eric. Doris was always talking about HER doing Eric's remission that I knew more about her than Eric! But, I think that Eric is still someone to look up to for his 'not giving up' attitude. I would still reccomend this to someone for a summer reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2004

    very memorable

    This was the first 'grown up' book I read as a kid. I'm now 37 and I've never forgotten it. I will definitely make the book available for my kids to read when they are old enough.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2004

    VERY TOUCHING

    The touching story of Eric will remain in my heart forever.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2003

    ERIC

    A few months ago my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. I picked up this book at my high school. We had to find a book that was 'biology' related and then write a book report on it. This book has truly changed my life. I didnt know all the struggles that cancer patients had to go through. I didnt know about all the sickness, or all the drugs. This book has truly taught me not to take things for granted. EVER. Thank you Doris Lund.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2003

    Excellent Book

    I read this book when it was first published all those years ago, and it has stuck with me ever since. I remember how the song 'Beginnings' by Chicago was Eric's favorite song. Great, great book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2003

    Best Book Ever!

    I read this book when I was a teen. 20 years later and I still remember it all! I am now looking to buy it for my 18yr old daughter to read. It touched me like no other story ever to this day. Wonderful written story about a true life experience. Written like no other. I saw the movie many years ago and wish I could see it again. Would be great if it was on VHS.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2002

    I Shed a Tear for Every Page I Turned

    Eric was an unforgettable book. It was tragic and the story of a dying boys life, but it had some amazing aspects to it. Eric taught me about values, and living life to the best of my abilities, even when I think the world has caved in on me. You can only make life as bad as you want it to be, and you have the power to make life as good as you want it to be. Eric taught us this. Eric taught us how life should be lived in a perfect world. I'm using Erics way of living in my own world now, while I battle with melanoma, a form of skin cancer. I would recomend this book to anyone who likes to shed tears while reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2002

    This Book Changed My Life!!!

    I first read this book when I was in junior high. It immediately became one of my all time favorite books. Over the years I read it over and over. Every time wishing more that I had a chance to meet Eric. When I was in College I was strugling with what to do with my life. It was while I was reading Eric again that it struck me that I wanted to do something that helps people like him. I decided to go into Blood Banking. The decision is one that I will always remember Eric for. Then about four years ago I experienced Lukemia first hand. A dear family member was struck ill with the disease. We lost her to the battle. So now my career choice has even more meaning. Thank you to Mrs. Lund for sharing your son with us. Read this book. It is amazing. You wont be sorry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2002

    Encouragement

    This book has encouraged me to live life every day, as if I'll never see my family or friends again. Because of this book, I am considering majoring in something having to do with people who have leukemia. It is a strong disease that can overpower you in a blink. I would like to meet anyone who might be as wonderful as Eric Lund was. I truly respect Doris Lund for writing this book, and being an example to me, and other people as well.

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