BONUS BOOK: Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

“The learning curve of a highly motivated seagull goes on steeply off the top of any graph, and now and then there were students who overcame limits so perfectly that they disappeared, as Jonathan had, from the face of an earth too limited to contain them.”

Genre: Fiction

Book Jacket Synopsis: “This book is a song for spirits who have lived so long and so quietly by themselves. Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a story for readers who know that somewhere there’s a higher way of living than scuffling the tracks of others; a story for someone who yearns to fly. It’s a reminder, this little fable, that the path for us to follow is already written within. Others may watch, they may admire our resolution or despise it, but our one freedom is to love and to choose to live every day of our lives as we wish.”

Review: I, like many others, first read Jonathan Livingston Seagull as an assignment in a high school literature class. I remember liking it for three reasons: 1) It was short, 2) It had pictures, and 3) There were some really nice quotes and passages.

“Because number is a limit, and perfection doesn’t have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there.”

Many years later, I still appreciate Jonathan Livingston Seagull for those three reasons. I think the mode of storytelling is unique and the incorporation of images of seagulls keeps the reader engaged. I actually enjoyed this reading more than my first one because Richard Bach published a fourth part of  Jonathan Livingston Seagull in the spring of 2013. The fourth part is now my favorite , as it takes an interesting look at how religion and ritual can diminish our own true sense of freedom and enlightenment.

“They were honored, and worse – revered, but they were no longer heard, and the birds who practiced flying were fewer and fewer.”

Jonathan Livingston Seagull can definitely get preachy at times, and the metaphor of a seagull who really wants to fly repeatedly punches you in the face. But I understand why this book is a classic and I especially like the story now that Bach has published the fourth and final part.

“So, why didn’t I burn it? Don’t know. I put it away, the last part of the book believed in itself when I didn’t. It knew what I refused: the forces of rulers and ritual slowly, slowly will kill our freedom to live as we choose.”




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