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A Gift of Wings Mass Market Paperback – October 2, 1989


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A Gift of Wings + Jonathan Livingston Seagull: The Complete Edition + Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (October 2, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440204321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440204329
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"He captures the sheer exhilaration, at moments approaching exaltation, that he experiences up there." -- San Francisco Chronicle.

From the Publisher

"He captures the sheer exhilaration, at moments approaching exaltation, that he experiences up there." -- San Francisco Chronicle.

Customer Reviews

A great book, every pilot should read.
Alfred E Todd
Now that I've finished it, I must say, not only do I like it, not only do I love it, but now I want to take flying lessons!
Lincoln Buff 2
A wonderful collection of short stories dedicated to the joy of flying... just for the enjoyable aspect.
gcarter@jetnet.ab.ca

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Rod R. on December 10, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"A Gift of Wings" and Bach's "Stranger to the Ground," led to my earning a Private Pilot's License, the second most influential event in my life. After reading Bach, I had little choice: I had to fly solo, above the clouds and earth, and experience the trancendental moments he described, or my life would be incomplete, perhaps even wasted.
This is my flying "Bible." Whenever I need inspiration, whether related to life or flying, a few chapters will renew my spirits and leave me yearning to fly, my cynicism, anger or depression evaporated by his lovely words. Some of his deeply heartfelt sentiments are so beautiful, it brings tears to my eyes, even after the 20th reading.
Bach will convince you that the invention of the airplane was mankind's singular greatest accomplishment, not for it's technical achievement, but for it's affect on the human spirit.
I own a hardbound copy which I hope to have Bach autograph. I bought 20 paperback copies: one for my car, several at my airport office, one at my bedside, and the some given away to private and airline pilots, who having lived some of Bach's magic moments in the air, can appreciate his insights. The rest are reserved for unsuspecting, non-flying "groundpounders" I will meet, who are about to have a life changing experience, when I bestow upon them - "A Gift of Wings."
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Dave English VINE VOICE on August 9, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For pilots and lovers of flight, this is a 'must have' book. It's a collection of 48 magazine articles Richard Bach wrote from the the late 1960's/early 1070's (with a couple of even earlier ones). They originally appeared in Flying, Air Progress, Private Pilot, Argosy, Sport Flying, and Air Facts. The topics range from classic Bach railing against the FAA by cheering for the Outlaws, to barnstorming, to Egyptians flying, to applying at United Airlines. There is an awesome article describing his favourite books, his relationship with pilots that write, complete with a reading list. There is even a little one-page article from 1959, 'There's something the matter with seagulls.' He was thinking about seagull acrobatics for a while . . .
It's all flying and thoughts about flying. Unlocking the magic box of flight with wonderful words.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John R. Linnell on December 27, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book soon after I started taking flying lessons in 1975. I have given copies of it to friends with the inscription: "If you want to know the heart of a pilot...read on." The short stories about various aspects of the flying experience in this book are about a lot more than flying...and you will enjoy them whether or not you have ever landed a taildragger on a grass strip or felt the joy of your first solo flight. Give yourself a present and read this wonderful collection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Matthew on January 6, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Bach describes flight like no one else. This book is the closest one can describe the feelings of adventure in the air with words.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Larry Foster on September 16, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book almost by accident at a critical time in my life. The improbable spiritual experiences which Richard accounts in a variety of ways in this collection of his earlier short stories have been repeatedly fulfilled in my life in ways I would not believe had I not lived them. Sharing the story, "Aviation or flying.......", with my wife brought me to tears, resulting in her immediate response of, "I think you'd better get your a__ to the airport", and she didn't have to ask me twice. The end result was life changing in that I knew within 24 hours what I wanted to do with my life. I set my sights on a livelihood of flying, pursued that goal vigorously and totally for the next ten years, and ended with 7000 hours of pure joy as an Alaska bush pilot. I could write my own book of the wonderful, and spiritual, experiences I have enjoyed over the past quarter century as a direct result of reading one little book. Thank you, Richard Bach, for sharing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "icesanpedro" on May 21, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one one of the few but great books on my bedside table. Ever since a sentimental favorite book of mine. Eversince taking up and graduating Aeronuatical Engineering in college and a flying course after, this book together with the Bible was always on my flightbag thereafter. Now I even have a copy in my office. It supplied me with inspiration and motivation. It describes the joy in fying, the drama and excitement of flight and the philosophy of the air. A wonderful book and true adventure in a paperback book to aviators and non-aviators of all ages!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Paul on November 20, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Richard Bach describes the marvel of flight so well in his easily-digested shorts about airplanes, personal journeys, and philosophy. I almost don't need the book anymore- several of the stories are so easily recalled, not for their context of wings and propellers and runways, but for the enthusiastic care for freedom and self-determination that Bach extends to the reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian Lansburgh on January 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many years ago a writer created tremendous excitement with a bestselling book. The book was "Jonathon Livingston Seagull" and the writer was Richard Bach.
The "Bird Book" was followed by several others, including "Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah". Bach was THE aviation writer of his time, although his themes were universal and concerned with life as much as flying. He took his place in a line of great aviation writers including Earnest Gann, Antoine d'St Exupery and, my favorite, Neville Shute. Shamefully, there are now many young pilots who have never heard of Richard Bach or any of those others.
During his peak years of popularity, Bach published a book that didn't get the acclaim of his others. It was called "A Gift of Wings" and was a collection of short stories that he had written for aviation magazines. Among those stories were "Found at Pharisee" and "School for Perfection". They were fantasies featuring a dashing bandit pilot named Drake and his henchmen. The outlaws operated out of a hidden cave/hangar complex and ran a school which taught flying from its most basic and elemental parts. "Found at Pharisee" was delightfully told in the first person by a pilot who exemplified minimum standards training, who thought safety lay in blind obedience to the regs (wow, do I meet a lot of THOSE) and through whose outraged eyes we met the band of outlaw pilots. The outlaws scoffed at any regulation. They preferred common sense and the mastery of flying skills. They would have nothing to do with the minimum standards of flight instruction or mechanics' licensing.
"School for Perfection" featured the school seen through the eyes of a dispirited flight instructor who had just lost a student. Drake's school rejuvenated him.
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More About the Author

Since Jonathan Livingston Seagull - which dominated the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List for two consecutive years - Richard Bach has touched millions of people through his humor, wisdom and insight.

With over 60 million copies of his books sold, Richard Bach remains one of the world's most beloved authors. A former USAF fighter pilot, Air Force captain and latter-day barnstorming pilot, Bach continues to be an avid aviator-author, exploring and chronicling the joys and freedom of flying, reporting his findings to his devoted fans.

His most recent works include Travels with Puff, which recounts Bach's journey from Florida to Washington state in his small seaplane, Puff, and Illusions II: The Adventures of a Reluctant Student, which incorporates Bach's real-life plane crash.

In October 2014, the never-before-published Part Four to Jonathan Livingston Seagull was published.

Fans and readers can find more about Richard and his work at www.richardbach.com


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