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The Bridge Across Forever Hardcover – September 20, 1984

4.4 out of 5 stars 157 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Bestselling author Richard Bach explores the meaning of fate and soul mates in this modern-day fairytale based on his real-life relationship with actor Leslie Parrish. "This is a story about a knight who was dying, and the princess who saved his life," Bach writes in his opening greeting. "It's a story about beauty and beasts and spells and fortresses, about death-powers that seem and life-powers that are." Yes, it is all that, and more. On the earthly plane this is about the riveting love affair between two fully human people who are willing to explore time travel and other dimensions together even as they grapple with the earthly struggles of intimacy, commitment, smothering, and whose turn it is to cook. Their love affair and happy ending inspired many enthusiastic fans. Years later, some of these fans were devastated to discover that this match made in heaven didn't manage to stick (the couple are no longer together). But in an interview, Bach explained that lovers don't have to stay married forever to be lifetime soul mates. Read this as a lesson about love's enchantments and possibilities, but don't count on this book to keep you and your mate on the bridge across forever. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"To a public that desperately wants to believe in love, Bach says: Hang on. Take heart. There is such a thing as a soulmate." -- The Atlanta Constitution
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 315 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (September 20, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688039170
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688039172
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #714,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I used to love Richard Bach's books -- 'Illusions' and 'JLS' were both wonderful and had a huge impact on me as a child. I even enjoyed this book when it first came out in hardcover -- I was an idealistic teenager (and much more forgiving). But now as a 30something woman, in repurchasing the paperback again recently, I was really surprised at how terribly Richard Bach comes off as a character in his own book -- he's simply awful. Narcissistic, rude, smug, complacent, womanizing, and frankly just a ginormous jerk who's way too proud of his own 'humility' and 'growth.' I could barely get through the book this time out, I was so appalled at his behavior.

As others have commented, I was however equally reminded of what an amazing person Leslie Parrish seems to be. What's sad to me in re-reading it this past year, with all my own illusions a bit more dented by adulthood (and with the knowledge that Bach left his beautiful and intelligent 'soulmate' after twenty years of marriage because she wanted to live a grownup life and he didn't), is how obvious it is that Bach didn't learn from his own story, his own lessons -- even while congratulating himself nonstop on his 'evolution'.

While I once bought a lot more of his books (and ideas) than I do now, with their pretty words and ideas and metaphors, the fact is that Bach is writing books on how to live when he has no idea how to do it himself. This is a man who left his first wife and six children without a backward glance, and womanizes his way through the next decade or two, finally (and undeservedly) ends up with a fantastic person in Leslie Parrish -- only to leave her as well and move along to the next young cutie.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Leslie Parrish nails it when she writes, "Obviously, the development section is anathema to you. For it is where you may discover that all you have is a collection of severely limited ideas." Richard Bach's books "simply state and restate and restate themselves." He tends to seek magical solutions outside of himself, rather than plow within himself to unearth new and deep truths.
The best part of "The Bridge Across Forever," well worth the price of the book, is Leslie's letter to Richard. Is it a treasure to which I have returned many times over the years. And it is no wonder that Leslie and Richard are divorced, for Leslie nailed it right the first time.
"The Bridge Across Forever" is well worth reading for Leslie's perceptive analysis of the state of their relationship. It is interesting to read Richard's response to her insight, and at the same time tragic, for ultimately, he never gets it. He returns to his same old habits of denial and wishful thinking. "You are one of the most selfish people I have ever known," Leslie says. "I've needed my anger to keep you from trampling right over me, to let both of us know when enough is enough ... It is by NOT always thinking of yourself, if you can manage it, that you might someday be happy. Until you make room in your life for someone as important to you as yourself, you will always be lonely and searching and lost."
"Richard, how do you get someone to look around the corner when he hasn't reached it yet? I'd give anything if you could see what's there for us ... But if it's out of sight for you, I guess it doesn't exist, does it? Even if I'm looking at it, it's not really there."
"The Bridge Across Forever" is a story of both hope and, ultimately, despair.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm still amazed at the power of this simple autobiographical narrative to inspire vitriolic rhetoric among the chronically disappointed. I've read dozens of reviews of "Bridge..." that begin with the confession that the reviewer has never met Richard Bach--and knows little or nothing about him beyond his own description of himself--that then proceed with a string of indictments of his character, morals, philosophy, personal integrity, personal history, and his supposed lack of intellectual and literary prowess. Since they are based on little more than Bach's own narrative, it seems to me that these indictments reveal more about the reviewer than the one being reviewed.

I, too, re-read it after a nearly 20-year hiatus, and I agree that Mr. Bach doesn't come off all that well in the book. But remember, this is a SELF-portrait. It is, in fact, one of the most brutally honest portraits of personal frailty and vanity I have ever read. Remember, too, that everything we know about the "beautiful and intelligent" Leslie comes from Richard's own description of her--in contrast to himself. Who among us would be willing to reveal as much of his/her own frailty? The fact that he is willing to portray himself this way in front of the whole world actually gives me hope--in a perverse sort of way. If a guy who did all the things Richard Bach has been accused of doing can still find love and make it work for 20 years--well, then there's still hope for the rest of us.

I don't care a fig that it didn't work out in the long run for the real-life Richard and Leslie. (And I'd like to know Ms. Mitchell's source for her assertion that Richard Bach "left his beautiful and intelligent 'soulmate' after twenty years of marriage because she wanted to live a grownup life and he didn't.
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