on July 31, 2001
I read "Illusions" by the same author when I was 13 or so, and it opened my eyes to the fearful clinging and self-doubt that prevents so many people from reaching their full potential. Reading "One" twenty years later made me feel ashamed of the opportunities I had let slip past, and of the neglectful way I often treat my future self. It also renewed my resolve to take responsibility for my every dream, doubt, achievement, and failure. And it made me appreciate Richard Bach that much more for writing the two books that have most influenced my outlook on life.
Every choice you make in every moment of your life, whether it's your whim to smile at a stranger in an elevator, your last-minute decision to eat a healthy meal instead of an artery-clogging one, or your whim to read one book and not another affects more than your next few seconds or minutes or hours. It can affect your entire future and the lives of others. I missed this point when I read "Illusions"; "One" drove it home.
"One" isn't as tidy as "Illusions." It introduces a lot of ideas but doesn't follow through on some of them to the extent that "Illusions" did. You may find this either a blessing or a curse, depending on how much material you need before you can run with it on your own.
There's a lot more to the book than what I've mentioned. Some of it bored me and some of it even annoyed me, but that happens when we listen to our best friends speak with candor. Maybe it was something I already knew; maybe it was something I'm not ready to know yet; or maybe it was just plain wrong. Bach shares his soul generously and we're free to take it or leave it. What we learn, or fail to learn, from an experience is also a choice. What I learned in "One" may escape your notice entirely. What I failed to learn may be your epiphany.
Or not. Because everything in this review may be wrong. :-)
on August 3, 1999
The first book I ever read that was written by Richard Bach was Illusions. I loved it. I thought that, surely, this was his best book. Then I read ONE. ONE is the most beautiful journey anyone can ever take. It inspires, touches, questions, teaches, and makes you one with Richard and Leslie.I've read almost all of Bach's writings and ONE is still,most definitely, my all time favourite book. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it already.
What is most striking about the language(in all his books) is its simplicity and that in itself is wonderfully different and refreshing.
I can only say that if you haven't read this book yet, you are missing out on something exquisite and rare!
on September 12, 2004
Have you ever read a book that made you stop and think? One that is different than all the others?
Over the past weekend I read Richard Bach's book, "one". It is a book that is written in a story format; one that has many messages in it and one that makes you stop and think.
It is about choices we make. And how the direction of our lives comes down to the choices we choose. To quote from the book: "A tiny change today brings us to a dramatically different tomorrow. There are grand rewards for those who pick the high hard roads, but those rewards are hidden by years. Every choice is made in the uncaring blind, no guarantees form the world around us."
I found myself involved in the story, when I finished the book I had many thoughts about my own life. It is a book that I would recommend you to read!
On the back cover the following quote is shown. It is a good quote for reflection!
"I gave my life to become the person I am right now.
Was it worth it?"
on December 5, 2006
On a business trip in 1990, I took a detour to visit my hometown of Bedford, Va. and stopped at a nondescript drugstore. While walking down an aisle, a tiny book flew out of the shelf (from two feet away) and landed on the floor in front of my moving feet. No problem. I got the message.
Over the last 35 years I've read hundreds of seminal books on transformation, attended seminars with high profile teachers, traveled to energy vortexes around the planet.....but ONE stands alone as the only book to ever blow my mind apart. Getting wacked in the pyramid at Palenque rivaled the mind-altering potency of this secret jewel, but ONE is available for everyone for 5 bucks.
The characters didn't matter, the writing didn't matter, the information didn't matter. What mattered was the underlying structure, the mathematics of the Is-ness that transcended the words and spoke in a silent language throughout the book. This non-verbal energy field shifted and restructured my thought process. My mind remains stupefied and still shakes the head surrounding it at the memory of this amazing adventure.
The magnificent mind, our greatest block to Beingness, must surrender its hold (thinking) or we cannot actualize. ONE was a major player in giving my mind the understanding it needed to LET GO! No contest, the NOW wins. It's the only book that has my SUPERRRRR-STAR rating.
on April 25, 2001
"One" is a deep, thought-provoking book. If you haven't read "Illusions" (and I highly recommend that you do!) you may founder a bit at the beginning, but you'll soon find your footing in Richard Bach's presentation of parallel lives based on choices we've made in our lives. Just stepping back to see that we are always making choices (sometimes not consciously) can help us better understand where we are in life and where we are going.
As much as I love this book, "Illusions" is my favorite, primarily because of it's simplicity. "One" is complex, not in the writing style, but in the possibilities it presents.
on September 19, 1999
Flight is freedom, freedom from time and space. As in two of his other books, Illusions: The Tale of a Reluctant Messiah and Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach uses flight maturely and appropriately as a chance to learn without the constraints of earth, or reality. As the plane he and his wife are flying in disappears from radar and reality, they have the chance to see the infinite possibilities of their lives: past, present, and future. They learn eventually that they are a part of each other, and that everyone is ONE. The readers are the writer, heroes are murderers, and you and I are interchangeable pronouns. It is a complexly simple and beautiful idea. However, unlike two of the author's other stories of individuals who are socially shunned, rebel teacher-types, this one stresses the submission of the individual to the whole; definitely not written for the fiercely independent individuals who may be expecting encouragement rather than calmness from the book. The reason for only a four-star rating is not indebted to any socially radical leanings, but is for a contradiction from this usually mentally agile author. Toward the end of the story, our humble narrator stumbles a bit by mentioning a higher power. Was getting past this dependence not the point, or has the grand and gaping logic of philosophy circled and returned, recycled, to a dependence on something other than ouselves? Do I hear the Pageites rattling somewhere in one of their name-induced wars? The eloquence and energy of the story, though, fade any inconsistency to a mere blur on the horizon. It is an honorable tribute to those moments of tearful and laughing love for the world, the universe, humanity, and for the ecstasy of existence.
on May 29, 2005
I grew up reading Johnathon Livingston Seagull over and over, and became a fan of Richard Bach after reading a few of his other books later in life, but with One it seems he's become too comfortable in his role as an always-inspiring and thought-provoking author, and didn't strain himself to be either. The book rambles on quite a bit and has an extremely different tone than something like Illusions. Still made you think a few times, but I definitely didn't feel at all enlightened when reading it. Very mushy and soft throughout, and occasionally even preachy and self-righteous. I'd recommend one of his earlier books over this.
on September 16, 1999
I love this book I have read it when I was sober, I have read it when I was drunk, I have read it when I had a hangover. Yet the book has always come through to teach me something new about life. Fot those who find the language of the book too simplistic then you most definty are missing the big ideas in the book. Chapter 10 about the Pageiets, Religon and War is my favorite and chapter 9 about the Atilla-gods is great. For those who do not know much about the world, or have not experienced war first hand you might miss some of the deeper points in the book. For example in the chapter where he talks about his role in the military as Figher piolt and he emtional turmoil he went through when he reflected on his actions during his military service, might be of no intrestet to anyone who has not experienced the military or has never been on the recieving end of F-16s.
on March 6, 2002
I really love Richard Bach's _Bridge Across Forever_ - truly, it's one of my favorite books. _One_ reminds me quite a lot of _Bridge_, but lacks the awe-inspiring inspiration of that earlier work.
While _One_ is definitely an enjoyable read, and contains some wonderful passages and wisdom, it is often saccharine and somewhat preachy. Bach will occasionally phrase questionable ideas as absolute fact, which doesn't sit well with me, and, although I have a reasonable tolerance for "hokey" stuffs, Bach pegged the meter more than a few times in _One_.
While it is, without a doubt, thought-provoking and insightful, and shouldn't be dismissed out-of-hand, I feel that _Bridge_ is a thoroughly better novel. Still, an enjoyable read, and if you're a fan of Bach's work, you will assuredly like it.
on January 6, 2015
Loved this book! I saw it at a flea market several years ago, while I was holding it the woman running the booth pointed to it & said "That book changed my life." I bought the book (who wouldn't after that comment) & I read a few chapters in, but I don't think I was able to wrap my head around the magnitude of it's concept. I'm older now, my life has changed considerably since that day at the flea market. When I stumbled across it on Amazon, I remembered just enough to 'know' I needed this book. I read it in 2 days. A few days prior, I read 'Illusions', also by Richard Bach (I read that 2 times in one day). I say this because, I haven't read a 'novel' since college... I am now 50 years old. I highly suggest 'Illusions' as an intro to this book (One). Illusions is easy to fall into, funny & has no romantic story line (for you guys out there). It's just about a couple of ordinary guys (well, 'ordinary' is still up for debate). While reading Illusions, I found myself gazing out of the window to consider the magnitude of it's words & the meaning they had on my life... for such a simple little story, my mind went into extra-ordinary directions. The photo below is an excerpt from 'Illusions' - the rainbow is just sun shining thru a crystal in my window... "This world? And everything in it? ILLUSIONS!" -Richard Bach
But this review is about 'One'. I don't know if I could have grasped 'One' without reading 'Illusions' first. 'ONE' is a game changer, without a doubt, it's a remarkable book - but you have to accept the 'illusions' before you can know the power of 'One'.