Illusions II: The Adventures of a Reluctant Student 1st Edition
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I have read it at least 20 times since I was 16 years old (I'm 48 years old now).
What a wretched disappointment this "sequel" is. Bland, monotone, repetitive, maudlin, saccharine, borderline self-indulgent. It pounds away on one note - "We are perfect expressions of perfect love" - over and over, relentlessly. There is not one original idea in the book, except perhaps that airplanes can be anthropomorphized to the point that they might have a soul.
Normally I take a book out of the library before I buy it, because now being middle-aged I don't want to accumulate a hoard of books, I only want to own books I passionately love. I bought Illusions II blind, presuming it would be at least half as great as it's precursor. Do your self a favor, take it out of the library first. If you love it great, but maybe this review will save some readers a bit of money.
I'm sorry Richard, for this review. It's only because Illusions is so important to me, that Illusions II was such a terrible disappointment.
First, if you have not read any of Mr. Bach's previous books, I don't think you will find this book either entertaining or enlightening. At a minimum, you should read Illusions first. And, you should probably read Jonathan Livingston Seagull also, but that would not be critical. Having read one or both of those books, you then need to understand that over 40 years after writing them, Mr. Bach had a near death experience following a horrific aircraft accident that happened while he was the pilot of his homemade plane which he endearingly calls Puff. Illusions II is the story of the 'resurrection' of both the pilot and the plane. It has a strong relation to some events that were detailed in Illusions. Hence, the title.
For those readers who are fans of Mr. Bach and found his previous books entertaining, you may be disappointed in this one. I would consider Illusions II to be a reflective autobiographical sketch of a very short span of Mr. Bach's life. The focus is on the last two years. I would not consider it an entertaining story. I would consider it a sketchy recollection of events following a terrible accident.
For those readers who are fans of Mr. Bach and found his previous books enlightening, and I am one, you may find many things in this book. At a minimum, it is informative in that it explains the near death experience of the author. Some parts are a little puzzling. To me, it did not reflect the writing style of his previous works. There were some flashes of that style, however brief. I think that is to be expected given the man was in a coma, given only a small chance of living, and then rehabilitated to the point he could write another book. I not expect him to be the same person, either physically or mentally, that he was before the crash. The crash was a life altering event. That seems to be a point that is lost on those who wrote some of the harsher reviews.
So, if you have never read Richard Bach's previous books, this will be a 3-star, at best. If you read his works for entertainment value, maybe a 4-star. If you are a true fan and you have managed expectations, you will find a glimpse into the next chapter of the author's life and might consider this a 5-star.
Top international reviews
I have always loved Richard Bach but I can't give this book 5 stars based on loyalty rather than honest criticism.
I was expecting this book to feel insightful and new but instead I felt it held back a lot of emotion and feeling and I particularly expected at least some reflections on Richard's life while he went through this experience. I would have liked these to be spoken by Richard and not Donald Shimoda or the ferrets. What I'm trying to say was that this book held a wall up against any vulnerability or lessons learnt. At least it felt that way.
It was however, lovely to know that Richard is doing well and to hear about his courageous and fast recovery experience.
Perhaps naming the book 'Illusions II' leaves readers expecting the same high standard and insights as written in 'Illusions'.
I continue to cherish Richard's other books.
It was ok, but not in the same league as the original.
If this is the first of his books that you come to read, please do not be put off, he has written much better stuff than this.