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Jonathan Livingston Seagull Paperback – 1973
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So first, obviously this book is REALLY short. I just re-read it and, without racing at all, I was done in 16 minutes. It's very short. There aren't long, drawn out characterizations here. Jonathan learns to fly well in about 2 pages, and by page 31 he is fully aware of all of his skills. By page 57 he in "Heaven" - or at least in another stage of life in with like-minded seagulls, speaking with telepathy. Chiang is the elder there who tells Jonathan that there actually is no Heaven - that Heaven is the state of being perfect. Jonathan decides to return to Earth and help others. He spends a few pages teaching Fletcher his skills, and then vanishes, leaving Fletcher to teach the new seagull students how to fly. The story ends.
Really, the story here is that Jonathan and Fletcher were not "special" in any way. The point is made many times that they were seagulls like any others. The difference is that they chose to strive to better themselves. They were not content to merely eat and sleep. They wanted to become really good at what they could do - fly. The elders explain that for many people, this process takes many lifetimes. If you do well in a given life, you graduate to a "higher" life where you can then work with people on your next stage of progress.Read more ›
Presented in the form of a charming parable about a seagull's education in flight, Jonathan Livingston Seagull is about far more than the life of one seagull. It is about each and every one of us, struggling to find the answers, to reach something higher that we are not even yet aware of. We are all a little bit like Jonathan, and when we read Bach's story, we realize that we all have the same power inside. That we can do anything, be anything that we want, if only we can believe in ourselves. Bach's message is a powerful and timeless one that stretches across all barriers to reveal the simple truth that we all, at one time or another in our lives, knew: the most powerful force that exists is that of belief, especially in ourselves.
I can't tell you exactly why you need to read this book. It's not about something as simple as plot or writing style. There is a rare magic in the words that cannot be conveyed by any other means than the experience of reading the book. All I can say is that once you read this book, you will understand.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull is different to the other gulls in his flock. He doesn't live to eat, but eats to live and pursue his passion: flight. But his search for perfection and speed doesn't endear him to the other seagulls, that eventually expel him from the flock for daring to be different. To know what happens afterwards, you will need to read this book, because I don't want to spoil the ending.
The real question here, I guess, is whether you want to read a story about gulls... I mean, there are so many good books out there, why read a book about a bird?. The answer is simple: the story in "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" is a metaphor about things that can happen to you in real life. Have you ever felt tempted to do the same that everybody else, just for the sake of conformism?. Have you often felt like given up when something you really want to do demands too much work?. Just think about it...
I believe that many of us are sometimes like most of the gulls in this book, and we need to learn the lessons that "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" gives us: the most important thing is to believe in ourselves, and always do our best without giving up.
I would like to point out that some people say that this book is full of New Age ideas. I really don't think so. Okay, I certainly don't know much about those ideas, and I'm not interested enough to learn more about them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this years ago, and it changed my life. I rate it as the most inspirational book I have ever read. I had to get a new copy for my daughter to inspire her as well. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Daniel Sopher
I will never understand how this got onto the bestseller's list. This is one of the stupidest stories I've ever read. I mean, WTF? Read morePublished 7 days ago by AllUpInYoGrill
By exploring his passion to fly, Johnathan finds a deeper meaning to his own life. From a place of constantly pursing his potential he inspires those around him to grow too. Read morePublished 9 days ago by 1984 DBL Ear
Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a nice allegory of Jesus Christ's life and how his legacy degraded. A refreshing angle indeed and a book worth reading. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Stefan Emunds
If you allow your imagination the freedom to do so It follows the story of Jesus Christ quiet closely. It makes the bird the hero and central character. Read morePublished 2 months ago by David E. McKenzie
Read it when I was in High School. Its nice to revisit this classic.Published 2 months ago by Edward M.
As relevant now as when it was first published. Perhaps even more so. I read it then, thought I understood it. Forty five years later, I understand far more. Read it again. Read morePublished 2 months ago by bill
I read this book on recommendation by a Catholic priest. I am not quite that religious myself, but the guy had a good reputation in our community, so I esteemed him and thought him... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Skywalker