- Hardcover: 96 pages
- Publisher: Macmillan (September 1, 1970)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: B000M5J57M
- ISBN-13: 978-0684846842
- ASIN: 0684846845
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,202 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Jonathan Livingston Seagull Hardcover – September 1, 1970
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Ernest K. Gann This book is a new and valuable citizen in that very wondrous world ruled by St.-Exupéry's Little Prince. I suspect all of us who visit the worlds of Jonathan Seagull will never want to return.
Ray Bradbury Richard Bach with this book
does two things.
He gives me Flight.
He makes me Young.
For both I am deeply grateful.
About the Author
Richard Bach, a former USAF pilot, gypsy barnstormer, and airplane mechanic, is the author of fifteen books. This, his fourth book, spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and has continued to inspire millions for decades. His website is RichardBach.com.
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I read Jonathan to my 13-year-old boys and they absorbed it with serious attention. "Wow, that's deep" and lots of commentary along the way let me know it is just as powerful for my generation of kids as it was for me.
Reading as an older adult brought a whole new level of appreciation for Jonathan's struggles and achievements. It also led me to purchasing more stories by Richard Bach. An author of amazing talent with his own story of flight I will never tire of reading.
Once you read this book it stays with you for as long as you are alive,
The novella tells the story of Jonathan Livingston, a young, brash seagull who constantly defies his flock's traditions in a quest to become the fastest seagull who ever lived. He is expelled from the flock for his behavior, but this doesn't break his spirits. Jonathan ascends to a higher state of being to join the few other gulls who sought speed same as he did. From here Jonathan returns to the gulls yet to achieve this state of nirvana and helps guide them on the path to self-perfection. Keep in mind that all of this happens over the course of a mere 111 pages (a good portion of which happen to be pictures).
From the moment I opened the book I was in love. As a college student I can see why Bach's novel took the world by storm when it was first published. The story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull is contagiously inspirational, easily winning me over. It is a fable for the modern era that overwhelms the senses with its high-soaring optimism and the idea that any barrier --even death-- is only one imagined by the individual on the road to self-perfection. So profound was the impact of this short little novella that when I finished the text I set it down and thought. For almost an hour I just sat on my bed and thought over the ideas I'd just been presented to; how the tale of a seagull had touched something deep within me. It was pure magic the likes of which few books have kindled within me. Reading the book once turned out not to be enough, and I found myself downloading a copy to my Kindle so that I'd have continued access to it on-the-go.
I sincerely believe everyone could learn from this modern fable. Same as with most books that can be categorized as spiritual or inspirational not everyone will likely be impacted the same way. Some may write it off as childish, but If you strive for more, and constantly wish to break your limits than the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull will no doubt touch you.
If you allow yourself to be carried away by the high-flying optimism of Jonathan Livingston Seagull you're in for a magical journey of heart and mind.
Without any doubt, JLS is one of the best - if not the best - "messengers" for the idea that we... Ayy! Read it! Enjoy the message your way!
JLS ends wonderfully in Part Three, which is the way anyone would have gotten it before 2014. The new part is a nice addition. The newly added Part Four looked like it was going to be mildly superfluous - right up until the last page; however, I could see why it was originally written and originally not included. I am glad that it was added and glad that he didn't add it until now. Now, it is timely (in my opinion). I am also more than glad that he included the explanatory afterword, called "Last Words".
Something that I noticed this time, having read "Illusions" many times since reading JLS, is that "Illusions" really does fill out the concept that JLS gives. He states as much in the "Illusions" foreword and while re-reading JLS, I easily and comfortably saw the clarifying and concept-extending nature of "Illusions". I used to call "Illusions" my favorite book - bar none, but I now look at JLS and "Illusions", together, as my favorite: the first sets up the second and, to me, does it such that they take on a character where their combination is more exhilarating than either one by itself. That is pretty cool (to me)!