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Jonathan Livingston Seagull (2006)

Jonathan Livingston Seagull (2006)
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Rating
3.77 of 5 Votes: 5
ISBN
0743278909 (ISBN13: 9780743278904)
languge
English
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Jonathan Livingston Seagull (2006)
Jonathan Livingston Seagull (2006)

About book: The dismissive review of this text: What an absolute waist* of time! I mean OMG how bad is this!The intellectual review of this text: Well, um, I do believe that, um, this is positively remarkable. With only 87 pages Mr Bach produces a fable of such monumental importance to all humanity. He discusses the idea of alienation, provides a subtle sense of xenophobia and highlights the hamartia of humanity.The unsure student's review of this text: I think it was, like, sort of good. I mean I like the whole story of the seagull's learning to fly and all. I was sort of lost in seagull heaven that was not heaven and had no idea what was going on ya know?The working man's appealing to intellectual tendencies review: Well I think that the novella is top class. It has a fascinating story about birds, some great pictures (of birds) and well it really tells us something about how incredible we as people can be. We can make our own heaven as he says and we all don't have to be alienated.My review:Jonathan Livingstone Seagull and I may share a first name but that's about as far as we can be friends. He's an outsider in his flock and so I don't think that we can relate on a personal level. Although to be fair it's not his outsider tendencies and his rebellion against what seagulls should be doing that drives me away. No I'm perfectly fine with the fact that he wants to fly free and fast, fishing out at sea rather than scrabbling for chips and fish on quays and attending sporting matches at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. I don't think that I can approve of his extracurricular activities, however, which involve being transported to another plane of existence (because he can fly so well, no less) with strange spirit gulls. I mean my parents told me never to go off with total strangers and here Jonathan Livingstone Seagull does just that and ends up in another weird dimension which is heaven, but not heaven. After all, Jonathan, is told, heaven must be found inside us and we find it through perfection which is in in being. A little pretentious perhaps?What I dislike most about this fable is what I perceive as the intended message. I am completely opposed to the mystic new age idea of finding contentment and peace within oneself to find heaven. That is because I instead believe in there being a life after death which is not a movement up to new planes of existence as seen in this work but rather one final resting place which is eternal. Of course I must admit that the positive of this work was that it was short. Which made it easy to race through in half an hour.Read if you wish but I will not be classing this a must read classic. Nor will I ever attempt to read this again. Unless of course the fictional reviewers above chase me down and force me at gunpoint. Or if a dozen clowns tie me up with nylon cords and force me to choose between reading it or hearing Vogon poetry...*the author of this review would like to inform that this is a poirposeful missspelling.

Basically, you've got a seagull who just can't fit in with other seagulls. If this was written within the last decade, Jonathan would be coping with his outcast status by wearing a black trench coat and rolling 20-sided dice for fun. He would also achieve a loyal following of other socially awkward birds by totally kicking ass in Guitar Hero.Sadly, this was written in the halcyon days of the 70's, so Jonathan goes on a soul searching quest and learns how to fly better than any other seagull. Gradually, other seagulls join him and become awesome too.No, I'm not describing a children's picture book. I'm talking about a book that bookstores actually shelve in the "literature" section. I honestly think that there are more photographs of seagulls in this book than there are paragraphs. Anyway, some people call this book "inspirational", or "motivating." I'm guessing that these are the same people who consider accidentally getting two extra cheesesticks for free in their Papa John's order "a miraculous affirmation of a higher power."The only reason I gave this book two stars instead of one is that I was named after it. Honestly, who wants to be named after a shitty book? Think of the entire pantheon of literature. I could have been named Atticus Finch, or Heathcliff Earnshaw, or Beowulf. Instead I get Jonathan Livingston. Thanks a lot, Mom and Dad. No, really, you guys just sit back and relax, I'll roll this next doobie for you.
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Reviews
Michael
I read this originally when I was about 11 years old I think. I had never read anything like it.I enjoyed the simplicity, and I think I identified with Jonathan more than a little—even at 11. As I think about this book almost 30 years later, I wish that I hadn't sold my copy of it, as I have an urge to re-read it and refresh my memory of Jonathan's struggles to break through. July 2, 2009:Just re-read this for the first time in many years. "Let's begin with level flight." So much truth in that simple statement.
Karly *The Vampire Ninja & Luminescent Monster*
This book is EVERYTHING I LOATHE about children's fables. I'll write a better review later because right now I'm itching to punch Bach!****Review****Once upon a time there was a seagull and all he wanted to do was fly - fast, high, rolling dives.....Don't bother me, I just want to FLY, B*tchesOkay... whatever.... you want to fly, birdy, I get it! However, you also NEED to eat, you know, to survive and all!! The flock steps in on JLS and tells him he needs to stop fluttering about like an idiot and accept reality.... and he's all: (Only significantly less awesome, because Adam Levine is...... SMEXY)Honestly, I'm not a religi-hater I just can't stand force feeding children bullsh*t that makes no sense! If you don't eat, children, you will not become the most amazing flier in the world!!! You will just, wait for it........It's good and important to have dreams, kids, but so is responsibility!
Janet
"Most gulls don't bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight--how to get from shore to food and back again," writes author Richard Bach in this allegory about a unique bird named Jonathan Livingston Seagull. "For most gulls it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight." Flight is indeed the metaphor that makes the story soar. Ultimately this is a fable about the importance of seeking a higher purpose in life, even if your flock, tribe, or neighborhood finds your ambition threatening. (At one point our beloved gull is even banished from his flock.) By not compromising his higher vision, Jonathan gets the ultimate payoff: transcendence. Ultimately, he learns the meaning of love and kindness. I read this book when I was a teenager, it set the stage for a life of searching for a higher purpose and today, almost 40 years later, my life is heaven on earth. In Abraham Lincoln's words..."All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind." Abraham LincolnAnd M. Scott Peck's words..."Abandon the urge to simplify everything, to look for formulas and easy answers, and to begin to think multidimensionally, to glory in the mystery and paradoxes of life, not to be dismayed by the multitude of causes and consequences that are inherent in each experience -- to appreciate the fact that life is complex." M. Scott Peck
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