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Jonathan Livingston Seagull: A story [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Richard Bach , Russell Munson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
RRP: £6.99
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Book Description

4 Aug 2003

Jonathan Livingston Seagull, the most celebrated inspirational fable of our time, tells the story of a bird determined to be more than ordinary. This bestselling modern classic, reissued with a beautiful new cover design, is a story for people who want to follow their dreams and make their own rules and has inspired people for decades.

‘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 this story soar.

This bestselling modern classic is a fable about seeking a higher purpose in life, even if your flock, tribe or neighbourhood finds your ambition threatening (at one point our beloved gull is even banished from his flock). By not compromising his higher vision, Jonathan learns the meaning of love and kindness and gets the ultimate payoff – transcendence.

The dreamy illustrations by Russell Munson provide just the right illustrations for this spirituality classic that has inspired thousands of readers to follow their own path in life and so fulfill their true potential.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Element; Illustrated edition edition (4 Aug 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006490344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006490340
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 17 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

"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 neighbourhood 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 pay-off: transcendence. Ultimately, he learns the meaning of love and kindness. The dreamy seagull photographs by Russell Munson provide just the right illustrations--although the overall packaging does seem a bit dated (keep in mind that it was first published in 1970). Nonetheless, this is a spirituality classic and an especially engaging parable for adolescents. --Gail Hudson

Review

‘Richard Bach with this book does two things.
He gives me Flight.
He makes me Young.
For both I am deeply grateful.’
RAY BRADBURY


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It was morning, and the new sun sparkled gold across the ripples of a gentle sea. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
By Mr. Terence Jones VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
The reason i bought this book was because a famous bodybuilder called Tom Platz who was very succesfull in the late 70's through to the early 90's menetioned it. In a 1980 interview on Arnold's Total Rebuild video he considered bodybuilding to be philosophical and mentioned this book as an influence.

He said "The seagull wanted to do something artistic and out of the ordinary compared to the everyday things that he was supposed to do"

I thought that if it could innfluence an athlete such as him then it would be good for me.

I was right.

Don't get me wrong there are probably more indepth philosophy books and better fable stories but the former are more likely to be "Americanised" using lots of buzz words and phrases with feel good meanings.

The beauty of this book is in it's simplicity - a story of a seagull wanting to do something different and WHY. It's written by a British writer. It isn't very long (about 30 of the 87 pages are photos of seagulls)

THAT IS NOT THE POINT. IT'S THE MESSAGE THE BOOK HAS.

It'll only take an hour to read but it's message may last a lifetime
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64 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twenty four copies later ... 21 Nov 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have just ordered my twenty-fourth copy of this book! Having read it so many times over 15 years, I have worn out most copies - the rest I have bought for other people. It was the book that changed my life. Whenever circumstances in my life have led me to ponder life itself, this book has been my 'bible' of inspiration. Sometimes it will inspire, sometimes it will make you cry - releasing the grief and stress of your life. Whatever it does to you, one day this book will hit you between the eyes. You might read it at the wrong time of your life and it may mean nothing, but I guarantee that one day, this book will make sense and change your total outlook on life forever. After that, it's just good to re-read to top-up with the positive vibes. Read, absorb and move forward. Re-read, rise higher and fly free.
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Self development - a Seagull's perspective! 8 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback
This is a timeless fictional story about a non-conforming seagull named Jonathan Livingston Seagull. It is an unusual little book as it is a story from a seagull's point of view.

The book was written by Richard Bach (b. 1936). A former US Air Force pilot, many of his books contain flight references. The book is very short - about 100 pages - many of which comprise photographs of gulls. It caused quite a stir when it was first published in 1970. This best seller is a classic and is still on many schools' reading lists.

The story is about Jonathan's passion to fly like no other seagull against all odds. He is different from other gulls who exist merely to eat and survive. He wants to learn to fly higher and faster than anyone else. He constantly improves by teaching himself new techniques. Each time he `fails' he moves to a higher level of awareness.

He eventually reaches a plane where he finds many gulls with the same mindset. He is encouraged and motivated to continue to excel and ultimately learns to fly beyond his wildest expectations. His self development and personal growth keep him focused on his search for a higher purpose, and through persistence and perseverance he finally achieves his goal.

As his reputation builds so does a `following' but he remains humble, speaking of simple things, such as "the right for a gull to fly" and "freedom." His followers consider him "special and gifted and divine, above all other birds." He explains to them that they all are. There are some great phrases like:

"The gull who sees farthest who flies highest".
"Everything that limits us we have to put aside".
"You need to keep finding yourself, a little more each day...".
"...
Read more ›
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superlative, uplifting, genre defining 20 April 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Absolutely superb work by Bach. Extremely short novel, an easy afternoon read. Despite its length it is immensely powerful and has had a deep impact on all the people I know who have read it.
Oh, and it doesn't matter if it doesn't look like it's the kind of thing you would normally read (basically, whatever you normally read, this isn't like it); it seems to have the same effect on everyone, regardless of taste.
I would urge anyone who has a grasp of the English language to read this book.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review for my father 18 May 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
My father gave me this book to read when i was just 15. He inscribed the front with "Fly Free and Be Happy". I know JLS had an amazing effect on me and him both, I just hope younger people are able to see past the obscure to the true meaning of the tale. Now my father is flying free and I hope he is happy and at his funeral pages 46 - 47 were read for him - a fitting tribute I think.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please let me do my own thing!!!! 20 April 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I was given this book when my father died. I was told it was "spiritual" and would help me through my bereavement.
Not to give the plot away, it is about Jonathan a young seagull who unlike other seagulls does not want to live on the scraps and rest up on the beach. He wants to the best FLYING seagull the world's ever seen and being a good Flier he knows how to dive into the sea and get the best fish. As a result he is "shunned" by all the other seagulls.
You may not feel it is "spiritual" or "inspirational" but it made me think that I am an individual. It should appeal to the Jonathan that lives within us all. That IF!!! we only listen to our inner self; we would realise that often the only thing stops us turning our dreams and hope into reality is ourselves.
JLS... Fly high, Fly Straight, Find P E A C E ...
A brilliant read,,,,go on treat yourself buy it!!!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic book very spiritual
Published 4 days ago by Elsie
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Love his books
Published 12 days ago by Ms P Bradbury
5.0 out of 5 stars Courage to explore
I was given this book to read as part of my A Level Religious Education Course many years ago. My Teacher was a wonderful woman who encouraged us to ask questions and also to... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Paul Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent
Published 18 days ago by masterwoodcutter
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great book as I remember it.
Published 23 days ago by orangewawawum
5.0 out of 5 stars enjoyed it so much she read it in a couple ...
My daughter who is nine, enjoyed it so much she read it in a couple of days.
There was a moral to the story is believe in yourself and go for it.
Published 1 month ago by steve leek
5.0 out of 5 stars A book which everyone should read. I have given ...
A book which everyone should read. I have given copies to all ages and sometimes they appreciate it first time and sometimes they come back to it in later years. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gelli-girl
5.0 out of 5 stars I bought these for gifts. My husband gave me ...
I bought these for gifts. My husband gave me this book when we were first together, such a lovely story it's worth sharing.
Published 1 month ago by K. P. Safi
5.0 out of 5 stars We studied this at school in the 1970's and as ...
We studied this at school in the 1970's and as we were scattering my father's ashes outside Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, I made reference to this lovely story to my family. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Claire Currie
3.0 out of 5 stars ... some Christian Young People I knew read it and loved it. I...
Years ago some Christian Young People I knew read it and loved it. I couldn't remember it very well so re-read it out of interest. It is okay for teenagers but not much content.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. Valerie J. Hatton
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