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Jonathan Livingston Seagull: A story Paperback – Illustrated, 4 Aug 2003


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Jonathan Livingston Seagull: A story + Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah + Illusions II: The Adventures of a Reluctant Student
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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 0.6 x 17 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (236 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,876 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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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Terence Jones VINE VOICE on 16 Feb 2007
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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67 of 73 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Nov 1999
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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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 May 2001
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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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 April 2000
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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53 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Dr JOY Madden on 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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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 April 1999
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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