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Jonathan Livingston Seagull Paperback – Feb 7 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 240 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1 edition (Feb. 7 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743278909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743278904
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 1 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 240 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #28,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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"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. 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've read many reviews on this book. I'm not satisfied with most. Most both negative and positive have poor reasons.
Most negatives I read just don't like mindless hippy-ness and empty new age philosophy (neither do I); they think the book propagates these things so they condemn it. It only propagates mindlessness if you are short-sited enough to assume that is its message. Don't be.
Most positives I read just demonstrate the mindlessness that the negatives dislike. There is more to get out of this book than the "feel-good" aspect.
To those who think the subject matter is thoughtless: look deeper.
This is a much more accurate view of heaven than what most people have discerned from the Bible. If you want evidence of this, read Mark 12:34 in context. Heaven is not a place.
It also indicates some of Bach's suspicions about the true nature of messiahs (Muhammad, Buddah, Jesus) that the world upholds and a possiblity of their true nature.
It is clear that Bach meant flying for seagulls to represent learning for humans. I am in agreement with him that this is what we do best and what life is about: learning, growing. In fact this is (ironically) the same viewpoint that the negative spotlight reviewer, dbsholes, seems to have (go read new books; don't become stagnant).
I like that the highest rung on Bach's "learning ladder" seemed to be love. This parallels biblical teaching (1 Jn 4:16; 1 Co 13).
The most important idea (in my opinion) that the book hints at is the possiblity that God is not a being, but a mind of which we are a part.
If this sounds like foolishness, read the first chapter of Swarm Intelligence (SI) by James Kennedy and Russel C. Eberhart, a graduate level discussion of minds (with a focus on artificial intelligence).
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Format: Paperback
I was first recommended this book a few years ago, and I admit it did not sound very stimulating to me when I read the first paragraphs. Reading more than 100 pages about birds was not the book that I wanted to read at that moment.
But a few weeks ago my friend mentioned it and I thought it was time to start reading it and see what was all about.
I have to admit that it was a great experience and the moment I started to read I simply could not put the book aside. I felt great when I finished it and it made me think that life can also be nice and full of optimistic things. 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull' is one of them.
This is a very nice fable about life, ambition and pushing one's own limits. The more you read it, the more you start asking questions about yourself and your life.
Jonathan Livingston is a seagull that chooses a different path than the rest of the birds in his flock. He spends his days looking for perfection - he prefers to learn to fly rather than eat, unlike the other birds. He is single-minded focus on and flying is not the way to make him popular with other birds. Such an attitude made Jonathan an outcast, rejected by his community and he finds himself alone but doesn't want to give up his dreams and ideas.
I think the one big thing this story teaches us is that we should all admit our limitations, but the secret consists in trying to get over them, to challenge ourselves and evolve.
Only great challenges will make us reach "heaven", which is just a matter of being perfect. If there is no challenge, then there are no failures and we cannot evolve. Only excellence,
intelligence, and skill can set free a spirit that is looking
for important challenges in life.
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Format: Paperback
"Most gulls don't bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight--how to get from shore to food and back again". "For most gulls it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight." That is what the author of this book says about the "hero" of this story, a seagull named Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

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.
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