Review: Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

A short fable for older readers and adults, Jonathan Livingston Seagull tells the story of the titular character whose goal is to fly. To really fly, not just to do well, but to soar. The only problem is that the rest of his flock disagree. For them, flying is just a means to find food, and what Jonathan is considered strange and, eventually, suspicious. However, Jonathan believes that any seagull can do more than just fly, and even his expulsion from the flock does not deter his quest to soar. And once he has perfected that, all that is left is to teach those willing to learn, just how to soar ...

This was a short, beautifully written fable about the importance of following your dreams, the need to be true to oneself and the personal satisfaction that can be gained from doing so, and to keep doing so, despite setbacks, despite the expectations of others and despite a lack of understanding from others. Many of the pages are beautifully illustrated with photographs of seagulls, many of them mid-flight. (Or soaring, perhaps?) And while the book will, without a doubt, have a special relevance to those who are Buddhist or a strong knowledge of Buddhism, there is a lesson in the fable that can be understood and appreciated by readers from many different walks of life.

My copy includes an extra chapter that was discovered several years ago that fits in perfectly with the rest of the narrative.

Overall, Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a short but inspiring read about the personal satisfaction that can be gained by doing something well and the importance of always being your true self.

Highly recommended.

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