Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach

My mum has been telling me for years to read this book and for some reason I have always avoided it. I picked this up one day at work and read the entire thing within 45 minutes.

This short book tells the story of the title character, Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, and his dreams of perfecting the art of flying. I went into this not knowing any more than that and I was quite surprised that I like it so much. It is by no means a perfect book but the discussions of want vs. need and the pursuit of art over survival were really interesting to me and I think although the words on the page were very specifically about the flight of a seagull, the implied themes were thought-provoking.  The only thing that put me off slightly was that at some points it could get preachy, not outright mentioning any specific religion, but the idea was implied.

The photographs included that accompany the story are a little bland to me, though I know that a lot of people like them. I found that they were a little grainy and uninteresting. Though they supported the story well, I would love to see an addition with maybe some abstract illustrations or something just to see how this affects the reading experience.

Overall I would recommend that you give this short book a go. It definitely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but I for one really enjoyed how evocative it was and how it portrayed the idea of perfecting a skill.

jonathan livingstone seagull

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