Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
Pages: 127 Rating: 5/5 stars
“…You’ve got to understand that a seagull is an unlimited idea of freedom, an image of the Great Full, and your whole body, form wingtip to wingtip, is nothing more than your thought itself.”
As a disclaimer–this book wasn’t originally on my January book list. My dad and I were at the bookstore and he insisted that he would buy it for me. He literally would not let me leave the store without this book. I am so happy I decided to read Jonathan Livingston Seagull this month instead of feeling guilty by having it stare down at me from my shelves. I will definitely be taking more book recommendations from my dad.
Jonathan Seagull is well, a seagull, who does not fit in with his flock. Rather than focusing on catching fish for dinner and other things that seagulls normally do, Jonathan loves to fly. He loves learning how to do tricks and trying to beat his nosedive record of over 100 mph. Upon seeing how different Jonathan is, his flock declares him an Outcast and leave Jonathan alone and without a family. Jonathan is taken in by another flock of seagulls, a colony of outcasts who, like him, live to fly. There he learns how to master his body and mind and discovers what it means to be free.
Although the plot summary of this novel paints it to be very shallow, this book means so much more than an outcast seagull discovering how to fly really fast. Trust me. The novel serves as a beautiful commentary on both society and religion, depending on how you want to view Jonathan and what he believes is heaven.
This book is one of the most definite 5 star ratings I’ve ever given. I think I may have to go back and read it a few more times before I fully understand it, though. Bach uses a wonderful story about a seagull discovering his passion for flight to analyze social constructs that exist everywhere today. The themes in this book are countless, but I can’t write about them without spoiling the plot. Like I said, I’m so glad that I bumped this book up on my reading list. I loved it.