Jonathan Livingston Seagull
This is a story for people who follow their hearts and make their own rules...people who get special pleasure out of doing something well, even if only for themselves...people who know there's more to this living than meets the eye: they’ll be right there with Jonathan, flying higher and faster than ever they dreamed.Jonathan Livingston Seagull is no ordinary bird. He believes it is every gull's right to fly, to reach the ultimate freedom of challenge and discovery, finding his greatest reward in teaching younger gulls the joy of flight and the power of dreams. The special 20th anniversary release of this spiritual classic!

Jonathan Livingston Seagull Details

TitleJonathan Livingston Seagull
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 7th, 2006
PublisherScribner
ISBN-139780743278904
Rating
GenreFiction, Classics, Philosophy, Fantasy, Spirituality, Inspirational

Jonathan Livingston Seagull Review

  • Jonathan
    January 1, 1970
    Basically, you've got a seagull who just can't fit in with other seagulls. If this was written within the last decade, Jonathan would be coping with his outcast status by wearing a black trench coat and rolling 20-sided dice for fun. He would also achieve a loyal following of other socially awkward birds by totally kicking ass in Guitar Hero.Sadly, this was written in the halcyon days of the 70's, so Jonathan goes on a soul searching quest and learns how to fly better than any other seagull. Basically, you've got a seagull who just can't fit in with other seagulls. If this was written within the last decade, Jonathan would be coping with his outcast status by wearing a black trench coat and rolling 20-sided dice for fun. He would also achieve a loyal following of other socially awkward birds by totally kicking ass in Guitar Hero.Sadly, this was written in the halcyon days of the 70's, so Jonathan goes on a soul searching quest and learns how to fly better than any other seagull. Gradually, other seagulls join him and become awesome too.No, I'm not describing a children's picture book. I'm talking about a book that bookstores actually shelve in the "literature" section. I honestly think that there are more photographs of seagulls in this book than there are paragraphs. Anyway, some people call this book "inspirational", or "motivating." I'm guessing that these are the same people who consider accidentally getting two extra cheesesticks for free in their Papa John's order "a miraculous affirmation of a higher power."The only reason I gave this book two stars instead of one is that I was named after it. Honestly, who wants to be named after a shitty book? Think of the entire pantheon of literature. I could have been named Atticus Finch, or Heathcliff Earnshaw, or Beowulf. Instead I get Jonathan Livingston. Thanks a lot, Mom and Dad. No, really, you guys just sit back and relax, I'll roll this next doobie for you.
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  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    January 1, 1970
    Jonathan Livingston Seagull - a story, Richard BachJonathan Livingston Seagull, written by Richard Bach, and illustrated by Russell Munson is a fable in novella form about a seagull who is trying to learn about life and flight, and a homily about self-perfection. It was first published in 1970. In 2014 the book was reissued as Jonathan Livingston Seagull: The Complete Edition, which added a 17-page fourth part to the story. The book tells the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a seagull who Jonathan Livingston Seagull - a story, Richard BachJonathan Livingston Seagull, written by Richard Bach, and illustrated by Russell Munson is a fable in novella form about a seagull who is trying to learn about life and flight, and a homily about self-perfection. It was first published in 1970. In 2014 the book was reissued as Jonathan Livingston Seagull: The Complete Edition, which added a 17-page fourth part to the story. The book tells the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a seagull who is bored with daily squabbles over food. Seized by a passion for flight, he pushes himself, learning everything he can about flying, until finally his unwillingness to conform results in his expulsion. An outcast, he continues to learn, becoming increasingly pleased with his abilities as he leads a peaceful and happy life.One day, Jonathan met two gulls who took him to a "higher plane of existence" in which there was no heaven but a better world found through perfection of knowledge. There he meets another seagull who loves to fly. He discovers that his sheer tenacity and desire to learn make him "pretty well a one-in-a-million bird." In this new place, Jonathan befriends the wisest gull, Chiang, who takes him beyond his previous learning, teaching him how to move instantaneously to anywhere else in the Universe. The secret, Chiang says, is to "begin by knowing that you have already arrived." Not satisfied with his new life, Jonathan returns to Earth to find others like him, to bring them his learning and to spread his love for flight. His mission is successful, gathering around him others who have been outlawed for not conforming. Ultimately, the very first of his students, Fletcher Lynd Seagull, becomes a teacher in his own right, and Jonathan leaves to teach other flocks.Part One of the book finds young Jonathan Livingston frustrated with the meaningless materialism, conformity, and limitation of the seagull life. He is seized with a passion for flight of all kinds, and his soul soars as he experiments with exhilarating challenges of daring aerial feats. Eventually, his lack of conformity to the limited seagull life leads him into conflict with his flock, and they turn their backs on him, casting him out of their society and exiling him. Not deterred by this, Jonathan continues his efforts to reach higher and higher flight goals, finding he is often successful but eventually he can fly no higher. He is then met by two radiant, loving seagulls who explain to him that he has learned much, and that they are there now to teach him more.Jonathan transcends into a society where all the gulls enjoy flying. He is only capable of this after practicing hard alone for a long time and the first learning process of linking the highly experienced teacher and the diligent student is raised into almost sacred levels. They, regardless of the all immense difference, are sharing something of great importance that can bind them together: "You've got to understand that a seagull is an unlimited idea of freedom, an image of the Great Gull." He realizes that you have to be true to yourself: "You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way."In the third part of the book are the last words of Jonathan's teacher: "Keep working on love." Through his teachings, Jonathan understands that the spirit cannot be really free without the ability to forgive, and that the way to progress leads—for him, at least—through becoming a teacher, not just through working hard as a student. Jonathan returns to the Breakfast Flock to share his newly discovered ideals and the recent tremendous experience, ready for the difficult fight against the current rules of that society. The ability to forgive seems to be a mandatory "passing condition.""Do you want to fly so much that you will forgive the Flock, and learn, and go back to them one day and work to help them know?" Jonathan asks his first student, Fletcher Lynd Seagull, before getting into any further talks. The idea that the stronger can reach more by leaving the weaker friends behind seems totally rejected. Hence, love, deserved respect, and forgiveness all seem to be equally important to the freedom from the pressure to obey the rules just because they are commonly accepted.In 2013 Richard Bach took up a non-published fourth part of the book which he had written contemporaneously with the original. He edited and polished it and then sent the result to a publisher. Bach reported that it was a near-death experience which had occurred in relation to a nearly fatal plane crash in August 2012, that had inspired him to finish the fourth part of his novella. In February 2014, the 138-page Bach work Illusions II was published as a booklet by Kindle Direct Publishing. It also contains allusions to and insights regarding the same near-death experience. In October 2014, Jonathan Livingston Seagull: The Complete Edition, was reissued and includes part four of the story.عنوانها: پرنده ای به نام آذرب‍اد؛ جوناتان مرغ دریایی، جاناتان مرغ دریایی؛ نویسنده: ریچارد باخ؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه جولای سال 1991 میلادینخستین بار در سال 1354 هجری خورشیدی، با عنوان: پرنده ای به نام آذرب‍اد؛ با ترجمه ی بانو: سودابه پرتوی؛ در انتشارات امیرکبیر و در سال 1369 هجری خورشیدی با عنوان: جوناتان مرغ دریایی، با ترجمه ی بانو: فرشته مولوی، و جناب هرمز ریاحی، در انتشارات کتابهای جیبی چاپ شدعنوان: جاناتان مرغ دریایی؛ نویسنده: ریچارد باخ؛ مترجم: لادن جهانسوز؛ ویراستار: محسن مدیری؛ تصویرگر و نقاش: راسل مانسون؛ تهران، بهجت، 1371؛ در 112 ص؛ شابک: 9646671020؛ چاپ دوم و سوم 1378؛ چهارم 1379؛ پنجم و ششم 1380؛ هفتم 1381؛ هشتم و نهم 1382؛ چاپ یازدهم 1385؛ سیزدهم 1387؛ چهاردهم 1388؛ هجدهم 1391؛ چاپ بیستم 1393؛همان داستان «منطق الطیر» عطار است که «سی مرغ»، در پایان جستجوی خویش به سیمرغ میرسند، داستان اینبار دستمایه ی «ریچارد باخ» شده است. سیمرغ عطار در این شعرگونه همان بهشت است، که جاناتان میپرسد: «آیا مکانی به نام بهشت وجود دارد؟» در پاسخ میشنود از مرغ فرزانه، که: «خیر جاناتان، چنین مکانی وجود ندارد. بهشت یک مکان، یا یک زمان نیست، بهشت یعنی کامل شدن». بخش چهارم کتاب را که در سال 2014 میلادی به متن کتاب افزوده شده هنوز نخوانده ام. ا. (احمد) شربیانی
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  • Federico DN
    January 1, 1970
    An immeasurable love for flight, and a passion that knows, literally, no bounds. In this story we lean the story of "Jonathan Livingston Seagull", an odd little sea bird. Unlike most of his kind, Jonathan Livingston does not seek food or shelter; Jonathan loves flying, Jonathan lives flying. And as most novices do, he starts with what every beginner is bound to do, fail. And fail spectacularly! But practice makes the master, and Jonathan Livingston is on a life quest to reach the impossible, and An immeasurable love for flight, and a passion that knows, literally, no bounds. In this story we lean the story of "Jonathan Livingston Seagull", an odd little sea bird. Unlike most of his kind, Jonathan Livingston does not seek food or shelter; Jonathan loves flying, Jonathan lives flying. And as most novices do, he starts with what every beginner is bound to do, fail. And fail spectacularly! But practice makes the master, and Jonathan Livingston is on a life quest to reach the impossible, and something unimaginably greater than just master.An inspiring little novella about bettering yourself, following your passion, and pursuing your dreams, without limits. A truly remarkable read. Highly recommendable.Until next time,-----------------------------------------------Un inmensurable amor por el vuelo, y una pasión que, literalmente, no conoce límites.En esta novela conocemos la historia de "Juan Salvador Gaviota", una rara y pequeña ave marina. A diferencia de otros de su especie, Juan Salvador no busca comida o refugio; Juan ama volar, Juan vive volar. Y como casi todos los novatos hacen, empieza con lo que todo princincipiante está destinado a hacer, fallar. Y fallar espectacularmente! Pero la práctica hace al maestro, y Juan Salvador está en una misión de vida para alcanzar lo imposible, y algo inimaginablemente más lejos que ser sólo maestro.Una inspiradora pequeña novella sobre mejorarse uno mismo, seguir tu pasión, y perseguir tus sueños, sin conocer límites. Una lectura realmente destacable. Muy recomendable.Hasta la próxima,
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  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    January 1, 1970
    You know, sometimes you should just leave fond childhood memories alone. But I have a hard time resisting any kind of challenge, at least if it relates to reading, so when Karly criticized my 3-star rating of this book (see the thread to this review for her very funny and halfhearted trolling efforts), I felt compelled to go dig out my old copy of Jonathan Livingston Seagull--and it did take some digging--to see if I could justify my rating.Unfortunately, I couldn't.This flimsy and fluffy little You know, sometimes you should just leave fond childhood memories alone. But I have a hard time resisting any kind of challenge, at least if it relates to reading, so when Karly criticized my 3-star rating of this book (see the thread to this review for her very funny and halfhearted trolling efforts), I felt compelled to go dig out my old copy of Jonathan Livingston Seagull--and it did take some digging--to see if I could justify my rating.Unfortunately, I couldn't.This flimsy and fluffy little book was a massive bestseller in 1972 and 1973. It's a VERY unsubtle parable about a seagull who decides that the mundane life of squawking and fighting for food is not for him. He wants to learn how to really fly. The other seagulls are not impressed with his stunts and aerial acrobatics. But Jonathan Seagull is brave enough to defy the Flock and continue his search for perfection. It's all very inspiring and affirming and I can see why a lot of people still love it. There's actually a JLS website where people share their "seagull stories" of how they learned to overcome their doubts and fears and truly live, and they all tell each other how great they are. Fly free, beautiful white birds! And that's all fine, as long as you're not hurting innocent people, or neglecting those who need you, in your search to Find Yourself.But this book, as a piece of literature, has problems on so many levels: The heavy-handed symbolism. The simplistic worldview (spend all your time learning how to fly perfectly and all other problems will magically take care of themselves!).And the book tries to be all things to all people. Overcoming obstacles and achieving through your own determination and effort? Yup. Reincarnation? Got it. Christian symbolism? Covered. New Age mysticism? Don't get me started.2 stars, because even if it's on the simplistic and cheesy side, I still find a little inspiration and humor in the pages of this novella._________Initial post: Karly tells me I'm way off base with my 3 stars here, which is based on my teenage reading of this book many, many moons ago. So I'm going to re-read this book (assuming I can find the dusty old copy that is hiding somewhere in my basement) and either agree with her or defend my position.It is on! *cracks knuckles*
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  • Benjamin
    January 1, 1970
    Don't read this. Go look at a seagull and think about life on your own if you must. What you come up with will be better than this.
  • Fabian
    January 1, 1970
    This one belongs to the prestigious & almost elusive group of "Huge Imposters That Became Famous By People Who Suddenly Decided to Read a Novel." The book with its cute aura of a birdshape on its cover, was a mega-hit for no other reason than everyone read it. Basically, its a huge ripoff of the Judeo-Christian messiah story, with little birds that never fully become characters, grounded (ha ha) or are even particularly memorable. Is it bad to just want a mean hunter come along & shoot This one belongs to the prestigious & almost elusive group of "Huge Imposters That Became Famous By People Who Suddenly Decided to Read a Novel." The book with its cute aura of a birdshape on its cover, was a mega-hit for no other reason than everyone read it. Basically, its a huge ripoff of the Judeo-Christian messiah story, with little birds that never fully become characters, grounded (ha ha) or are even particularly memorable. Is it bad to just want a mean hunter come along & shoot them all down? Is this bad? I just cannot fathom the language of this; the super-precise scientific descriptions of speed, and worse, why are the birds so Anglo-Saxonly named? It is baffling as to why it even got published in the first place. Clue number one that this was gonna suck: it's subtitle, "A Story." Not, you know, a novel. Like a sketch. The photographer probably took longer taking the pictures of the grainy sky than this writer did concocting such wannabe New Age-y mierda. Reminds me so much of "The Celestine Prophecy" in it's lameness level, I could just scream.This reads like some reject for some lesser-read college Literary Anthology... But shitier.
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    "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 "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. I read this book when I was a teenager, it set the stage for a life of searching for a higher purpose and today, almost 40 years later, my life is heaven on earth. In Abraham Lincoln's words..."All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind." Abraham LincolnAnd M. Scott Peck's words... "Abandon the urge to simplify everything, to look for formulas and easy answers, and to begin to think multidimensionally, to glory in the mystery and paradoxes of life, not to be dismayed by the multitude of causes and consequences that are inherent in each experience -- to appreciate the fact that life is complex." M. Scott Peck
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  • Adina
    January 1, 1970
    2.5*I was recommended this book by a friend. As I had no intention to buy this in case it proved to be dreadful I decided to finally get a library subscription. I’ve been wanting to go to the library for a long time as I am hoping this way I will buy less books. That might not work out as intended but a girl can hope. I am not a fan of inspirational fables. Call me cynical but I do not believe a nice little motivational story can change your life. It can provide an extra nudge to change if you 2.5*I was recommended this book by a friend. As I had no intention to buy this in case it proved to be dreadful I decided to finally get a library subscription. I’ve been wanting to go to the library for a long time as I am hoping this way I will buy less books. That might not work out as intended but a girl can hope. I am not a fan of inspirational fables. Call me cynical but I do not believe a nice little motivational story can change your life. It can provide an extra nudge to change if you are already on that path. Also, most of them are also ridiculously stupid, The Monk who Sold his Ferrari comes to my mind right away to prove this idea. Having said that, I thought Jonathan Livingston Seagull to be cute and some of the ideas even touched me. Jonathan Livingston is not your usual seagull who flies only for feeding purposes. No, he loves to fly and constantly challenges himself to improve his control, speed and form. Unfortunately, his flock disagrees with his revolutionary approach to flying and he is excommunicated. He soon finds other seagulls that share the same passion and strive for greatness. He follows them to another world, some sort of paradise, where Seagulls can be their true self. After a while, Jonathan returns to the flock in order to teach others to fly as he does and follow their dreams. The story encourages people to find what they love, follow and cultivate their talent and decide for themselves in life. The book also teaches us to be tolerant, seek the good in other people and love them for those qualities. The author obviously loves flying (he was a pilot) and you can see that in every page. His description of flying was the best part of the story for me.
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  • anne
    January 1, 1970
    ok, like I just wrote in a comment . . . this is probably one of those books that you have to read at a particular moment in your life. for me I was 15, had just run away from home and was in utter despair that the entire world was as mean, strict and narrow-minded as my peers seemed to be at that time. I longed for a friend, I longed for a sense of the world being more than what was drowning me. the friend who put this book in my hands also gave me Blind Melon's first album - and together these ok, like I just wrote in a comment . . . this is probably one of those books that you have to read at a particular moment in your life. for me I was 15, had just run away from home and was in utter despair that the entire world was as mean, strict and narrow-minded as my peers seemed to be at that time. I longed for a friend, I longed for a sense of the world being more than what was drowning me. the friend who put this book in my hands also gave me Blind Melon's first album - and together these two items may have literally saved my life. Bach's writing is simplistic, yes. it is almost childlike, yes. But there is for me an enduring wisdom to it. the seagull is obviously a very simplistic metaphor for a human, but in reality, particularly from where I was at the time, the idea of the "flock" just doing as it was told and spending all its time eating, shitting and talking about other gulls was not far off from my experience. as that 15 year old gypsy soul, I connected - not the gull - but with the sense that there had to be more to life and that the pursuit of perfection was not in vain. this book was like a child's story that assured me that my sense of things was not off-base. and I'm not kidding when I say that I felt that Jonathan Livingston Seagull was my first friend.
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  • Ruth
    January 1, 1970
    Puerile platitudes posing as wisdom.
  • Jeff
    January 1, 1970
    When I was a lad, I had to endure my hippie science teacher's self-narrated slide show of the entire book. It beat listening to a lecture about photosynthesis, but not by much.
  • Cecily
    January 1, 1970
    This reminds me of Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist (the only one of his I've read). It's self-consciously "beautiful" and spiritual, but doesn't really have much depth. I enjoyed it in my late teens, when I had delusions of profundity, but I don't think it has much to impart to adults.It has 2* for nostalgia. If I read it now, I expect I'd only give it 1*.
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  • Mohsin Maqbool
    January 1, 1970
    image: I WAS gifted Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull by my elder brother when he visited Karachi from Frankfurt for his vacation in 1973. However, I did not read the book until 1987. To be honest with you, I did not think much of it at the time and gave it away to a friend. Learning more about birds with the passage of time, I wanted to read the book again. I regretted giving it away. Luckily another friend of mine had a copy. He lent it to me for just one night in 2005, saying that image: I WAS gifted Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull by my elder brother when he visited Karachi from Frankfurt for his vacation in 1973. However, I did not read the book until 1987. To be honest with you, I did not think much of it at the time and gave it away to a friend. Learning more about birds with the passage of time, I wanted to read the book again. I regretted giving it away. Luckily another friend of mine had a copy. He lent it to me for just one night in 2005, saying that it actually belonged to his son who hadn’t read it yet. I finished the book in a few hours. I liked it much better this time and even wrote a review for my friend to read. Yesterday I re-read the book on pdf so that I could review it for goodreads. And I must admit that this time I actually found the book to be amazing. Maybe with age I have become more mature as I was able to grasp many things which I could not when I first read it during the '80s or even a decade back. The book is extremely inspirational. Besides, it has a story to tell – an interesting one – that keeps you glued right to the very end. Mr Bach used to be a fighter pilot and a writer for magazines like Avian which is why talking about the flight of seagulls comes naturally to him. Jonathan Livingston Seagull was more interested in flying than eating fish or bread crumbs for survival. He wants to fly as high as possible and at speeds deemed impossible. He kept challenging himself to break each previous record.image: A seagull in sunny spotlight. The Elder of the Flock does not like Richard breaking rules and regulations. He wants him to stick to normal flying. “Jonathan nodded obediently. For the next few days he tried to behave like the other gulls; he really tried, screeching and fighting with the flock around the piers and fishing boats, diving on scraps of fish and bread. But he couldn’t make it work. It’s all so pointless, he thought, deliberately dropping a hard-won anchovy to a hungry old gull chasing him. I could be spending all this time learning to fly. There’s so much to learn!” He flies during the night. He is considered an Outcast and kicked out of the Flock. “It wasn’t long before Jonathan Gull was off by himself again, far out at sea, hungry, happy, learning. The subject was speed, and in a week’s practice he learned more about speed than the fastest gull alive.” Although Mr Bach is writing all about seagulls and flight, he uses simple English which even a layman reader would be able to understand. Having said that, it is creative writing at its best. Alliteration too is used in several places. “He learned more each day. He learned that a streamlined high-speed dive could bring him to find the rare and tasty fish that schooled ten feet below the surface of the ocean: he no longer needed fishing boats and stale bread for survival. He learned to sleep in the air, setting a course at night across the offshore wind, covering a hundred miles from sunset to sunrise. With the same inner control, he flew through heavy sea fogs and climbed above them into dazzling clear skies ... in the very times when every other gull stood on the ground, knowing nothing but mist and rain. He learned to ride the high winds far inland, to dine there on delicate insects.”image: A seagull flies over cliffs. The book teaches us to be kind and loving and tolerant through Jonathan who during a later stage of his life becomes an instructor for seagulls who want to become achievers by being at their innovative best where flying is concerned. The tome is philosophical in some places like in the following paragraphs: “I don’t understand how you manage to love a mob of birds that has just tried to kill you.” “Oh, Fletch, you don’t love that! You don’t love hatred and evil, of course. You have to practise and see the real gull, the good in every one of them, and to help them see it in themselves. That’s what I mean by love. It’s fun, when you get the knack of it.” “We choose our next world through what we learn in this one. Learn nothing, and the next world is the same as this one, all the same limitations and lead weights to overcome.” The next world can also be understood as the next stage in our life when we proceed to college from school or to university from college or even to a career when we are through with our education. The book deals with a bit of fantasy too. But if I describe it, it would be akin to spoiling the fun for you. The inspirational fable contains eight black and white photographs of seagulls in flight which have been magnificently captured by Russell Munson. I highly recommend the book to everybody who likes reading good and meaningful literature and also to those who love our fine-feathered friends. Director Hall Bartlett adapted the novella into a film in 1973. Whereas the book was a bestseller, the film was poorly received by critics and was a box-office failure. However, it was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Cinematography and Best Editing. Neil Diamond wrote and recorded an album for the film's soundtrack which was a critical and commercial success, earning Diamond a Grammy Award and a Golden Globe Award. Another plus point for the film is that it is recognised by American Film Institute in the following list:2006: AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers – Nominated image: Film poster of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.image: The camera catches Neil Diamond along with the high-flying Jonathan Livingston Seagull for the album's cover.
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  • Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    I don't even know what to say about this book. One of my favorite books ever. It's very short and extremely easy to read. Great for children, even better for adults. JLS is my hero, pretty much.My copy of this book no longer resembles a book so much as a stack of papers.
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  • J.G. Keely
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a response to the flawed and disappointing underbelly of humanity, revealed for author Bach in Vietnam, the Kennedy assassination, the battles for Civil Rights and Feminism, and the Sexual Revolution. Unfortunately, it is not a work which embraces or explores those changes, but seeks an escape from the difficult questions of the world.Perhaps it should be unsurprising that the author would want to escape the everyday anxieties which mark the changing world. There is a sort of blind This book is a response to the flawed and disappointing underbelly of humanity, revealed for author Bach in Vietnam, the Kennedy assassination, the battles for Civil Rights and Feminism, and the Sexual Revolution. Unfortunately, it is not a work which embraces or explores those changes, but seeks an escape from the difficult questions of the world.Perhaps it should be unsurprising that the author would want to escape the everyday anxieties which mark the changing world. There is a sort of blind optimism in Jonathan Livingston Seagull, the sort you get when you take ancient and complex philosophy and distill it down into meaningless fluff. It is from this feel-good denial that the whole New Age movement springs, giving hope without guidance, and adding self-help to our self loathing.The surface of the water seems calm and glassy from afar. The ripples almost insensible. It is tempting to hope that the whirling eddies of hate, the tumult of inequality, and the maelstroms of fear do not persist beneath it. We shall someday find, when we must navigate Scylla and Charybdis, whether we have melted down our statues and our cannons both to build a monument to the lost.
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  • W.C.
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a sucker for this book. Throughout early Christianity, and especially in the second and third centuries, it was commonly believed that Jesus was just a really exceptional guy that God "adopted" and put to use as a redeemer of sins. Even after the Mark and Q Gospels were written and the circumstances of Jesus's birth were decided, the vote at Nicea was pretty slim that made Jesus the only begotten of the Father. Well, here's a book that goes back to the roots; any gull with a mind of his own I'm a sucker for this book. Throughout early Christianity, and especially in the second and third centuries, it was commonly believed that Jesus was just a really exceptional guy that God "adopted" and put to use as a redeemer of sins. Even after the Mark and Q Gospels were written and the circumstances of Jesus's birth were decided, the vote at Nicea was pretty slim that made Jesus the only begotten of the Father. Well, here's a book that goes back to the roots; any gull with a mind of his own can become the Son of God. I like that moral. And there's a chinese sage, so that's a plus too.
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  • Sonia Gomes
    January 1, 1970
    I am so glad, I got to know how other people feel about Jonathan Livingstone Seagull. All these years I was under the impression that some great philosophy and inner meaning had flown past my head, I was one of the very few who had missed it all. Seems I was right, there is no great philosophy. Phew ! I am not a dumb idiot after all.
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  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    When I was in 6th grade my teacher read this book out loud to our class. I didn't understand a word of it. In retrospect it seems like it was too early. I would like to reread this some day.*Updated review. Just listened to it on audible. I like the emphasis on self-imposed limitations.
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  • Janice
    January 1, 1970
    Ethan just finished reading this book to the kids, and I had to update my rating from a three to a four. I guess this book just meant more to me right now than it did when I read it in the past. And I think the fact that it is one of Ethan's favorite books and he read it with so much adoration kind of helped it to grow on me. I feel like there is so much going on in both our lives that is exciting, but that personally I have become a little stagnant with where I am going. It is like I have Ethan just finished reading this book to the kids, and I had to update my rating from a three to a four. I guess this book just meant more to me right now than it did when I read it in the past. And I think the fact that it is one of Ethan's favorite books and he read it with so much adoration kind of helped it to grow on me. I feel like there is so much going on in both our lives that is exciting, but that personally I have become a little stagnant with where I am going. It is like I have become a regular gull and I am just trying to survive and find something to eat rather than learning how to fly. There was this one line that really touched me and I haven't been able to get it out of my head. Jonathon asks an elder seagull, “Is there no such place as heaven?" "No, Jonathon, there is no such place. Heaven is not a place, and it is not a time. Heaven is being perfect...You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathon, in the moment that you touch perfect speed...Perfect speed, my son, is being there." It has really made me think about how much of what I do every day I am not really there for. I have gotten into a rut of going through a lot of motions that I do not really experience or enjoy. So one of my resolutions for this coming year is to experience perfect speed, to be there for every moment of my life and the life we are creating for our family. And for the inspiration to do that, I definitely give this short little book four stars.
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  • A. Dawes
    January 1, 1970
    I read this first at least three decades ago. At the time I thought it a nice tale, a little light, but with an uplifting message, when most stories were tragic. Rereading it this year, I felt exactly the same. The plot is simple: a seagull wishes to no longer squawk and squabble, but rather soar out in the more pure ocean waters - and teach others in turn to do the same. Like before, the story is a light, uplifting read. I suppose if I were to be critical, I'd say that the whole metaphor is I read this first at least three decades ago. At the time I thought it a nice tale, a little light, but with an uplifting message, when most stories were tragic. Rereading it this year, I felt exactly the same. The plot is simple: a seagull wishes to no longer squawk and squabble, but rather soar out in the more pure ocean waters - and teach others in turn to do the same. Like before, the story is a light, uplifting read. I suppose if I were to be critical, I'd say that the whole metaphor is heavy handed and the symbolism throughout is also overtly omnipresent. I think perhaps the story is more a product of its time rather than a true masterpiece. Still, it's nice to see some positivity in literature. The easy read might still impact younger adolescent readers today with regards to self-growth and individual choice.
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  • Henry Avila
    January 1, 1970
    Ode to the Paper Book: Holding a paper book in yours hands,smelling it ,feeling the pages as you flip them.Touching the cover.Looking back as you pass the bookshelf at an old friend.No, a computer can never replace that!A machine, cold ,impersonal,dead!As long as there are people in this crazy world of ours , the paper book shall survive!-Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a different kind of bird.He would rather fly as high as possible,than catch a fish.Recklessly diving,for fun, he cheats death Ode to the Paper Book: Holding a paper book in yours hands,smelling it ,feeling the pages as you flip them.Touching the cover.Looking back as you pass the bookshelf at an old friend.No, a computer can never replace that!A machine, cold ,impersonal,dead!As long as there are people in this crazy world of ours , the paper book shall survive!-Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a different kind of bird.He would rather fly as high as possible,than catch a fish.Recklessly diving,for fun, he cheats death many times.Of course Jonathan is an outcast who the others shun.Taught by an elder seagull about spiritualism(bird style),J.L.S. reaches gull heaven soon after(no he doesn't die). The seagulls big activity in paradise is to sit on a cliff, contemplating their navels, or wings or something like that(might sound a little strange to humans?).Bored, he begins teaching others. His followers begin calling Jonathan ,Son of the Great Gull, who else? Will he return to his flock back on Earth?And spread,not his wings, but the word?
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  • James
    January 1, 1970
    Published in 1970 at the tail end of the hippy counter culture revolution of free love and free thinking – the laudable premise underpinning ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ is seemingly that of living life to the full, outside of the constraints of any political, religious or moral belief system and with nothing to stop or limit freedom. Perhaps Oscar Wilde’s quote – “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars” also sums up (far more successfully and succinctly) at least a Published in 1970 at the tail end of the hippy counter culture revolution of free love and free thinking – the laudable premise underpinning ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ is seemingly that of living life to the full, outside of the constraints of any political, religious or moral belief system and with nothing to stop or limit freedom. Perhaps Oscar Wilde’s quote – “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars” also sums up (far more successfully and succinctly) at least a large part of this book.Bach’s novel and message was perhaps all well and great at the time of publication and in the context of its time. Maybe ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ did seem revolutionary at that time, but now it reads as quite a crude, clumsy and basic attempt at profundity and wisdom.With little flair or much real imagination, what we have is the life and flight of a seagull (the author being a pilot) as a metaphor for life being lived without limits, seemingly as the path to immortality.Neither as strong, compelling or as moving as I’d anticipated and hoped, given the novel’s reputation, ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ was overall unfortunately underwhelming. There are faint echoes here of C S Lewis (Narnia/Aslan) – but without the flair for evocative storytelling. Ultimately a disappointing read.The photographs included by Russell Munson are suitably evocative and do add to the novel.
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  • Jesse (JesseTheReader)
    January 1, 1970
    This was a truly simple, but inspiring story.
  • Nandakishore Varma
    January 1, 1970
    This would have got 4, or even 5 stars if I had read it in my metaphysics-loving youth. But I read it after I had become a cynic and a confirmed sceptic, so the fable just felt hollow.
  • Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*
    January 1, 1970
    This book is EVERYTHING I LOATHE about children's fables. I'll write a better review later because right now I'm itching to punch Bach!****Review****Once upon a time there was a seagull and all he wanted to do was fly - fast, high, rolling dives.....Don't bother me, I just want to FLY, B*tchesOkay... whatever.... you want to fly, birdy, I get it! However, you also NEED to eat, you know, to survive and all!! The flock steps in on JLS and tells him he needs to stop fluttering about like an idiot This book is EVERYTHING I LOATHE about children's fables. I'll write a better review later because right now I'm itching to punch Bach!****Review****Once upon a time there was a seagull and all he wanted to do was fly - fast, high, rolling dives.....Don't bother me, I just want to FLY, B*tchesOkay... whatever.... you want to fly, birdy, I get it! However, you also NEED to eat, you know, to survive and all!! The flock steps in on JLS and tells him he needs to stop fluttering about like an idiot and accept reality.... and he's all: (Only significantly less awesome, because Adam Levine is...... SMEXY)Honestly, I'm not a religi-hater I just can't stand force feeding children bullsh*t that makes no sense! If you don't eat, children, you will not become the most amazing flier in the world!!! You will just, wait for it........It's good and important to have dreams, kids, but so is responsibility!
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  • Leila
    January 1, 1970
    This is a short but oh so beautiful a book! I love birds, though seagulls are not always the most popular of species. I have my own seagull who awaits me every morning, hovering around nearby perching posts like roofs, telegraph poles and street lamps for any cast off cat food I put out for him and his name (given by me) is Cedric. (Don't ask me why, it just came into my mind when he first began to visit) Cedric may even be female but I don't think so. He is down for his breakfast before I have This is a short but oh so beautiful a book! I love birds, though seagulls are not always the most popular of species. I have my own seagull who awaits me every morning, hovering around nearby perching posts like roofs, telegraph poles and street lamps for any cast off cat food I put out for him and his name (given by me) is Cedric. (Don't ask me why, it just came into my mind when he first began to visit) Cedric may even be female but I don't think so. He is down for his breakfast before I have even returned inside. I have arrived late to Jonathan Livingston Seagull but oh so well worth the wait for it is a magical read. It is about the dreams, hopes, search for freedom, perseverance, confidence, sense of achievement, ambition, humility and respect of one young seagull. His parents and flock do not understand him but although he respects his parents and elders he never wavers in his personal goals. I love the book and have already ordered the DVD and the CD of the beautiful music and lyrics sung by Neil Diamond. I recommend it highly.
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  • Manny
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book too late, when I was about 18, and found it unutterable silly. I could see that the idea might once have appealed to me, but there was something about the style that just grated. Oh well.
  • Gayathri
    January 1, 1970
    Read the full review at Elgee WritesIf you are looking for something motivational to inspire you back to action when nothing works in your favor, this is the one for you.This book will make you question every one of your beliefs and that may or not sit will with all the readers, but it is worth keeping our minds open, doesn't it? Published in 1970s, the concept is still relevant today as it talks about peer pressure and questioning your faith. While I personally didn't like this one much, it has Read the full review at Elgee WritesIf you are looking for something motivational to inspire you back to action when nothing works in your favor, this is the one for you.This book will make you question every one of your beliefs and that may or not sit will with all the readers, but it is worth keeping our minds open, doesn't it? Published in 1970s, the concept is still relevant today as it talks about peer pressure and questioning your faith. While I personally didn't like this one much, it has been called a classic no less. So it should not hurt to give it a try, right?Final thought: A classic that didn't work for me, but it may for you. Recommended to: Self help book noobsBlog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon |
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  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    I read this originally when I was about 11 years old I think. I had never read anything like it.I enjoyed the simplicity, and I think I identified with Jonathan more than a little—even at 11. As I think about this book almost 30 years later, I wish that I hadn't sold my copy of it, as I have an urge to re-read it and refresh my memory of Jonathan's struggles to break through. July 2, 2009:Just re-read this for the first time in many years. "Let's begin with level flight." So much truth in that I read this originally when I was about 11 years old I think. I had never read anything like it.I enjoyed the simplicity, and I think I identified with Jonathan more than a little—even at 11. As I think about this book almost 30 years later, I wish that I hadn't sold my copy of it, as I have an urge to re-read it and refresh my memory of Jonathan's struggles to break through. July 2, 2009:Just re-read this for the first time in many years. "Let's begin with level flight." So much truth in that simple statement.
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  • Sheree
    January 1, 1970
    A timeless inspirational story (published in 1970) about Johnathan Livingston Seagull, a seagull bored with the limitations of 'seagull life'. What sets this book apart is its simplicity in conveying thoughts on life and what the reader takes away depends on their personal perception. Motivation to seek a higher purpose, follow your dreams and not be held back by conventional limitations.
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