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headspinningfromvagueness

Ironic Contradictions

I'm a long time reader - since way back when I was seven. That makes it over three quarters of my life that I will be a reader for. But it is worth it. When I'm not reading or wasting my time online on here or Goodreads I'll be off playing video games, studying teaching and messing around with friends and pop culture. Or reading some more.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull: A Story - Richard Bach, Russell Munson The dismissive review of this text: What an absolute waist* of time! I mean OMG how bad is this!

The intellectual review of this text: Well, um, I do believe that, um, this is positively remarkable. With only 87 pages Mr Bach produces a fable of such monumental importance to all humanity. He discusses the idea of alienation, provides a subtle sense of xenophobia and highlights the hamartia of humanity.

The unsure student's review of this text: I think it was, like, sort of good. I mean I like the whole story of the seagull's learning to fly and all. I was sort of lost in seagull heaven that was not heaven and had no idea what was going on ya know?

The working man's appealing to intellectual tendencies review: Well I think that the novella is top class. It has a fascinating story about birds, some great pictures (of birds) and well it really tells us something about how incredible we as people can be. We can make our own heaven as he says and we all don't have to be alienated.

My review:

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull and I may share a first name but that's about as far as we can be friends. He's an outsider in his flock and so I don't think that we can relate on a personal level. Although to be fair it's not his outsider tendencies and his rebellion against what seagulls should be doing that drives me away. No I'm perfectly fine with the fact that he wants to fly free and fast, fishing out at sea rather than scrabbling for chips and fish on quays and attending sporting matches at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. I don't think that I can approve of his extracurricular activities, however, which involve being transported to another plane of existence (because he can fly so well, no less) with strange spirit gulls. I mean my parents told me never to go off with total strangers and here Jonathan Livingstone Seagull does just that and ends up in another weird dimension which is heaven, but not heaven. After all, Jonathan, is told, heaven must be found inside us and we find it through perfection which is in in being. A little pretentious perhaps?

What I dislike most about this fable is what I perceive as the intended message. I am completely opposed to the mystic new age idea of finding contentment and peace within oneself to find heaven. That is because I instead believe in there being a life after death which is not a movement up to new planes of existence as seen in this work but rather one final resting place which is eternal. Of course I must admit that the positive of this work was that it was short. Which made it easy to race through in half an hour.

Read if you wish but I will not be classing this a must read classic. Nor will I ever attempt to read this again. Unless of course the fictional reviewers above chase me down and force me at gunpoint. Or if a dozen clowns tie me up with nylon cords and force me to choose between reading it or hearing Vogon poetry...


*the author of this review would like to inform that this is a poirposeful missspelling.