Jonathon Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
This illustrated short novel is about Jonathon, a seagull who is not content with the life laid out for him by his flock. While everyone else is content to merely living to eat, Jonathon yearns to fly and improve his understanding of his abilities as an avian creature. When he is cast out of the flock for his adventurous nature, he soon transcends his world into another and becomes a leader amongst seagulls for his innovative ways.
A fairly short and quick read, Jonathon Livingston Seagull (JLS) is your basic story of thinking outside the box and not conforming to the expected norm in your culture. The book is broken into three parts, with each part we follow Jonathon into a new arena of his life. There are religious undertones through the book that mostly start in Part 2. (Is Jonathon really the Messiah of the gulls?) In the many versions of the afterlife, there are sections of Jonathon teaching this new “faith” to his “disciples” as they try to convert many of the gulls still on Earth who aren’t happy with their lives. I definitely was not expecting the religious themes in this book, so that caught me off guard. Its very in your face, the way the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis are religious. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, its just the main element of the book. So its probably not the book for Atheists or Agnostics. The main point of the book, for me at least, is that we should always stay true to our dreams and true natures despite what the community thinks.
Book 5 of 2011Jonathon Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach Scribner, 1973 112 pages