Sunday, August 7, 2011
Week 29: Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach
OK guys. This book is effing weird. Like, I think it might be propaganda for some weird cult that believes in some weird seagull god. It's trippy. I mean, I enjoyed it, it was sort of an epic mind journey. But I don't really get it, per se. It's about a seagull named Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Yeah, he's got three names. He lives in a flock of seagulls but feels as though he doesn't fit in with the others. He loves to fly, and wants to spend all of his time flying. The other seagulls fly, but only to catch food. They don't love flying the way Jonathan Livingston Seagull does. He continues to fly around all night, flouting all the seagull rules, and before he knows it he is in hot water. He's forced to stand before the seagull council who rules that he must be banished from the flock. Off he goes, into the sky, far away from his flock. He starts a new, solitary life. Then, some other seagulls from outer space come get him and bring him away from Earth to meet their seagull leader, Chiang. People, I am dead serious here. So Chiang basically extols Jonathan Livingston Seagull (I'll refer to him as JLS from now on, like one of those Hollywood celebrities) and tells him that he has a special gift, his love of flying and his flying skills. They teach him how to fly better. Then he returns to Earth and helps other seagulls who have been outcast by encouraging them to be themselves. It's an interesting story in the sense that I was not bored reading it. I was, at times, confused - is this a children's book? Was the author high? Is this an allegory for some bigger tale? Then I looked it up online and found out that not only was a movie made of this book, but it inspired an album. An album by NEIL DIAMOND. I feel like I'm missing something. I'm so confused! I welcome JLS's life lessons, but perhaps I'm not ready to receive them yet. Perhaps one day I will be.