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A metropolitan city India (NRI)
There's nothing worse in life than being ordinary
Jun 27, 2003 07:41 AM 12123 Views
(Updated Jun 09, 2004 10:51 PM)



“The gulls who scorn perfection for the sake of travel go nowhere, slowly. Those who put aside travel for the sake of perfection go anywhere, instantly. – Jonathan Livingston Seagull”


What will I tell about a book that tells you a lot of things about life? There are so many books that are just wonderful. There are some that are excellent. Like Francis Bacon once said, they ought to be chewed and digested. JLS is one of those books, in my opinion. This masterpiece of metaphysics literature that introduced to us, a great writer called Richard Bach. I have also seen the movie made under the same title. This is a great book. My Analysis is in the review


JLS starts with a beautiful description about the happening on seashore on a glorious day. Like normal people, a seagull thinks about the happenings in their flock and how mundane their life is. With Jonathan (The main character), you are led to think in the Author’s perspective about the happenings and the philosophy of sedition to outclass the normal. Couple of phrases from the book explains the nature of seagulls (You can correlate that with human beings or any thing for that matter. That’s the beauty of Metaphysics) “For most gulls, it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight”, and The gulls who scorn perfection for the sake of travel go nowhere, slowly. Those who put aside travel for the sake of perfection go anywhere, instantly. While these phrases tells us how people take their lives, it is our hero, Jonathan who shows rebelliousness and vigor to excel.

Jon wants to fly. He wants to fly faster and faster than anyone could’ve imagined. This causes some heartburn in his flock and he perceptibly becomes an outcast by not adhering to the rule. Through Jon’s eyes, you are given the happenings of the world, how being a visionary and a person wandering away (!!) would cause some turmoil in the sociological system of any group. Jon tries harder and harder, meets some friends and learns some good tricks from them. After a while, he realizes that no matter how much ever he tries, he can only attain a certain level. Upon reaching his zenith, he comes back to earth to teach his techniques to others.


While this book and plot look very simple enough in your eyes, it is not the size that matters. The content and quality is always the king. (Like many mentioned, I am experimenting on a smaller and short review.) This 93-page book is a wonder to keep. I have always kept a copy with me and have read it quite often.

Many of the Bach fans would agree that most of his books are very philosophical. As JLS is a book that created some cult following for its magic of intricately woven words that imbibe in you a classic philosophy of life, you tend to believe the same is true.

My perspective of this book is the following. If you think you are right, you have to make some rules for yourself. These rules may not be normal in the eyes of many. If you believe that you tend to get some special pleasure out of doing the thing you do, you gotta go for it, even if you are an outcast or being ostracized. There are many people who live as per a society dictates. There are people who yield to peer/societal pressure. There are people who always enhance their lives in every possible moment. If man had thought a wheel was enough and felt satiated, would we have gone this far? If the entire IT industry stopped moving ahead when Bill Gates once said “640 KB is more than sufficient”? (I am just trying to use a topology here).

You got to better yourself. You should experiment to become better (I am talking in a positive context). Once you have gained your wisdom, you have to share your knowledge, for better or for worse, to prevent others from making the mistakes. JLS is all about it. He comes back and joins his flock to train the future Jonathans.

I could correlate this with life and metaphysical philosophy of the world. Bach has wildly succeeded in enhancing the harmony of your mind.


Content : - 5 Stars

Flow and Plot : - 5 Stars

Philosophy : - 5 Stars

Ease of Correlation : - 4 Stars

Overall Rating : - 5 Stars

Best Time to read : When you had an eventful week, on a Sunday morning after a goodnight’s sleep and a cup of coffee


This book is one of my all-time favorites. This book has its place, if I were to write a review on 5 favorite books. This is a must read. I give it as a gift to many of my friends, when deemed necessary. That’s how much I love this book.

I learned something new, when I saw the documentary with a beautiful music by Ne il Diamond to accompany this classic story. I could really consider myself to be Jonathan and was able to see the world through his eyes, in a better way than I did through the words. By no means the book is inferior. It is just my take on it. Try to see the cassette, if you get a chance.

I Hope you like this review, Please chip in your comments, when you have time.


If it's never our fault, we can't take responsibility for it.

If we can't take responsibility for it, we'll always be its victim.

  • Richard Bach in ''Running From Safety''

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Jonathan Livingston Seagull - Richard Bach