Jonathan's Reviews > Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
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's review
May 21, 08

bookshelves: contemporary-fiction
Recommended to Jonathan by: my birth certificate
Recommended for: people who smell like patchouli

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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Comments (showing 1-22 of 22) (22 new)

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message 1: by David (new)

David He's right. Jonathan's mom=huge stoner.

message 2: by Sibyl (new)

Sibyl Ummmm


I'm sure your parents could have done A LOT worse in choosing your name.

Mine did!

message 3: by Sandi (new)

Sandi Thank you for my laugh of the day!

message 4: by Kim (new) - rated it 1 star

Kim Hysterical. And I completely agree.

message 5: by Sophiebird (new)

Sophiebird Yes, Yes. I always thought this book sucked, and began to think it was a problem within me. Was I missing something. Why such a hit?

It isn't too late to change your name to Atticus! :) They could have named you Reefer or worse yet, one of the (top 10) most unoriginal names available, in an attempt to protect you from standing out in the crowd.

Wendy Scott Haha, well, sorry to hear that this name was not bestowed on somebody who actually liked the book. I liked it, but I'm a girl, so the name 'Jonathon' would've been a weird match. (Incidentally, the extra cheese sticks thing? Very exciting when that happens. I don't read too much into that but I do pay attention to who filled my order and hope that same person is on shift 'next time I come in to order pizza.)

message 7: by M (new) - rated it 3 stars

M I hope I don't smell like patchouli. What is it?

message 8: by Micah (last edited Aug 01, 2010 01:32PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Micah Haha great review, even if I did enjoy the book. Sorry to hear about the naming issue but they could've done much worse. Thank God they didn't name you "Calculus" after their favourite Math text.

Judy I guess you already know that you are hilarious! Thumbs up for giving me a laugh.

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads M wrote: "I hope I don't smell like patchouli. What is it?"

Patcholi is a scent they use in perfumes and incense, and the scent of it back in the day usually meant someone was trying to hide the smell of pot.

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Nah,we had polyhedral dice-based games in the 1970's, too.

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads True, that. Maybe later on in the decade, though.

Chi-Chi A HAHAHAHA this is the best review I've read on this site so far! Made my night. Thank you.

Austen to Zafón Love your review. I read and re-read and loved this book in 1973, when I was 8. I think that should be its intended audience age. However, even though I now agree with your assessment, it still holds a place in my 8-year-old heart.

Don Incognito What's this about rolling 20-sided dice? Never heard of it.

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 20-sided dice are common in RPG board gaming. (Which first came to popularity in the 1970s.)

message 17: by Armando (new)

Armando dam!!!! HHahh ha oh man, that was the best review I ever heard.. hhah i was on the ground laughing. Thanks Man, i will defiantly avoid this book. i roll this nex dobbie! Haa. Dude, i had a beautiful huge white cat with a rumpled Brow, at the time I was reading Moby Dick, The seven pillars of wisdom and watching kill Bill, So I named him Bill Lawrence the white Lotus Dick the Third. Hows that for A name!

message 18: by Gloria (new)

Gloria This is the best review of JLS I've ever read. Thanks, man. Sorry about your name.

message 19: by Ana (new)

Ana Kim Omggg you're so funny and you addressed a lot of the same things I was thinking about. I was recommended this book as life changing from a post on Quora. I didn't see what the big deal was. Nice to know I'm not the only one who thinks this way

message 20: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca You. Are. Hilarious.

message 21: by Don Incognito (last edited May 12, 2014 12:29PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Don Incognito Gloria wrote: "This is the best review of JLS I've ever read. Thanks, man. Sorry about your name."

It's great, but in my opinion, the best satiric review by far was the one that had the seagull on Oprah (after about twenty years of fame) having to deal with the pathetic fangeeks whose lives he negatively influenced. Regrettably, I can't find that review here anymore; perhaps the reviewer left Goodreads after the Amazon takeover.

Amanda Couldn't agree more. This book is ass wipe.

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