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Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
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Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  61,475 ratings  ·  2,595 reviews
In the cloud-washed airspace between the cornfields of Illinois and blue infinity, a man puts his faith in the propeller of his biplane. For disillusioned writer and itinerant barnstormer Richard Bach, belief is as real as a full tank of gas and sparks firing in the cylinders...until he meets Donald Shimoda — former mechanic and self-described messiah who can make wrenches ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published March 12th 2001 by Arrow Books (first published 1977)
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YashaaGlobal Yes, I have read it almost 50+ times in last 24+ years. To be honest I owe a lot to this book, this book saved me, help me create my own blue feathers…moreYes, I have read it almost 50+ times in last 24+ years. To be honest I owe a lot to this book, this book saved me, help me create my own blue feathers.(less)

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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  61,475 ratings  ·  2,595 reviews

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Mar 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I believe this book moved me more than any other before or since. Not because the writing was so great but the thoughts contained in it were so close to what I was feeling as a 19 year old away from home and on my own for the first time. I still believe the ideas contained here are timeless and profound. The fact that the author kind of went a bit off the deep end does not bother me (although it did for a while!)

I remember that some factions of the Christian right were outraged that the book ref
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life. Over and over again. That is the simplest way to put it. One day a girl came into the pizza parlor I was working at and I commented on her tramp stamp. (It was as always, an attempt to get her to lower the jeans) - It was a blue feather tattoo. I asked what it represented and she told me it was the feather from the cover of a book, called "Illusions", and it had changed her life.
She brought the book into me as promised a couple days later with a four leaf clover as
Ahmad Sharabiani
Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, Richard Bach
Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah is a novel by writer and pilot Richard Bach. First published in 1977, the story questions the reader's view of reality, proposing that what we call reality is merely an illusion we create for learning and enjoyment. Illusions was the author's followup to 1970's Jonathan Livingston Seagull. llusions revolves around two barnstorming pilots who meet in a field in the Midwestern United Sta
Jul 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I LOVED this book!! I read it over and over and have given copies to several people.

The book starts off with a "handwritten" and smudged story, written like books in the Bible, by a auto mechanic who discovered the Divine in himself and was followed by throngs of people,who called him a messiah, until he had to disappear.

Then the "real" book begins: A young man flys around the country in his airplane, supporting himself by selling flights in his plane. One fateful day, he meets a strange individ
Rajat Ubhaykar
Jan 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
I call anything sounding grand and oh-so-awesome but actually meaning squat a Richard Bach quote. Illusions, to summarize, is a compendium of such quotes.

However, I gave the book two stars only because it is consistent with the philosophy it preaches. The idea that the book is saying anything of consequence is an illusion and you are the one attaching any reality and importance to it.

The book might have had some 'message', but I was too busy smell-proofing my mind from all the shit flying aro
Apr 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
um... probably the nicest thing to say about this book would be... a dumb mans "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"

anyway, i saw this book at a garage sale for 25cents... that made me pick it up. what made me *buy* it was this introduction

"I do not enjoy writing at all. If I can turn my back on an idea, out there in the dark, if I can avoid opening the door to it, I won't even reach for a pencil. But once in a while there's a great dynamite-burst of fling glass and brick and splinters thr
Mar 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I heard about the book on Esther & Jerry Hicks Video. After reading the reviews here on Goodreads I decided to make the 10 odd minute trip to Kinokuniya to grab a copy. I never regretted it. A book which carries the message of how we mould our own future, our own life, our own outcomes in a very engaging way. I finished this wonderful book in 4 hours or so. If you need anything to lift your spirits when you are feeling down, or restore your faith in the Law of Attraction, this is one of the many ...more
Steve Merrick
Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"Here is a test to find whether your mission to Earth is finished; If your alive it isn't."
Why write of the book when it could be more fun to explain the reactions of several other people who have read this one. Before I say anything else I feel it needs a health warning. The symptoms that I have witnessed as people read this book include, delusional psychosis, fantasising in public, maniac attempts at cloud bursting and one very very bruised nose. (A result of a grown man trying to swim in the
Richard Bach is the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a book about birds, but teaches lessons relevant to humans. I liked that book, but I like his second book MORE. It is about PEOPLE learning life lessons, not birds. I guess I relate more to people!!

Illusions is a lighthearted mystical adventure story about two barnstorming vagabonds who meet in the fields of the Midwest. Richard Bach meets Don Shimoda, the Reluctant Messiah. Magic and miracles surround Don. He calls them Illusions, not M
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I loved this story.
I love taking responsibility for my own life and outcome.
I love doing what I want to do, and leaving others free to do what they want.
I loved the analogy about all the creatures clinging to the sticks and rocks in the river, but one was tired of clinging and let go to follow the path the river led it down.
I loved the point that freedom is watching "your own films" not someone else's films, and the introspection that resulted when I pondered the films I actually like and wh
I read this when I was a kid and it really did influence me, as did Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I love reality bending fiction and I also loved the bent it had toward living with wisdom. I can't imagine what my life would have been without being surrounded by good notions like that. Of course, it was also surrounded by reality bending, too, so maybe I was pretty messed up as a kid. Fortunately, I read a lot in order to shuck-off all of those reality-bending mindscapes in favor of new reality-be ...more
Errin Davenport
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book! I have read it several times and with each reading I discovered a little part of myself, and remembered those times of miracles I had forgotten.
I've read this book more than once. The first time I read it, I was 22 years old, very idealistic and I thought this was the most brilliant book ever written by anyone. This one and "The Bridge Across Forever" were almost sacrosanct. Fast forward 15 years and I reread it with fond memories of the past and it struck me as less than good. In fact it was plodding and somewhat tedious. I am therefore splitting the middle and giving it 3 stars. A book for the younger idealist in me, not the jaded wom ...more
Jared Della Rocca
Nov 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
I am the product of two families. On the biological side, I was raised a Roman Catholic, and frequently joke that I'm part of the world's largest religion, Lapsed Roman Catholics. On my married side, I've been raised a Spiritualist. Wait, strike that. I'm a lower-case 's' spiritualist. Because it's not an organized anything, it's just a state of being.

This second way of living has trickled down from my mother-in-law to my wife and now to me. They are both more well-versed and studied in the mir
Apr 26, 2009 rated it did not like it
Please note the shelves this book is on: It's much more "junk" than "fun." I received this as a gift, and it says on the cover, "The glorious best seller by Richard Bach author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull and One", which I think pretty much sums it up. The author's note in the beginning is pretentious drivel about "I never wanted to write another book again because it's just so hard, but these characters and this story were just begging to be let out of my head..." Waah. The book isn't even 2 ...more
Nathan Trachta
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My friend Renee recommended this one to me, she knows I've had questions in life and I'm open to unique perspectives; what can I say, I don't know everything in life and I'm still learning. Illusions is a book of self learning or teaching by and indirect method, I'll let you decide. For me it was an indirect method learning about the illusions of life and how we limit ourselves. In this case Mr. Bach has two gentlemen who give airplane rides to people meet and we watch as one quests and learns a ...more
Tom Quinn
Aug 25, 2019 rated it liked it
You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true.

You may have to work for it, however.

Sometimes the stories of why we read the books we read are more interesting than the books themselves. Illusions was recommended to me by a coworker as one of his favorite books. In exchange, I suggested to him some of my favorites (and also pressed them on him from my personal library with an urgency that might have bordered on off-putting). I find it tricky to read someone el
Nov 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
Ugh. Arrogant, precious, trite, irresponsible. Methinks the author could use a lesson in transcending ego, for he could not resist sharing his vast knowledge of aviation, even at the risk of alienating readers with his cocky jargon. He was also fond of reminding us that he was often one step ahead of his master and was able to correct him at turns, peppering the speech with dickish evidence.

I disliked the jocularity, verbiage, setting, background, and even the message. I do not buy that I "just
David Ward
Feb 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, my-favorites
Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach (Delacorte Press 1977)(Fiction). A barnstorming messiah stops long enough to make some profound statements. This is much better than it sounds. For instance: "The original sin is to limit the is. Don't." - Donald Shimoda. My rating: 7.5/10, finished 1978. ...more
Jun 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books of all time. Yes, it is all soft pop-philosophy, but it can be profound at the same time. Just listen to it with an open heart, and let its message ease into your heart.
Feb 05, 2010 rated it did not like it
Wow, this book... *sigh* When I FINALLY got around to reading this little beat up paperweight, I was sick, in bed, with nothing else to do. I could have just as easily been asleep and equally productive. It was such a disappointment, because not only was it practically free, one of my best friends had good things to say about it.
This book was like the dictionary of fortune cookie-isms. The general message seemed to be "Whatever you think, that is what is, also, the opposite of that is as well."
Nick Duretta
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
I didn't know quite what to make of this. It's a mishmash of new-age wisdom and eastern philosophy disguised as some sort of fanciful folk tale about a man with godlike powers (he can create items out of thin air, fly his barnstorming plane without fuel, and so on) and a book of aphorisms he passes on to Bach, the author who also is in this tale. It's all a bit too precious. Thank goodness it was short. ...more
Nov 16, 2011 rated it did not like it
fuck a bunch of this.
Lance Greenfield
Oct 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-top-books
This is absolutely the best book that I have read in a long while.

There is much philosophy and much humour. And there is so much to stimulate the reader's mind into a flurry of thoughts. I could pick out so many quotable passages, but my favourite remains as one which I used on my own blog recently. If you are interested, take a look at Writer’s Quote Wednesday – The Chrysalis Moment .

I loved it so much that I shall immediately put it onto my personal top books of all time list.
Jishnu Bhattacharya
Aug 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
that you
like a book
And you will
like it

Well, I tried to. Didn't work, Mr Bach.
Laura Larson
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: september-2020
This is an inspiring and thought-provoking novella about what life really means. It really made me think about my place in the world, morality, and the comfort of religion.
Feb 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was actually a life-changing book. It was a book that opened my mind as to my own thought process when I came upon other individuals having challenges with life's journey. Here's a story I wrote about it (Not for eyes under 18):


I'm in love with a man who doesn't love me. Well, love is a strange word, a strong word, a poor-excuse-to-be-miserable word. He loves me as a friend, as a sister, as a pet, perhaps. I'm always around, following him like a lost puppy.

It's cruel, un
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved the way he started this book - with the fable... I found parallels to the life of Jesus - the messiah of the Bible. There are so many inspiring quotable lines. I liked this one best: `Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, and teachers'. Maybe because I'm a teacher? But I always loved that line. Even before I became a teacher :)
I think the idea th
Ben Wilkie
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Once again a wonderful yet short tale, enjoyed this even more than Livingston Seagull. It's like reading a condensed philosophy, with key points cleverly highlighted using the 'Messiah handbook'. Bach is as ever insightful, shall definitely revisit this after some time has passed.

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly."
Iona  Stewart
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this classic years ago, and have now re-read it. It is a book one never forgets. I read it in Danish, so my quotes from it are my own translations from this language.

The teller of the story, Richard, is a pilot, who flies from town to town selling short rides in his plane for three dollars a ride. One day he encounters another pilot, Donald, who leads the same sort of life as himself, also travelling round selling rides in his plane.

Richard, which is of course the author´s name, notices f
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Since Jonathan Livingston Seagull - which dominated the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List for two consecutive years - Richard Bach has touched millions of people through his humor, wisdom and insight.

With over 60 million copies of his books sold, Richard Bach remains one of the world's most beloved authors. A former USAF fighter pilot, Air Force captain and latter-d

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