In my opinion, this is A-OK, because Jonathan Livingston Seagull is an extremely silly book. I'm being dismissive, and (without walking that opinion back) I apologize, because I'm genuinely glad that so many people found solace in it during the early 70s. But if they needed self-actualization lessons in the form of seagulls who want to fly for the pleasure of it, maybe they should have tried yoga instead. Just a thought.
The book preaches that freedom (and evidently the ability to teleport?) is within us all the time, and we don't need to go looking for it. It's also quite short. I read it in probably half an hour, and you could too, if you want to understand a bit about the pre-Watergate years in this country. I am endlessly fascinated by the way America moved and thought and danced and wept and consumed during the twentieth century, so I'm not a bit sorry I read it, but I wouldn't necessarily say it was a book to change your life if you're a resident of the twenty-first.
|Apparently we got a halfway decent Neil Diamond album out of it, so...um...|
I also read Cosmicomics, by Italo Calvino, which was far better. I'm two for three on Calvino now, but the ones I've liked I wish I'd written. I do not wish I'd written JLS, but I sort of wish I could capture a cultural mood like that book did, if only to enjoy building a house in Bermuda with the proceeds.