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Staff Pick – Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Illusions: the adventures of a reluctant messiah by Richard Bach

Someone recently recommended this book to me, and though I was initially somewhat reluctant to read it since it isn’t the type of book I typically go for, I found it to be an intriguing book.

At under 200 pages, it was a very quick read which delved into the author’s own philosophical notions about mortality and free will.

A drifting barnstormer named Richard meets another pilot named Donald P. Shimoda, who turns out to be a rogue messiah. Richard, who can’t understand why Shimoda would turn his back on his gift and on humanity, becomes enthralled by Shimoda and his miracle-working. Shimoda begins to teach Richard about his job as a messiah, and shows him how to perform miracles with the aid of passages from the Messiah’s Handbook that Shimoda lends to Richard. As Richard comes to know Shimoda his perception of reality begins to change as he is forced to confront the paradoxical nature of faith and belief.

The book that really put Richard Bach on the literary map was his novel Jonathan Livingston Seagull: a story, which is a commentary on the pursuit of perfection told through the story of a seagull that is learning about life and flight.

“This is a story for people who follow their hearts and make their own rules…people who get special pleasure out of doing something well, even if only for themselves…people who know there’s more to this living than meets the eye: they’ll be right there with Jonathan, flying higher and faster than ever they dreamed.Goodreads

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.”Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

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Welcome to The Reader, a blog from the Readers' Services staff at Halifax Public Libraries. Our goal is to create a forum for book news and related discussion among leisure readers. A place for Halifax leisure readers to interact with their library and the larger community of leisure readers.


The views and opinions expressed in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of haligonia.ca.


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