Illusions by Richard Bach

DATE FINISHED: April 23rd, 2011

RATED: ***

SYNOPSIS: Donald Shimoda, has quit his role as Messiah, bored with the crowds who craved miracles but would not listen. Making ends meet by selling short flights in his bi-plane, Richard meets Donald in a field in Illinois, and through their conversations, Richard learns what it is to be the Messiah.

THOUGHTS: This book is less about religion than about spiritual growth, and it has a simple message: “be thou happy on the earth”. It is a story of faith, and personal freedom, teaching that we are each our own saviour – essentially, the power of positive thinking. Is it profound? Not really; but as a life philosophy it has the strength of simplicity.

I have a general aversion to fiction ‘with a message’, but while this is undoubtedly a fictional story, it is really more a (short) manual of spiritual guidance framed as a fable. This is still most definitely not my genre of choice, but on the other hand, it’s not as pretentious or condescending or inpenetrably ‘mystical’ as others of its ilk. I think that’s as good as this review is going to get. Sorry.

FOLLOWING ON: You could try Bach’s most famous fable, ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’. Avoid ‘The Second Coming’ by John Niven.

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