Illusions, like Richard Bach’s earlier bestseller, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, is a ’60s-ish, love beads, and tie-dyed little novel, but without bird photos.
Illusions opens with 14 pages that look like hand lettered text on ruled paper covered with greasy fingerprints. Those pages tell what happened to Donald Shimoda before Illusions‘ narrator, Richard , met him.
Richard is a pilot who flies an over American’s heartland, landing to pick up locals willing to part with $3 for a 10-minute ride in his old Fleet biplane.
One day in Illinois, he sees a plane on the ground below and, feeling lonely, he lands beside it.
Before nightfall, Richard and Donald, the Messiah Mechanic, are friends. Richard picks up Donald’s “Messiah Handbook” and without realizing it, he becomes a messiah-in-training.
In a few weeks, he’ll be a full-fledged messiah.
Illusions is a “spiritual” novel whose theology posits that all things are possible if you have as much as a mustard seed’s worth of imagination.
It’s not much of a theology, but it’s better than Jonathan Livingston Seagull could come up with.
The best part of Bach’s novel is the quote featured on the dust jacket:
Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you’re alive, it isn’t.
© 2018 Linda Gorton Aragoni