I read "Illusions" by the same author when I was 13 or so, and it opened my eyes to the fearful clinging and self-doubt that prevents so many people from reaching their full potential. Reading "One" twenty years later made me feel ashamed of the opportunities I had let slip past, and of the neglectful way I often treat my future self. It also renewed my resolve to take responsibility for my every dream, doubt, achievement, and failure. And it made me appreciate Richard Bach that much more for writing the two books that have most influenced my outlook on life.
Every choice you make in every moment of your life, whether it's your whim to smile at a stranger in an elevator, your last-minute decision to eat a healthy meal instead of an artery-clogging one, or your whim to read one book and not another affects more than your next few seconds or minutes or hours. It can affect your entire future and the lives of others. I missed this point when I read "Illusions"; "One" drove it home.
"One" isn't as tidy as "Illusions." It introduces a lot of ideas but doesn't follow through on some of them to the extent that "Illusions" did. You may find this either a blessing or a curse, depending on how much material you need before you can run with it on your own.
There's a lot more to the book than what I've mentioned. Some of it bored me and some of it even annoyed me, but that happens when we listen to our best friends speak with candor. Maybe it was something I already knew; maybe it was something I'm not ready to know yet; or maybe it was just plain wrong. Bach shares his soul generously and we're free to take it or leave it. What we learn, or fail to learn, from an experience is also a choice. What I learned in "One" may escape your notice entirely. What I failed to learn may be your epiphany.
In this novel Richard Bach plays with alternate realities. Fantastic ideas about love, war, religion and reality. Lots of fun to read. It's sort of a sequel/companion book to "Bridge Across Forever" but you don't have to have read "Bridge" for this one to work, it stands alone just fine.
Takes you beyond "Illusions" to limitless possibles., April 25, 2001
Reviewer: Kim Thompson "katt2266" (Goleta, CA USA)
"One" is a deep, thought-provoking book. If you haven't read "Illusions" (and I highly recommend that you do!) you may founder a bit at the beginning, but you'll soon find your footing in Richard Bach's presentation of parallel lives based on choices we've made in our lives. Just stepping back to see that we are always making choices (sometimes not consciously) can help us better understand where we are in life and where we are going.
As much as I love this book, "Illusions" is my favorite, primarily because of it's simplicity. "One" is complex, not in the writing style, but in the possibilities it presents.
"This is a strange and thought-provoking fantasy from the man who gave us Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Illusions, one that is imaginative, playful, and in places, startling in concept." -- The Anniston Star. -- Review
I have all of Bach's books and re-read from time to time, as reminders of what to pay attention to and what to remember.
I beautiful and true love story. Inspiring.
I gave my life to become the person I am right now. Was it worth it?
Not as good as "Seagull", but still very interesting.
From the New York Times Book Review: "ONE presents a number of provocative speculations: What would it be like to meet yourself when you were older or younger? How would your life turn out if you had made different choices, split up with your spouse, been born in a different time and place?...With love and hope as their guides, and what matters most as their destination, the Bachs touch down in different times and places, where they commune with some of their alternative selves."
A simply beautiful and thoughtful book everyone should read!
There are four books that have changed my life, this is the second! After reading Richard Bach's "One,"--indeed, DURING the reading--my perspective on life, relationships, other people, etc. changed dramatically. A small shift in my perceptions made a huge difference in my outlook.
Recommended to all!
I gave the book to someone as a gift, s0 I didn't read it. Did kind of glance thru it. It looks as good as his other writings.
I really enjoyed Bach's Seagull, and the idea behind One was good. However, I couldn't get over his bashing of the military in this book. He was very vicious in some sections, and it ruined the book for me.
Absolutely amazing book! One of my all time favorites. I go back and read it every decade or so.
Read this book years and years ago. Enjoyed it as much as the first time around.