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One by Richard Bach
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One (original 1989; edition 1989)

by Richard Bach

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1,311165,938 (3.54)11
Member:Falcon124
Title:One
Authors:Richard Bach
Info:PAN (1989), Paperback
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One by Richard Bach (1989)

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A speculative novel about other selves from parallel universes. From Publishers Weekly Readers will need a willing suspension of disbelief to enjoy this earnest pastiche of inspirational memoir/romantic adventure/science fiction, but then Bach's fans have swallowed everything from Jonathan Livingston Seagull to The B.
What if space shifted and time bent and we could meet ourselves as we'll be 20 years from now? A journey with his wife on road they never took and imagination and fear are tools for saving worlds. A curious loving fantasy in harmony with science and spirit at once; an open door ajar on a different path to finding ourselves.
Under the spell of quantum physics, Bach and his wife Leslie are catapulted into an alternate world in which they exist simultaneously in many different incarnations. " These little homilies can either be uplifting or mightily boring, depending on the reader's point of view," wrote PW.
  MasseyLibrary | Mar 14, 2018 |
See my review for Bridge Across Forever. ( )
  Kim_Sasso | Mar 14, 2018 |
The ideas are nice, but this guy was no writer. We'd have the same if a lot of engineers suddenly decided to write fiction. Frankly, I'd much rather have him write something philosophical/technical (for example, like Jane Roberts with her husband) than try to pretend that he can write fiction.. ( )
  avalinah | Sep 11, 2016 |
One
by Richard Bach
Dell, 1989
ISBN 0-440-20562-X (paperback), 378 pp.

Review date: May 2016

I've been on something of a Richard Bach kick lately, even though he's turning out to be far from my favorite author. Somehow I just keep coming across cheap copies of his books, so I figure why not expand my horizons? Well, you can't get much more expanded than a journey across dimensions throughout the multiverse, eh? And that's just what Bach's 1988 bestseller, One, provides.

The story begins with fictionalized versions of the author and his wife, Leslie, flying in their Martin Seabird seaplane, headed for a conference in Los Angeles, when suddenly a rift in the fabric of spacetime sucks them, airplane and all, into “the pattern”—a strange space that they're soon to find out exists between dimensions and serves as the roadway to alternate universes. They proceed to visit a number of these alternate universes at random (or, rather, as they are to learn, guided by intuition), where they encounter alternate versions of themselves and learn various things about themselves, humanity, and the nature of the universe.

Compared to Bach's previous bestseller, Illusions, I found this book better in some ways and worse in others. The author insertion was pretty annoying; in Illusions, the main character was a thinly veiled version of the author, but in One, Richard and Leslie were explicitly named and it seems clear that the reader is meant to suspend disbelief and read the book as autobiographical. On the other hand, I found the philosophy of One a little more palatable; Illusions was basically a tract for the New Thought movement, which seems very self-centered and focused on immediate gain, whereas One represents a more New Age outlook, focused more on others and on humanity as a whole, with a long-term focus on love, peace, and understanding.

Like another New Age bestseller, The Celestine Prophecy, this book is more a book of ideas than a plot- or character-driven story, although both plot and character are better developed in this book than in the former. Bach once again shows that he fully grasps the basics of writing. The particular quirks of this tale, however, do make for a less-than-spectacular read. Nonetheless, there are some interesting bits now and then, when it comes to Bach's ideas about philosophy, culture, and science. I'd personally like to have seen him go further in breaking out of his comfort zone (for example, when his characters meet alternate versions of themselves, they are typically the same sex as the original, or they are female-appearing amalgams of the two; why not throw in a female “Richard” and a male “Leslie” just to mix it up a bit?). But overall, as far as New Age fiction is concerned, it could be worse.

Before closing my review, I'd like to mention briefly the Internet-era feel of this book. In addition to the author insertion that makes me feel like I'm reading some Mary Sue fanfic, the text formatting is really strange for a professionally published book—especially one predating the Worldwide Web by a few years—in that there are spaces between each paragraph...but at least the paragraphs are indented (in the paperback version anyway; the hardcover original doesn't have indentations, giving it an even more internetty feel). Maybe Bach was clairvoyant or something; after all, the final chapter has a character at a conference giving a talk entitled ‘Future Without Borders: The Rise of the Electronic Nation’, which was a fairly obscure topic prior to the invention of the Worldwide Web. (OK, I doubt he's clairvoyant, but that and some of the other talk titles are evidence to me of Bach at his most insightful; I think the fictional Spring Hill Conference is actually my favorite part of this book.)

Despite a few really good bits of insight and thought provocation, Richard Bach's One isn't high on my list of recommendations—after all, there are the flaws I mentioned above— but because of those good bits I can't say it should be avoided at all costs either. Some people love it, and others probably hate it, but I think that in the end, it's really more of a take-it-or-leave-it kind of book.

——————————

Rating:

2 stars: It was OK. Whereas many reviewers tend to be more generous, most works I rate receive two or three stars. At this rating, all my expectations have been met; there are few technical, conventional, or factual flaws, if any, and I found the work to be mildly entertaining and/or sufficiently informative, but it wouldn't be at the top of my list of recommendations. There is a bit of subjectivity at work: some otherwise three-star works might end up here simply because their genre or subject matter doesn't appeal to me. Equivalent to a school grade of 'C', or average. ( )
  tokidokizenzen | May 9, 2016 |
Didn't like as well as some of his others. ( )
  suefitz1 | Apr 3, 2013 |
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I gave my life to become
the person I am right now.
Was it worth it?
Would we change if we knew what waits beyond space and time?
Dedication
With Leslie
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We've come a long way, haven't we?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 044020562X, Mass Market Paperback)

I gave my life to become the person I am right now. Was it worth it?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:48 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Richard journeys with his wife to a realm where he can meet himself as he'll be twenty years from now, where he can talk face-to-face with the person he was in the past, in parallel lifetimes, and in alternate worlds.

(summary from another edition)

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