The Bridge Across Forever: Richard Bach

This book is a favorite of, or at least has impressed, many people I know. When I first picked up this book, I thought I was too young and I postponed reading it. The second attempt was when I was in college. For some reason, I had to put it down. Now, in the third and final attempt, I finally succeeded in finishing this book. Now that it is over, I wish I had read it in my younger days, when I used to fantasize about my soul mate, my Mr.Right, where he was and whether he too was wondering about where his soul mate is. After nearly 3 years of marriage, all notions of Mr.Right and Prince Charming are out of the window and this book sounds like a big joke. Just to clarify, I don’t mean to say I am not happy with my husband, I just want to say that nobody is perfect, there is no Mr.Right. We all have to make some compromise no matter who we choose as our life partner.

Let’s come back to the book. As the preface says, “it’s about a knight who was dying, and the princess who saved his life.” In general, it’s about a guy who almost always day dreams about his soul mate and fantasizes about making a perfect couple. It would have sounded credible if the guy in question hadn’t had a failed marriage. The book is the author day dreaming aloud.

The book begins on a good note. It starts with the author realizing that it is high time he looked out for his soul mate. He wonders the whereabouts of his soul mate and these few pages sound like they are straight out of a teenager’s personal diary. Mine would have been similar too, if I had kept a diary. On one hand he is searching frantically for his soul mate, while on the other he loves his freedom over anything else and does not want be to tied to one woman. These are contradictory, I know, and I kept asking myself how much sense that makes.

He finally meets a woman and he is completely mesmerized by her. He decides to have a platonic relationship with her and starts calling her his ‘sister’. When I read this, I just cringed. It brought back memories of all those incidents in my college, where every other guy and girl became brother-sister because they wanted a license to go out with each other. And most of these bro-sis pairs are married now, happily or otherwise. No guesses here, the sister doesn’t remain a sister forever and he finds himself in bed with her. I knew I should have stopped reading the book at this time, but I pushed myself to carry on.

The couple spend time doing nothing but exchanging mushy-mushy words and general gyan on life and love. They are supposed to be learning and growing up. A book cannot have just a few romantic scenes and fights. You need a story, right? So, throw in a few incidents like the protest against cutting trees and author going bankrupt. No where in the book does the author come across as someone who is about to lose every penny he owns.

“What’s written here happened in fact very nearly the way it’s turned out in print” says the author in the preface. I have my own suspicions because certain incidents are quite unlikely to happen. The out-of-body experiences, the author’s dreams in which he meets his past and future, the couple dreaming together, the deja-vu’s – I mean, how can one believe all that? They say, a book needs a problem which the readers want to see solved. The problem about this book is it doesn’t have a problem. Everything is sugar sweet, the author never takes off his pink glasses and uses his heart more often than his head.

If mushy-mushy, lovey-dovey, melodramatic Karan Johar movie is your taste, you will love this book. If you are too burdened with practicality of life, want to be lost in a world where there is no problem, pick this up and escape into the author’s world.

Edit: I just now read that the so-called perfect couple of this book are no longer a couple; they have separated. I hope Bach does not end up writing another book to justify this act.

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14 Responses to “The Bridge Across Forever: Richard Bach”

  1. Boink Blogs Says:

    […] Bridge Across Forever: Richard Bach anaamica created an interesting post today on The Bridge Across Forever: Richard BachHere’s a short […]

  2. papaw arthur Says:

    This guy who brought society Jonathan Livingston Seagull at exactly the time we needed it, also wrote One. Richard Bach’s One had a major impact on my life.

  3. Anaamica Says:

    What did you think of Bridge Across Forever? After reading this book, I am not sure I want to read another Bach book.

  4. papaw arthur Says:

    I have not read and do not plan to read Bridge Across Forever — especially having read your review.

    An acquaintance recommended One. It seemed spiritual at the time. The specific premise of One was the attraction for me. Richard being a direct descendant of THE composer, JS Bach, didn’t hurt.

  5. Anaamica Says:

    I picked up the wrong book then. I should have read One before I read this. You said One had a major impact on your life. Do you have a note/review on this book? Can you point me to it? If not, can you tell me some things that you liked about the book?

    You roused my curiosity by saying the book is spiritual. I might pick it up if you recommend it.

  6. papaw arthur Says:

    When I was told I might want to read it, there was something spiritual for me at that moment. I wasn’t sure why.

    One is the first outside influence to suggest to me we are all a part of something we do not understand. I began to reconsider time as a fourth dimension and to consider all things in my mind are related. My weblog is, not by coincidence, OneRoad.

    If you believe that the scientific and the spiritual are coming together, I recommend One. I would also recommend recent posts on the blog Sanctuary for Change.

  7. Anaamica Says:

    I will definitely read this book. I am curious what Bach has to say about our reason of existence. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Is this your weblog: http://oneroad.wordpress.com. If not, please give me the URL. I am interested in knowing your views.

    Is this blog you recommend: http://www.sanctuaryforchange.com?

  8. papaw arthur Says:

    Yes, that’s me.

    The sanctuaryforchange.com site is more than a blog as she is in business. Her blog is http://www.sanctuaryforchange.wordpress.com. The one post that is related to our discussion is “Are We Paying Enough Attention to our Own Evolution.” I recommend you read that post. The rest of the posts may or may not be of interest to you.

  9. Anaamica Says:

    Thanks for the links.

  10. Aakarsh Says:

    Although it is not officially stated, One comes as a sequel to Bridge Across Forever.
    Richard Bach’s novels are unconventional.They are not typical fiction novels. They have a combination of Fiction + Philosophy for which he uses Fantasy as a tool. The intention of the book is to sell the idea and glorify the theory of “Soul Mates”. And the author succeeds in that, although it doesnt have an event-filled story per se. The book is just like film like Dil Chahtha Hai, where nothing happens in the whole of 1st half and still the viewer watches because of the feel good factor generated.
    Also, this book gives an idea about how a Couple can lead their lives or about the importance of a soul mate and what difference can it bring (understanding levels etc).

    And about Bach and Leslie divorce: Check the last page of Bach’s another phenomenal book “Illusions”. 🙂

  11. Randy Says:

    From a particular spiritual p.o.v., I find Bach’s ideas to be limiting and disturbing. The idea behind spiritual awakening is to be awakened to your higher self, not to pine after someone else to be a whole human being.

    Ok, I understand about reincarnation and transmigration and I agree, there were probably a number of great past lives with someones but at the same time, the fact that we’re still here on this earthly plane perhaps suggests that we try something *new*, from time to time?

    Bach is against his own awakening; he wants basically a maternal figure in his life. Sorry, but that’s just another low grade Oedipal issue. I’d say that if Back dropped his soulmate idea, worked on himself more, and then found a compatible mate, as a self-sufficient non-needy individual, then I’d laud the book and recommend it for others.

    In a way, I’m surprised that he’d written this book when he was in his late 30s, than early 20s. Many of these ideas appeal to the less than 28 year old crowd, who’re living out their childhood aspirations and fantasies through people around them, a type of projection and reflection. After 30, however, most persons start to stop romanticizing their lives, as extensions of other persons’ psyches and are thus, more self-reliant and mature. Bach had never reached that stage in his adult development.


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