When is a classic not (necessarily) a classic?

I read the ultra-slim tome of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach whilst walking my dog round the old racecourse in Northampton this afternoon. I’d been given it by a then-colleague some eight or so years ago and had always heard good things about it but hadn’t got around to reading it (as is the way with the couple of hundred novellas in my bedroom and more anthologies around the house). Whilst I didn’t dislike it, I have to say that it wasn’t what I expected it to be. I’m not a particularly spiritual person and this, I feel, is our undoing. So, it’s gone to my writing buddy Lucy and will then go on to my reading buddy Caroline (though she doesn’t know it yet) who will no doubt profess their love of it. So, like any kind of art, it just goes to show that it’s all subjective; a splodge on a canvas to one eye is a fine use of space with a deep hidden meaning to another (give me a Dali over a Pollock any day).

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