Sunday, December 16, 2007

BOOK: Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

I was looking in the Q section for an author that started with Q for the A to Z challenge and happened upon this book. It's a new age thought book, somewhat reminding me of the Celestine Prophesy a book I read years ago.

A man, the narrator, answers an ad about a teacher looking for a pupil. The teacher turns out to be a gorilla named Ishmael, who can communicate through telepathy. It sounds weird, but it's just the set up, and all happens quickly. Ishmael proceeds to lead a discussion, drawing out from his pupil the problem with the world today. He dates it back to the time of the agricultural revolution, when mankind changed from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to settled, civilized as it were.

This book has inspired two more volumes and a few websites. I would say there is a movement of sorts for people who were moved to try and save the planet after reading these books.

I'm not sure what I thought of this book. At times, the arguments made sense, and I could see what Ishmael was saying; at other times though, it just felt like new age nonsense. There was a lot of anthropological, and sociological discussions. I think I would have really enjoyed this twenty years ago when I was in university, looking for myself and discovering all the different trains of thought and ways of looking at the world and society. Now I just think it was interesting to read; I took the car for a test drive, but I'm not paying for the car. I'm okay with what I have. I can see what might appeal to people who want to change the world, but I'm having enough of a hard time changing my sheets and towels, I'm not ready to take on the world.


I won a book at 3M's site. Merry Christmas to me! I won Milk Glass Moon by Adriana Trigiani. I don't know much about it, but Michelle has great taste, so I trust her recommendation. She has been cleaning and wants to give away 12 books before Christmas. The first six have been claimed, but she has 6 more to give out. Go check it out. some of them look really good. thanks Michelle.


  1. You're welcome!

    You always beat me to the reviews! :-) I just finished Ishmael a few days ago, too. I don't know why it takes me a few days to review something sometimes. Right now I'm just reading, reading, reading...trying to get to 100!!

  2. michelle - It's funnier that we read the same books at the same time.
    I am interested in hearing your review of Ishmael.
    You can make 100. You can do it!


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