View Full Version : Ishmael

01-13-2015, 08:24 AM
My reading assignment for myself over the holidays was one of the best books I've read in a long time. I only wonder why I didn't read it 20 years ago.

Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit by Daniel Quinn


Right now I'm reading his sequel My Ishmael:


When I started out I asked myself: really? A gorilla as an outsider perceiving civilization, who concludes that civilization is not sustainable in the long term? Civilization is the problem, not the solution.

Before our culture, humans lived just fine. For millions of years humans existed on the planet without conquering it, and that they did so sustainably. But civilization is not sustainable in the long term, but it's not humans that are responsible, it is the culture of incessant production that is.

An easy read novel, this is one all political sides should enjoy.

01-13-2015, 08:30 AM
Looks interesting...I'll have to check my library (I'm cheap)

01-13-2015, 02:44 PM
The narrator of this extraordinary tale is a man in search for truth. He answers an ad in a local newspaper from a teacher looking for serious pupils, only to find himself alone in an abandoned office with a full-grown gorilla who is nibbling delicately on a slender branch. “You are the teacher?” he asks incredulously. “I am the teacher,” the gorilla replies.

Ishmael is a creature of immense wisdom and he has a story to tell, one that no other human being has ever heard. It is a story that extends backward and forward over the lifespan of the earth from the birth of time to a future there is still time to save.

Like all great teachers, Ishmael refuses to make the lesson easy; he demands the final illumination to come from within ourselves. Is it man’s destiny to rule the world? Or is it a higher destiny possible for him—one more wonderful than he has ever imagined?


Animal Mother
01-13-2015, 02:49 PM
Alyosha's brother gave me that book last summer. Excellent. Chloe you'd like it. The gorilla tells the story.