Ishmael by Daniel Quinn | Teen Ink

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn MAG

April 4, 2009
By Grania PLATINUM, Portland, Maine
Grania PLATINUM, Portland, Maine
33 articles 0 photos 79 comments

Have you ever wondered if you are being lied to? Have you ever felt that our ­society is somehow unnatural – not the way humans were meant to live? Well, you're not alone. In his engaging and humorous novel Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit, Daniel Quinn explains the lie that all humanity has been told.

An intelligent, middle-class man has long since given up the idealistic dreams of his youth. But then he reads a newspaper ad: “Teacher seeks pupil. Must have an earnest ­desire to save the world. Apply in person.”

To the man's surprise, when he goes to meet the teacher, he finds himself face to face with a telepathic lowland gorilla named Ishmael. Ishmael teaches him how to save the planet from ­humankind, and how to save humanity from itself.

This is the perfect book for young people because it addresses many questions we have about the society that is being passed on to us. Quinn places the reader in the position of the man who is being taught. The philosophy of this book makes such sense that you will wonder why you didn't think of it yourself.

I will never view the world (or my place in it) in the same way again. This book has changed me and inspired me to change the world. Instead of just talking about what the world will become if we don't change our habits, Quinn gives us a goal to strive for. Ishmael presents a vision of a utopian future and then tells us how to attain it.

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