C.G. Worrell's Reviews > Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
6159855
's review
Feb 27, 12

Read in September, 2011

Put on your "willing suspension of disbelief" glasses. A giant telepathic gorilla is about to teach a jaded writer what it means to be civilized. I sucked this down in four days for a book club meeting. Using the Socratic method, Ishmael the gorilla leads the protagonist on a journey of cultural re-evaluation. What happened 10,000 years ago that led humans to where we are today: a planet of Takers consuming resources like a plague of locusts?
Ishmael is not a sanctimonious blow-hard, or a prophet, or a nag. He just calmly asks the reader to evaluate "Mother Culture" in a new light.
Many times I wanted to shake the mammoth gorilla. "Just TELL me the answers to your endless questions!" But this would have defeated the author's intent.
This is a short, very thought-provoking read. I really enjoyed the reinterpretation of biblical references, especially the ongoing Cain & Abel struggle. For me though, the book fell shy in answering the question: "Where do we go from here?" Also, I felt it had some logic flaws in the argument about birth control of primitive peoples. However, it definitely made me sit back and re-examine my level of consumption and sense of entitlement. To affect change, we all need to look in that mirror.
5 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Ishmael.
sign in »

No comments have been added yet.