Melinda's Reviews > Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
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's review
Jun 03, 2012

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Several years ago I read this entire book in a couple hours, standing up in a thrift store, because I couldn't afford to buy it. It was one of those days when I literally could not afford to purchase anything, not even gum, and had to get out of the house for a while. So my husband stayed home with several small children and I went to the thrift store where I saw a lot of fancy china, antique furniture, old books with cloth bindings and faded stamped-picture covers, and a lot of paperbacks of all ages. And Ishmael. It didn't occur to me until just now that it may reference "Call Me Ishmael," the opening line of _Moby Dick_. It was an odd time in my life; _Ishmael_ fit right in. It's also odd. It's the first time I had heard of Plato's cave, which made me rethink a number of things. Having it show up in my friend's _to read_ list here reminds me of the way it made me reconsider the premises I had previously lived my life by. I ultimately kept my core principles, though I understand better how others can have differing points of view. So I guess it was eye-opening, more than anything. It made me think. Now that my daughter has chosen a different set of core principles for her life, I'm remembering Plato's cave, and thinking that neither of us has touchable proof except in the results of our choices. Her results aren't in, yet. Mine... I guess my results are not all in, either, but my own decisions have led to a lot of joy and some pain. The joy has enormously outweighed the pain, so far.
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