Ishmael Author:Daniel Quinn 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... more » 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 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 a higher destiny?possible for him -- one more wonderful than he has ever?imagined?« less
From Publishers Weekly
Quinn won the Turner Tomorrow Award's half-million-dollar first prize for this fascinating and odd book- not a novel by any conventional definition...
The unnamed narrator is a disillusioned modern writer who answers a personal ad ("Teacher seeks pupil...Apply in person.") and thereby meets a wise, learned gorilla named Ishmael that can communicate telepathically. The bulk of the book consists entirely of philosophical dialogues between gorilla and man, on the model of Plato's Republic.
I came across this book when it was assigned in my Philosophy course. I have never been assigned reading where I actually thanked the instructor for the selection afterwards.
This book is truly a simple, yet stunning look at our place within the world. Although the deus ex machina in this quick read at first seems cooky - it allows Quinn to tenderly convey his vital message.
This is a book that once you read it, you'll want to buy copies for everyone you know. I loved it - and I think that anyone who contemplates the world around them will find themselves happy they found this book.