Quinn, Daniel

Paperback - 1995
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
MORE THAN ONE MILLION COPIES IN PRINT 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?

Published: New York : Bantam/Turner Book, 1995.
Edition: Bantam trade paperback edition.
ISBN: 0553375407
Branch Call Number: F QUI
Characteristics: 263 pages ;,21 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Dec 22, 2014
  • Chapel_Hill_KenMc rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I wish everyone could read this book. Though its impact is probably somewhat less than a reading in 1992 would provide, it still crystallizes a powerful critique of modern society and the quest for domination, power, and conquest that characterizes so many human endeavors. Quinn's ecological message is probably more easily accepted than it was twenty years ago, but is still just as radical. Using an analogy in the novel, we're still plunging off a cliff, but we still are apparently too unconcerned with the inevitable outcome.

May 13, 2014

This book contains a very profound examination of modern civilization contained in an dialectic narrative. The challenge that modern technological society is not necessarily the best and inevitable and only way to live gives much to think about.

Feb 27, 2013
  • nillin rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Excellent book. Important perspective. The synopsis provided above is for the book My Ishmael. This original book (Ishmael) is about a different pupil, a middle-aged man.

Aug 22, 2012
  • bannierj rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Though slow to start, there are a few twists in turns throughout the book which are more than enough to keep the average fiction reader interested. Offering more questions than answers in its philosophy, Ishmael is one worth reading again and again for readers aged thirteen and up.

Aug 10, 2011
  • beckylunatic rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Expresses concepts that it would benefit more people to be exposed to. Stylistically clunky.

May 01, 2011
  • toddschirm rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Lots of good ideas but it's 266 pages of conversation between a telepathic gorilla and a man, so I got a little tired towards the end.

Apr 24, 2011
  • BankShot rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Well worth reading, thinking and talking about

Apr 21, 2011
  • aevaughan rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

love this book!!

Mar 30, 2011

an interesting dialogue between a very wise one and an earnest seeker after truth. Lots of good ideas

Nov 09, 2010
  • NoOneSpecialCa rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Simply put, everyone should read Ishmael.


Add Age Suitability

Feb 07, 2013

Darksocrates thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Aug 22, 2012
  • bannierj rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

bannierj thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


Add a Quote

Jan 22, 2015
  • BrittieAnn rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"You know how to split atoms, how to send explorers to the moon, how to splice genes, but you don't know how people ought to live."

Jan 22, 2015
  • BrittieAnn rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"With Gorilla gone, will there be hope for Man? With Man gone, will there be hope for Gorilla?"


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.

Find it at DBRL


Explore Further

Browse the Shelf
Find Series Titles and Other Books Like This With NoveList

Subject Headings