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My Ishmael

My Ishmael
Author: Daniel Quinn
ISBN 13: 9780553379655
ISBN 10: 553379658
Edition: Reprint
Publisher: Bantam Books
Publication Date: 1998-10-06
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
List Price: $18.00

Winner of the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship, Daniel Quinn's Ishmael is a bestseller and a testament for a burgeoning spiritual movement.  Now Quinn presents an extraordinary sequel, a companion novel so startlingly original that even Ishmael's most faithful readers will not predict its outcome....

When Ishmael places an advertisement for pupils with "an earnest desire to save the world," he does not expect a child to answer him.  But twelve-year-old Julie Gerchak is undaunted by Ishmael's reluctance to teach someone so young, and convinces him to take her on as his next student.  Ishmael knows he can't apply the same strategies with Julie that he used with his first pupil, Alan Lomax--nor can he hope for the same outcome.  But young Julie proves that she is ready to forge her own spiritual path--and arrive at her own destination.  And when the time comes to choose a pupil to carry out his greatest mission yet, Ishmael makes a daring decision--a choice that just might change the world.

Publishers Weekly

In 1989, Ted Turner offered a $500,000 fellowship for a work of fiction that offered positive solutions to global problems. Out of 2500 entries worldwide, Quinn's quirky first novel, Ishmael, won the prize (which after some controversy, was never awarded again). The book featured a wise, telepathic gorilla who engaged in Socratic dialogue with a young man, teaching him how he could help save the world from its self-destructive path. In this predictable sequel, disenchanted 12-year-old Julie Gerchak responds to a classified ad: "Teacher seeks pupil. Must have an earnest desire to save the world." So begins a 300-page lecture by a silverback gorilla who expounds his theories on the suicidal plunge of contemporary culture (the Takers) and his belief that learning from tribal cultures (the Leavers) is our only path to survival. The simian scholar tries to distill thousands of years of human wisdom and experience into a few simplistic preachments and parables. Despite the author's claim that Julie represents a new challenge to Ishmael, the little girl is no Phaedrus, and in any case the gorilla hardly seems to need an interlocutor. His reflections are a novel like a two-by-four is a pine tree. Fans will buy; others may content themselves with the Web site. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Nov.)