From a review by Thom Hartmann for his "Independent Thinker Book of the Month":
"A frequent comment made by people on message boards that deal with questions like this – the problems of our society and the world we live in – is that there are 'pre-Ishmael' and 'post-Ishmael' people: those who haven't yet read the book and those who have. While it sounds a bit hyperbolic, most 'post-Ishmael' people will agree with the sentiment.
In the nearly three decades since his groundbreaking novel 'Ishmael' first appeared, Daniel Quinn has added an impressive body of works, building on the themes he first articulates in 'Ishmael.' Each is a stand-alone read. But if you really want to 'get' the most ancient of world-views that Quinn lays out throughout all of his works, begin with 'Ishmael.'
...The vehicle for all this is a novel in which Quinn's first-person protagonist answers an odd sort of help-wanted ad that says: 'TEACHER seeks pupil. Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person.'
Responding to the ad, the novel's viewpont character then meets Ishmael – a gorilla – who, in a series of riveting conversations that last throughout the book, pulls him back and forth through a metaphorical rabbit-hole from time-ancient to time-modern and vice-versa.
All this may sound abstract, dry or didactic – but it's not: It's compelling. It's the kind of book you start to read for a bit of distraction from a busy day and end up with half the night because you can't put it down. It'll ruin your weekend. You'll turn off the TV and cancel that dte for the movie, because you won't want to stop reading.
...This book has been a bestseller since 1992 – when it first appeared, after winning a half-million dollar prize in a competition sponsored by Ted Turner. It's still seling well, and has developed a strong cult following, as you can find on Quinn's website at
...There are few boks that actually have the effect of changing your world-view asa you read them. Even fewer are the type of fiction that drags you in, entertains you, and leaves you stunned. 'Ishmael' accomplishes all of this elegantly and is a perfect introduction to the further writings of Daniel Quinn, one of the wisest of our wise elders."
(Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning bestselling author and host of a nationally-syndicated daily progressive radio talk show on KPOJ in Portland, Oregon. EWe carry one of his most recent books, "We The People.")
"Ishmael" is our best-selling book in the three decades we've been in business, having sold over 1,800 copies – with no advertising, except people telling others about the book.