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674 Reviews
5 star:
 (426)
4 star:
 (99)
3 star:
 (42)
2 star:
 (26)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stop with the negativity
Well, I just finished reading this book for the first time a few days ago. I was presented with an idea that had never been brought fully to my senses. I personally am going through a huge mind change in my everyday life... not all credit goes to this book, but much of it can. Those who say all this hub-bub about the author being a poor writer and being an arrogant SOB...
Published on July 4 2004 by Nails

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars False Analogy Part Deux
First off, does the book deserve 1 star? In my humble opinion no it does not. It deserves maybe 3. Why only the one? Shear force of weight. I am simply trying to be somewhat of a counter balance. I approached this book expecting great things or at least substantial things. And let us begin and end there. No substance. Many arguments are arguments of False Analogy, but...
Published on April 30 2002 by michael_gorka


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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time reading it!, Dec 31 2004
By 
This review is from: Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Paperback)
I was intrigued when I heard about a book where a gorilla has a dialogue with a human regarding the fate of humankind. The topic is rich and there is so much to say about the whirlwind of madness the human race is caught in! Daniel Quinn managed to write an unconvincing and uninteresting book on this important topic. His arguments are weak, his comparisons are farfetched and the impending doom is only hinted at and never clearly presented. His solutions to the "problems" are somewhere between naive and inexistent. Whatever he had to say he could have said on 20 pages rather than 250.
Reading this book and finding out that so many people actually liked it, made me lose faith that humankind can actually be saved.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars You Are Not Alone (in hating this book.), Feb. 17 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Paperback)
I've been a high school teacher for many, many years, and the one book students metioned more than any other was 'Ishmael.' "It will change your life", they said. I finally gave in, and am relieved to know that my life has indeed changed in one important way: I never have to read 'Ishmael' again.
Daniel Quinn is possibly the most misanthropic and pedantic author I've ever encountered. Make no mistake: the insights, observations and ideas in this book are passe at best. If you are a reasonably thoughtful and educated person over the age of 18, this book holds nothing for you. I suppose this recommeds the book as children's literature to an extent, but it is unfortunately so poorly written that I would withold even that.
To make a very long list of grievances very short, I will say this: Quinn is reminiscent of nothing so much as a college freshman, so drunk with the recent loss of his apparently total ignorance that he is convinced that he is the first person in human history to understand elementary philosophy, theology and anthropology. Reading his book is like being lectured by an idiot, in the sense that no arrogance rankles like that of the truly dumb. I had to restrain myself from tracking down the author's email address out of pure human compassion: Mr. Quinn is somehow living under the terrible delusion that humanity is composed entirely of idiots. Over and over I had the feeling I was reading a hideous rewrite of 'Waiting for the Barbarians', one in which the narrator never figured out who the damn barbarians are.
I am very grateful for the reviews here, which reaffirmed my continuing faith in the basic intelligence of my species. And horrible as this sounds, I have a recommendation - a sincere one - for those of you who are enthralled by "Ishmael": go back to school. This book pales next to the myriad wonders available to you through thoughtful study at any decent university.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible and Disturbing, Feb. 24 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Paperback)
This book is blatantly anti-Semitic and anti-Christian blaming both groups with everything from over-population to animal extinction. The overall tone is pessimistic and negative. It premises are ridiculous and offensive and display nothing more than the authorï¿s twisted take on history and his strong anti-religious views. Who will like this book? It will be loved by KKK members, environmental terrorists and people with no hope for the human race.
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3 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the Worst Books I have ever Read, April 10 2007
By 
E. Haensel (Toronto) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Paperback)
Simply put, this is a boring useless book. The plot is blatantly contrived, unimaginative, and absurd. The main characters completely wooden, and the plot absurd. Oh...and the deep insights....ridiculous. Not only does this book woefully mis-represent what we know of human history, it offers absolutely no meaningful possibilities for changing the world, its stated goal.

Alas, it appears that some may enjoy this book, it seems that many do. So, if you want easy answers to complicated questions about the destruction of the planet delivered by a talking ape this might be a great book for you. If you want something that is actually useful in the real world (ie. not the world in the book or some fantasy land) look for something else.
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Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit
Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit by Daniel Quinn (Paperback - May 1 1995)
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