- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 2 hours and 56 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Abridged
- Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: December 16, 1999
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00005452U
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit Audiobook – Abridged
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Top customer reviews
The Economy has been a big part of captivity in our culture. Money is a driving force in fear of change. Large companies are afraid of loosing what they have built. The mentality is that they feel against the world but in reality they are against themselves. Bettering themselves to benefit in the bigger picture is a foreign concept and idea. In today’s society living a sustainable life seems to be too expensive for many people. It is “easier” to buy things that will not take as much time, money, or energy to apply to their lives. Ishmael’s student say’s “ We have to carry the conquest forward. And carrying it forward is either going to destroy the world or turn it into paradise-into the paradise it was meant to be under human rule”. We have to decide to carry on forward; a difficult idea that’s has many minds lost. The world was made to rule but in ruling we have created destruction rather than a paradise.
Ishmael being a Gorilla, and also a teaching the student about life had me confused in the beginning. As I read, I started to understand the dynamic and relationship between animal and human/ or animal and animal. It gives you a moment to step back from your own culture and realize that because the teacher is a gorilla, we are no longer stuck in the idea that our culture is human centered. You can step back and see how intertwined we really are with all aspects of life. I was also weary with the religious comparisons until I realized it is needed to comprise the thesis of man is headed for extinction; it gives us a visual story of our culture. The message lets you choose your plan of action to take rather than having Ishmael completely spell it out. The message of how this life came to be is put forth in such an interesting way.
Though it was not what I expected, Quinn's thought-provoking novel invites the reader to reconsider the premises upon which much of human culture has been constructed. Is humanity the final act of creation/evolution? Does the world belong to humanity or does humanity belong to the world? What are the consequences of our anthropocentric worldview and, more importantly, what might be the consequences of abandoning that worldview? These are a few of the fascinating and challenging questions the book suggests.
Quinn/Ishmael's take on the our mythology of origins, specifically the account of "the Fall" and Cain and Abel in Genesis, are alone enough to make the book worthwhile (Snodgrass' book on Genesis further considers the Biblical stories in light of the Agricultural Revolution and it's impact on pastoral societies, and is highly recommended). Perhaps the Eden story is describing something quite different from what our culture has been telling us for the past few thousand years.
I'm glad to have read this book and I expect I'll be pondering its message for a long time.
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