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am 13. Juli 1999
I wasn't going to type a review of this book, but something needs to be said. This is a sequel to Ishmael, not only because it was written after, but because it builds from ideas in the previous novel. My Ishmael begins with a basic review of principles the book is based on. It then proceeds into new territory with a new character who is more responsive to Ismael and reacts in a different way than previous characters. This is the book that assured me that Quinn wasn't suggesting a return to a 'primitive' lifestyle. But again, the focus of any Daniel Quinn book is to provoke you do develop new ideas of your own. It is not a 'how to' book, nor is it plot centered. Read this book with an open mind, and you might be suprised what it leaves you with.
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am 14. November 2010
Daniel Quinn's sequel is truly inspiring. Throughout the plot, twelve-year-old Julie learns about Takers and Leavers just as Alan did in 'Ishmael'. Even so, the perspectives gained, the stories told and the emotional bond created between the two couldn't be more diverse. I especially like the finish when Julie applies in real-time Taker culture what she has learned.

What's so special about this book? It shows distinctions between what's really utopian (e.g. capitalist system) and what's only unimaginable (e.g. real peace) and find out why the children's revolt in the 60s and 70s failed... also, it gives insight into a different historical approach: how one human race continues to split itself off the past and its future as well by devouring its life source and regarding the planet as nothing but 'my resource'. One can discern a system which worked for people as they actually are and not for people as they should be. A key issue is that people in Taker culture do not know how to live. Ishmael shows Julie, i.e. the author shows the reader, how and why religions, theories, explanations, stories, myths have been developed and altered in order to give meaning to wars, fights, bondages, catastrophes, suffering...

After reading the book you will understand why the Taker culture has its food under lock and key - which in fact changed everything immediately! And secondly, you will understand why people think of themselves as being flawed by nature... and why Takers take themselves to be protectors and peacekeepers and do not accept any other way of living even if it worked for people for about 300,000 years, providing its members with cradle-to-grave security, life-long-support and the certainty to live without fear among one's neighbours.

In the end, it's not at all about starting all over and renouncing, even rejecting and condemning technological advance. It's not about going back to be hunter-gatherers once again, not about 'going back to living in caves' as the cliché goes, but it is simply about finding a way to live that works for all people instead of blindly following Mother Culture's incessant murmurings to maintain the status quo that only works for a few.

Slowly, very slowly... we are waking up. We do. We become aware that we do not have the one right way to live. People's minds are made to be imaginative, creative, inventive. We must work in order to create a system that works for all people as they are instead of nurturing a utopian system that punishes people and would only work if people were better and that encourages narrow-minded self-interest, self-concern and increased productivity.
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am 12. Mai 2000
There is no need for me to repeat the sentiments of 1,000s of loyal readers and friends of Ishmael. My only review and suggestion for this book is that it be the first of the original three to be given to anyone who is still in the public education system. I do advocate reading all of the Ishmael books: Ishmael, The Story of B, and My Ishmael. I also advocate giving your copy (once read) to someone you care about or a total stranger so that the knowledge can circulate faster.
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am 15. August 2015
Daniel Quinn lässt einen Orang-Utan erzählen, was seine Thesen zum grundlegenden Problem der immer weiter wachsenden Bevölkerung auf diesem unserem Planeten sind. In "Ishmael" und "My Ishmael" sucht Ishmael dabei einen Schüler, der ihm helfen soll die Welt zu retten. Einmal meldet sich ein Erwachsener, einmal ein Teen. Die Geschichten laufen parallel, haben aber nur wenige Berührungspunkte.
Beide Bücher geben interessante Denkanstöße, Theorien zu Entwicklungen in Politik, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, Zusammenhänge zwischen Wirtschaft und Bevölkerungsentwicklung - denen man sogar folgen kann. Er zeigt auch Lösungsmöglichkeiten auf - Lösungsmöglichkeiten die vielleicht moralisch anstößig, außer - wie er sich ausdrückt " in unserer Kultur" - aber nirgends anstößig gefunden werden, da dies der normale Lauf des Lebens wäre.....
Die Fortsetzung "The Story of B" - und hier erzählt dann ein Mensch "B" - verfolgt diese These weiter ......

Wer sich Gedanken zur Evolution des Menschen und zum Bevölkerungswachstum macht, sollte diese Bücher lesen.
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am 7. Juli 2000
Quinn provides an unusual mix of novel, philosophy, religion, history, and science to try to wake our culture up to the fact that we are rushing headlong to the catastrophe of overpopulation and environmental destruction. The series "Ishmael", "My Ishmael "and "The Story of B" develop the argument from different perspectives.
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am 1. April 1999
In the prequel (Ishmael) the student comes to Ishmael with the feeling that we're all being "lied to" about something, and Ishmael proceeds to demonstrate what those lies are and where they come from in our culture. Now in My Ishmael, a different student comes along with a dream of travelling to another world to study how intelligent beings can live happily without destroying their planet. Ishmael demonstrates that this "other world" she's dreaming about is actually none other than our own ancestors on our own planet. Before our culture began taking over the world, humans were living in ways that worked well, ways that evolution had produced over hundreds of thousands of years of the "trial-and-error" process of natural selection. He demonstrates how we can study the cultures of these peoples to learn how to tackle just about any of our problematic worldwide issues such as overpopulation, education, competition, economy, crime, etc. He ends his teaching with a proposal for a "New Tribal Revolution" that is truly inspiring. I especially and wholeheartedly recommend the book to anyone who out there who is feeling lost in our culture, anyone who hates the pressure our culture puts on us to "find a direction in life." If you are someone like that, this book promises to give you inspiration and hope that you never would have dreamed of. On top of all this, the book is also a clever piece of fiction! Rock on, Daniel Quinn!
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am 3. Oktober 1999
I have not read Ishmael or anything else by Quinn- I'm not sure I will. While the format of the text is unique in style and well written, I found gaping holes in logic and the whole idea was less believable than Luke being Leia's brother. The narrator was supposed to be a 12 year old girl, but no 12 year old I know has such insight, logic, and reasoning. Beyond that, she immediately agreed with every idea presented to her, and I cannot recall a time that she argued with her teacher on any grounds. Find a 12 year old that does that!
It was creative and thought provoking, but it lacked logic and believability. I found Ishmael (the gorilla) to be contradictive at times.
Oh, and a side note, the gorrila is not telepathic. This came up in a conversation I had with a friend. Ishmael cannot read Julie's thoughts, as a telepath could. He projects his own thoughts into her head, but must hear her speak. It's almost an "inverse telepathy" if you will.
Just my thoughts...
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am 1. April 2000
Hey, I am 17 years old and have managed to cram down a total of 3 of Daniel Quinn's novels. I'll admit that some of them lack a little bit of a plot but he makes many good points about or education and system of rules. I agree with all of his ideas, because as I student in today's educational system I can acknowledge from a first hand experience that what we are doing isn't worth it. I have two classes that actually challenge me and motivate me to learn. Journalism and Environmental issues. As for the other six classes that are on my schedule I view all of those and a waste of time and pointless to go to other then to keep my GPA up. This is what Quinn so obviously points out throughout the book. It explains how wealth should be measured as and what our society thinks of it. How our society views it is completely obscure and this book extrapolates that idea and expands it ideas that make sense. One of the best books I have read in my life.
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am 21. Juni 1999
A terrific companion book to "Ishmael." My only complaint is that it wasn't long enough, but I think that's probably the point: Daniel Quinn doesn't claim to have all the answers, and he expects each of us to do our part in furthering these ideas. Ishamel was the first Quinn book I read, and it rocked my world. I don't go a single day without thinking of Ishmael in some way, large or small. I believe that every educator in the "civilized" world should be required to read My Ishamel; if they don't get it the first time, then they should read it a second or third until they do understand.
For a related but different slant on the ideas of Quinn's books, check out Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan. She takes us on a walkabout with the "real people," an aboriginal tribe in Australia. Five stars for that one too.
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am 1. Mai 2000
Having read Ishmael and The Story of B, I considered most of this to me repititious, however I still found it very enjoyable. This version of the gorilla's teachings seemed to me a little more light-hearted and a little more readable because of this. Julie is by far a better narrator than Alan (the guy in Ishmael) who seemed dumber than dirt. Now, I'm not saying this was better than Ishmael. I did like Ishmael better, but probably because it was the first I'd heard of Quinn's ideas and philosophies. I also noticed that this was the first of Quinn's works to omit the religious aspect. That was what really grabbed me the first time, and personally I would have liked a little more. My official recomendation is for those of you who have never read Quinn, start with either Ishmael or The Story of B, leave this for later.
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