The Ishmael Guestbook Archives: 1-24 December 1997

I would like to remind everyone that there ARE people out there that don't wonder what is "not working" with our culture, as a matter of fact, there are so many people out there that think that our culture is "the perfect system". I am only reminding others of this because I sometimes forget it myself, and think that everyone realizes that we are NOT "working" and that things need to change.
But, too many don't. So I am just encouraging everyone to continue to share Ishmael's, and B's messages. People need to know before they change thier minds. I read too many reactions that state they are looking for other readers of these books to discu ss thier own ideas with, because they can't find any in thier area, wherever that may be. MAKE SOME...Let people know!!
Have a wonderful Holiday :)

Melissa <>
vernon, VT USA - Wednesday, December 24, 1997 at 15:38:09 (PST)
I have finished reading 'MY ISMAEL" since last commentig on this website, again aqn excellant book that broadens our understanding of why our culture responds the way it does wishing to gain control over it's surroudings. I have come into the underst anding that an essential precept of
the leaver persective is all beings that are ,from the galactic to the subatomic owns themselves for the richness of sharing being together in free association. Our culture has fallen into the easy mindset of possesiveness(not an original concept, but a distructive onetherefore bound for extinction)and since we live in this culture we are all part of it's story as DQ points out in Ismael. If I understand DQ correcrly he is asserting that where ever humans are found they are technologists but the framew ork of their culture determines the goals of their technology and how it is applied and what is emphasized: product or process, warmaking or caregiving, owning/controlling or sharing/fullfilling. TK

Tom Kendall <>
Port Townsend , wa USA - Wednesday, December 24, 1997 at 12:13:43 (PST)
I have finished reading 'MY ISMAEL" since last commentig on this website, again aqn excellant book that broadens our understanding of why our culture responds the way it does wishing to gain control over it's surroudings. I have come into the underst anding that an essential precept of
the leaver persective is all beings that are ,from the galactic to the subatomic owns themselves for the richness of sharing being together in free association. Our culture has fallen into the easy mindset of possesiveness(not an original concept, but a distructive onetherefore bound for extinction)and since we live in this culture we are all part of it's story as DQ points out in Ismael. If I understand DQ correcrly he is asserting that where ever humans are found they are technologists but the framew ork of their culture determines the goals of their technology and how it is applied and what is emphasized: product or process, warmaking or caregiving, owning/controlling or sharing/fullfilling. TK

Tom Kendall <>
Port Townsend , wa USA - Wednesday, December 24, 1997 at 12:09:49 (PST)
Enjoyed Ishmael, it was an amazing book. Read it a few years ago. Currently reading Story of B, and plan to get the other Ishmael book soon. Recommend it to everybody.
Gershwin Flores <>
Toronto, ON Canada - Wednesday, December 24, 1997 at 11:07:06 (PST)
I read Ishmael last year when I was twelve. I am now reading My Ishmael, and I love it! I meen, theses books are incredible! I keep asking myself, "Where does this guy get his insperation? How can he know this stuff?" Also, I am an un-schooler, an d I think that My Ishmael talks a bit about un-schooling. I'm glad he thinks about scholl the way I do. Well I gotta go (finish reading My Ishmael) I realy love theses books!
Candra <>
Cunningham, KY USA - Monday, December 22, 1997 at 19:33:51 (PST)
dear friends & foes of ishmael, i find this website both comforting as well as a concern many of the postings express that there is no use in trying to change mother culture, or lets not take it too fast. or the best it's to late for the earth. people the earth is in no danger, the earth has seen animals come and go, humans are the endangered species and don't realise it. i find it humorous that we the readers of great books such as ismael look to "mother cultures" propoganda playthings, movies, compu tors, the internet to try to figure a way to break from her.

WARNING do not thik in terms of "US & THEM" that is why we are here in this mess. there can be only us, we are the users of this planet. this is OUR home all of us.pollution, overconsumption, overpopulation, natural & cultural devastation, it is easy to p oint a finger, but there are four pointing back at you( as the old playground saying goes). WE ALL USE TOILET PAPER! we are definitely doomed if we sit around wondering if it is to late!

focus on the end result! do everything you canto heighten the awareness of humans to the gripe of culture on their throats. look, listen, smell,taste, touch the mirical of life around you always!!

peace and contentment!!!

Lance Smith <>
Brevard, NC USA - Monday, December 22, 1997 at 15:38:17 (PST)
Just finished reading ISHMAEL. Probably the most profound read of my life. ST
Steve Taylor <>
Larkspur, CO USA - Monday, December 22, 1997 at 09:57:17 (PST)
A captivating book....may we all read and learn how not to destroy the world........LONG LIVE ISMAEL!

Doug Kieley <>
Bangor, ME USA - Monday, December 22, 1997 at 08:14:47 (PST)
Blasphemous from a Christian world view. . Another year has almost passed and this book remains the most blasphemous book ever used in the St. Charles Public School District.

The basic concepts brought forth by Quinn are as old as the Satan's first lie. So there is nothing new, startling or enlightening about what he has said.

But hey, if you can write one tree-destroying book after another and make a fortune off of it at the expense of your readers/worshippers, then go for it -- that's the TAKER mentality.

Roger Karas <>
St. Charles, IL USA - Sunday, December 21, 1997 at 16:06:46 (PST)
Wow! I've heard of this book for a long time and have finally read it! I am president of a human and non human animal rights group at my college (florida state university) and am on the board of an environmental group. my major is anthropology and what ishmael speaks of has been a huge part of my life for years-it's wonderful to read such a beautiful ariticulation of what our culture is all about. With the kind of understanding that ishmael imparts to the reader the path is clearly defined for our acti on-email me please!
Cathy Keen <>
Bel Air, MD USA - Saturday, December 20, 1997 at 14:35:28 (PST)
As I read Ishmael, I had to ask the question is it possible to be both a leaver and a taker? If anyone has an answer, or insight to this, feel free to write me about it.
At this point I am reading "The Story of B" and find it intriguing. I have not finished it yet, but I find that Quinn's writings are thought provoking. I don't know if I truly agree with all that he writes, however I have not put it all off. I will probab ly reread both of these books within the near future to get a better grasp of what he is trying to say. I believe I have difficulty with some of what he writes, because it challenges my faith as a Christian. However, I also accept his writings very eagerl y for the challenges it provides me.
Keep provoking thought Daniel Quinn, not enough people in this world do.

Tom Sheldon <>
Baltimore, MD USA - Friday, December 19, 1997 at 19:39:54 (PST)
Our population is increasing at an alarming rate. It's been suggested that stopping the increase in food production would stop the "population explosion."

Agriculture follows the same rules as any business. If you produce, you get paid. If you don't produce, you don't get paid. The more you produce, the more you get paid.

How do we change this? I don't think we want to undertake changing the entire economic system, or even part of it. That's just too large of a task. I can see 3 ways of stopping the increase in food production.

(1) Force us to stop. (Laws, rules, regulations, measurements, enforcement, punishment, courts, and so on.)
(2) Ask us to stop. (Voluntary compliance.)
(3) Change our minds.

Jamie Myxter <>
Seattle, WA USA - Friday, December 19, 1997 at 19:26:01 (PST)
have just finished reading My Ishmael and looking forward to the 'afterlife'. would love to put in my two cents from the animal perspective sometime.

Angeline Siegel <>
Los Gatos, CA USA - Friday, December 19, 1997 at 18:16:24 (PST)
Lisa from Chicago seems to be afraid of Ishmael.(Dec 3) Those interested in more may wish to pursue the Simplicity movement and the Vegetarian lifestyle. I have, I do , I dwell in peace.
Dana <Covegan@AOL>
Colorado Springs, Co USA - Friday, December 19, 1997 at 18:04:12 (PST)
I love the books and think they're very important to saving the world. Everyone should read them. It seems, though, that everyone who has read them has the same problem. How do we change the way we live when there is no place that isn't owned. How do we live outside of a culture that takes up almost the whole world. Nearly every inch of land has a deed, which some private individual holds, and we're restricted by laws and "officials" and money itself. Can we change society enough, or quickly enou gh, within these boundaries? We can't overthrow the government; a new one would just replace it. I don't know.

Nick Kane <>
Valparaiso, IN USA - Friday, December 19, 1997 at 15:40:46 (PST)
I was completely taken by this concept. It is what my logic has been saying is the only way it could be. It was so good to see someone else with my ideas put in print. Thank you!!!!
Sherry Lingerfelt <>
Dahlonega, GGA USA - Friday, December 19, 1997 at 14:57:19 (PST)
really like what you have to say, would like more information, would like to help, what can we do, how can we get together for lunch
danny pierce <>
stillwater, ok USA - Friday, December 19, 1997 at 11:33:41 (PST)
Just finished reading Ishmael for a college class. I've got to say it's the most important book I've read in my life. Your perspectives on "how thing came to be this way" is scary, but true. I will do what I can to live with the world and not rule i t. Thankyou for your insight!
Anthony Forte <>
chico, CA USA - Friday, December 19, 1997 at 01:27:08 (PST)
I want to rant and rave about Ishmael, which
I just finished reading but I am still
digesting it.
I borrowed it from the library and in the
book someone had put a printout of info from
this web page.
I will return it with the book to the library
and I want to encourage others who borrow the
book to put a printout of this page in Ishmael.
It is a book that encourages discussion afterwards and this is a great forum for just that.
Happy reading to all!
And, thank you ahead of time for sharing!

Jennifer <>
Ottawa, ON Canada - Thursday, December 18, 1997 at 15:44:30 (PST)
I want to rant and rave about Ishmael, which
I just finished reading but I am still
digesting it.
I borrowed it from the library and in the
book someone had put a printout of info from
this web page.
I will return it with the book to the library
and I want to encourage others who borrow the
book to put a printout of this page in Ishmael.
It is a book that encourages discussion afterwards and this is a great forum for just that.
Happy reading to all!
And, thank you ahead of time for sharing!

Jennifer <>
Ottawa, ON Canada - Thursday, December 18, 1997 at 15:44:29 (PST)
I am a confident 17 yr old student, unsure of my direction. Daniel Quinn's writings have inspired and shaped new thoughts and perspectives within. Thoughts that are not taped by my education. I will always look within and turn to others to learn. T he success of Ishmael encourages me...
Tommy Woolley <>
Allen, TX USA - Thursday, December 18, 1997 at 09:05:54 (PST)
I've been thinking a lot lately about this culture coming to an end soon. In a book called the fourth turning it discusses the cycles of crises and good times and unravelling and repeating. there is a hopi prophecy that in 2011 there time of hells wh ich they have been in since the 1400's will stop and they will return into there time of heavens.. There is a mayan prophecy that this world will end in 2012 i believe. Hopefully we can be ready for this kind of life to end a new one to begin. I'm not sure if i should just hang out untill then, or if it is wussy to not start fighting now. And what do I know as a human about what is best. I guess the one thing that I can count on is that whatever increases the gene pool, increases this ecosystems chan ce of survivng. we'll see. Thanks for reading my rambles. --heidi
heidi wilson <>
madison, wi USA - Wednesday, December 17, 1997 at 19:50:46 (PST)
We're going to try an experiment. For those
of you with access to AOL, some of us will be
in a private chat room named "ISHMAEL" to
discuss the issues raised in these works at
9 pm EST, Wednesday, 12/17; also 9 pm EST Thursday 12/18 and this SUNDAY at EIGHT -- 8 PM EST. Try to join for one or more times.

(Go to people connection on AOL, list chats and you should see a button for private chats. Then you simply type in the name ISHMAEL.)

John Charles Thomas <>
Yorktown Hts, NY USA - Wednesday, December 17, 1997 at 05:55:53 (PST)
I have a question.
Do materials and means to obtain the materials used to make the technology that allows this site to excist add to mans distruction of the earth? And if so, what kind of difernce are we makeing when we use it?
The ideas and insights prosented in Ishmael inspired me to think. But I see a contradiction.

Oakley White-Allen <>
Ripton, vt USA - Tuesday, December 16, 1997 at 16:25:03 (PST)
CLEARWATER, FL USA - Tuesday, December 16, 1997 at 11:12:38 (PST)
I've read the entirety of Ishmael in the past
24 hours. I think it is wonderful. It points to what really is wrong in this world. I hope that our race can learn from the wisdom of Daniel Quinn.

Erik Lars Myers <>
Alfred, NY USA - Tuesday, December 16, 1997 at 10:25:38 (PST)
I really like your book and I think that it would be nice if we got to see what Ishmael looked like!
J.J. <>
St.louis, MO USA - Tuesday, December 16, 1997 at 09:35:49 (PST)
Dear readers,

I have read "Ishmael' and am now reading "My Ishmeal". Both of these books have had a great impact on the way I look at my beliefs and my thoughts. It has changed a part of me that I thought nothing could. I just have one question. We all talk of like ing the book and how much we want to leave the taker life and become a leaver. And most importantly how much we want to save the planet and how the book is going to help us think of ways to do it. I agree that these books could help all people if they w ould read them. The books have ideas that if followed through with could very well help save the planet. FINALLY MY QUESTION. IS IT THE PLANET WE WANT TO SAVE OR IS IT OURSELVES? BY SAVEING THE PLANET WE ARE IN TURN PROMOTEING OUR CULTURE. NO MATTER WHAT WE DO OR HOW MANY OF US DO IT THINGS CAN NEVER CHANGE. IF THINGS WERE TO CHANGE THEN ALL HUMANS MUST DIE OFF. THEN THE WORLD WOULD GO ON AS BEFORE.



Jason Baker <>
Duffield, Va USA - Tuesday, December 16, 1997 at 07:15:21 (PST)
I believe that Ishmaels ideas are ancient ideas brought together in an easy to read story.."The Story" is the same principle of Maya, the grand the yogi's of india said.1000 years ago...
Juan Guerra <OmTat @>
penngrove, ca. USA - Monday, December 15, 1997 at 21:58:39 (PST)
The three books have been a re- education; one badly needed.
Anthony Pavlick <>
Whitewater, wi USA - Monday, December 15, 1997 at 18:57:59 (PST)
hi daniel,
we just got on line about three weeks ago.glad to see that everything is going so well .it has been about four years since you and rene came to our house. mike read the story of B and loved it.
keep up the nice work and say hi to rennie.


linda smith <>
oxford , ct USA - Monday, December 15, 1997 at 12:10:06 (PST)
This is a very good book. It taught me my purpose in life. I wish to meet Ishmael personally.
Jamey Hoag <None>
St. Croix Falls , WI USA - Monday, December 15, 1997 at 12:02:30 (PST)
Pretty good book. Very complex ideas, thoughts, and facts. Me only being 14 years old, I found the book a little hard to understand.
Rob Steiner <>
Lake Oswego, OR USA - Sunday, December 14, 1997 at 23:49:02 (PST)
Ishmael changed the way I look at the world. I get something new from it after each reading. My husband read it but didn't get it. I would love to find others who find the book as thought-provoking as I do.
Jacquie Meisenhelder <JKMeis>
Indianapolis, in USA - Sunday, December 14, 1997 at 19:28:34 (PST)
I like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Utopian EcoVillage Network, we are a small group of people very serious about starting a new community, within the next twelve month. Please read our web site for all the details. You will also find many good links related to community living at the bottom of the main page.
Utopian EcoVillage Network <>
Boca Raton, Fl USA - Sunday, December 14, 1997 at 16:53:54 (PST)
Pupil desparately seeks teacher. Must have an earnest desire to B.
P Hoskins <>
Portland, OR USA - Sunday, December 14, 1997 at 14:15:15 (PST)
i need help with all of this. i read ishmael a while ago and am currently reading the story of b. i am struggling with how i can continue to live without being a taker. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. thank you.
hayley walters <>
chicago, ill USA - Sunday, December 14, 1997 at 01:59:53 (PST)
I read Ishmael a few years back and I'm about half through My Ishmael. Both have prompted many long debates and late nights. As a teacher I am glad to see this book make its way into the classroom. Long live the Gorilla!
b. carlin <>
edmonton, ab canada - Saturday, December 13, 1997 at 20:16:21 (PST)
I have just finished Ishmael and the Story of B and have some questions. I guess the most prominent one, and probably the most asked, is exactly what can we do to break society's addiction to being "takers". Mankind obviously needs a new vision, the pl anet simply cannot sustain rampant consumerism, but how can this be "sold" or presented in such a way that it is desireable?
Dan Laine <>
Keaau, HI USA - Saturday, December 13, 1997 at 00:48:44 (PST)
Finally, I awoke from a very deep sleep..........

sorry about the mistake in the first signing...but we all make mistakes!

Marci Bauer <>
Edwardsville, IL USA - Friday, December 12, 1997 at 10:06:46 (PST)
Finally, I awoke from a deep sleep......
Marci Bauer <>
Edwardsville, IL USA - Friday, December 12, 1997 at 09:25:16 (PST)
Maybe you did, maybe you did, but did you hear about my movie idea MYSTERYHISTORY? (read about it at the website Well I have other ideas upon reading MY ISHMAEL. I live in the Northwest (olympia, wa), and was int rigued by the idea of the tribe of the Crow. My idea is this: We--kids who show genuine intrest in the idea--start the tribe of the Crow. We document our tribal experiment on film, detailing what works and what doesn't thru actual practice. This documenta ry film will serve three purposes:
1). Advertise the existence of the tribe. 2.) Provide a rough draft of How to start a tribe. And 3). Provide a voice for the tribe beyond what outside media outlets may call the tribe, for better or worse.
This idea is just that an idea, granted. But what doesn't start as an idea? If interested in starting the tribe of the Crow in either Seatlle, Olympia, or Portland please get in touch with me and we'll talk.
We can make this a reality, especially with the powerful medium of film.
I post more later at my site. Thanx for your time.

Dennis Lanigan <>
Olympia, WA USA - Friday, December 12, 1997 at 01:20:03 (PST)
I am 17 and I recently read Ishmael, and am more than half way thro My Ishmael. I have found these books to be very inspiring and I am calling My Ishmael the best book I have ever read. I am also making my rfriends read Ishmael. Another neat tidbit is that I am using Ishmael as a source in my current history paper assignment; it is, after all, a viewpoint on history. I am very pleased to see that so many other people were as inspired by these books as I was, and that this website is in existence.
Juno Orion <>
Brighton, ma USA - Thursday, December 11, 1997 at 18:54:31 (PST)
It is truly interesting to browse through the guestbook and see what other readers thought of Ishmael. I noted an overall positive line of responses, although the "gifted" students from various High Schools in Illinois seem to have been deeply disturbe d by the book.
I would like to add my thoughts on the subject as well. My Ishmael has certainly struck a nerve in many of us and has had its impact on our quest for meaning and belonging in life.
I do fear though, that trying to become a "non-taker" or "novice-leaver" or however one would like to call it, is profoundly dangerous. We cannot simply shed our 21st century skin and tune in, tune out, drop out again. Any changes must come from within th rough careful interpretation. Implementation can only work on a very minute scale, from which it might grow and spread through thoughtful preparation and guiding.

Beat Zengaffinen <>
Eau Claire, WI USA - Thursday, December 11, 1997 at 17:45:38 (PST)
I would be delighted if somebody here would inaugurate my new guestbook. But to get to it, you will have to read through my partial plan to save the world, or some other file at my site. I wrote up a plan that would end the 'tragedy of the commons' b y allowing all people to vote on what they think we human beings are doing to the earth that must be limited. Those actions which adversely affect the environment, such as the putting out of pollution, would have fees attached to them, and the fees would be set such that those actions are discouraged to the point that they would no longer be seen as excessive, as a problem. We could sculpt society, sculpt our impact on earth, to be what we would want it to be. The fee proceeds would represent an econom ic measure of the natural resource wealth of the earth, and could appropriately be shared among all the world's people. This direct, democratic ownership and management of natural resources would constitute a synthesis of capitalism and communism. It wo uld integrate ecology with economy. It offers us a means of reconciling our individual and community interests.

Check it out:

Gaia Brain and the History of Life

Shorter Gaia Brain

Vote for the Gaia Brain idea at Idea Exchange, and read the abstract.

Walter Cronkite for President! He would do it if we ask.

John Champagne <>
San Antonio, TX USA - Thursday, December 11, 1997 at 13:34:44 (PST)

My life has just begun thanks to Ishmael. There is so much I do not know. The road ahead will be rough, but my inspirational strength to believe will carry me along....Thank You Ishmael

Peace Love and Herbal Tea

Jared Rehberg <>
Northborough, MA USA - Thursday, December 11, 1997 at 11:24:04 (PST)
Ishmael gave me alot to think about. Although I found it hard to put down, sometimes I had to force myself to so that I could take a minute and try to absorb what I had just read. If only all people were so insightful, we wouldn't be in the mess we a re in.
Sarah Trott <>
Gardiner, Me USA - Thursday, December 11, 1997 at 10:16:57 (PST)
ishmael was an amazing book and i hope that this website can continue its work.
hayley walters <>
chicago, ill USA - Thursday, December 11, 1997 at 09:44:19 (PST)
I am speechless at this time; just finished reading ISHMAEL. Already know of at least two people I want to give the book to.
Patricia A Hess <>
Warner Robins, GA USA - Thursday, December 11, 1997 at 09:15:26 (PST)
Technology makes it possible to alter the culture faster than early Christians or Muslims could. DQ's books show some direction for the culture that might save the world. Will it happen in time? I' am prompted to study more.
Red Haines <>
LaCrescent, MN USA - Wednesday, December 10, 1997 at 21:14:22 (PST)
WOW! Incredible.
Ants Hunter <>
Windsor, Ont Canada - Wednesday, December 10, 1997 at 13:53:52 (PST)
This is the most profound book I have ever read. Never again will I view the world as something to conquer, thank you Daniel Quinn for changing my life.
Steve <>
Branford, CT USA - Wednesday, December 10, 1997 at 13:35:04 (PST)
Hi, I just finighed reading Ishmael for a class here at Michigan State University. I loved it! I am wondering if there are any news/discussion groups reolving around Ishmael? I would appreciate an e-mail from anyone that has any information about it .

P.S. I cant wait to start "My Ishmeal"

Ian Woodward <>
East Lansing, MI USA - Wednesday, December 10, 1997 at 08:46:41 (PST)
Have been contemplating intentional communities for some time now and was curious as to why My Ismael indicated that they do not fit as well into Leaver lifestyle as do cults and gangs. If anyone has some insight to this question, please contact me.
Also, I loved My Ishmael's explanation of why I'm a 24-year-old waitress with a degree in biology and have no desire to have what our culture would call a 'real job'. It's not 'What's wrong with ME', it's what's wrong with our culture. I liked that.
But that's not to say that I've stopped searching.

Heather Buckley <Mama>
Cincinnati, HO USA - Tuesday, December 09, 1997 at 23:36:11 (PST)
I am a Freshman in High School and have been reading Ishmael in my Golbal Insights class. At first I thought this would just be another one of the dumb books that teachers pick out and make you read. But once I got started I loved it. It is the best book I have read in years. Thank you for writing it it realy got thinking about the world and what we are doing to it.
Melissa Walsh <>
Lake Oswego, OR USA - Tuesday, December 09, 1997 at 21:34:19 (PST)
It's very interesting that, while the ideas expressed in these books could be (and are) depressing, there is at the same time something very "freeing" that happens after you put the books down. For me, it is the clarity with which these books deliver t heir messages. These books leave us with nowhere to hide. The only question that need be answered is what are you going to do about all this?

I'm intrigued that as I've read through the messages people leave on this site there is little discussion (or alarm) at the facts presented in these "novels". Specifically, the fact that the population of the earth is expanding at an alarming rate. Why is n't there any discussion about this on this site? Using these books as a jumping off point, how would you solve this problem? How do we stop the further expansion of our food supplies? I see this as a very real problem, not part of a fiction novel or a th eory that's being advanced by Dr. Quinn. And while I enjoy the freedom of discussion aforded by the ideas and arguments presented on other topics (specifically religious histories) it seems to me that we need to do first things first...


John Leopold <>
Milwaukee, WI USA - Tuesday, December 09, 1997 at 18:07:42 (PST)
My Ishmael was a wonderfully educational book. I agree with alot that Quinn has to say in this book. Like his idea's about our schooling system,which I fully agree with,make alot of sense.

I'm looking for anyone who wants to share ideas and has a open mind. Contact me at

Timothy G. Wood <>
Carey, Id USA - Tuesday, December 09, 1997 at 12:59:05 (PST)
Thank you Mr. Quinn, you have brought a clarity to my vision, you have changed my life. I have lent Ishmael to one friend so far, I only have 99 to go.
Andrew Fling <>
Dover, NH USA - Monday, December 08, 1997 at 21:40:24 (PST)
I just wanted to day how very much I love the book Ishmael. I'm on the last few pages of it and have LOVED it since I picked it up. It reminds me of the movie "Last of the Dog Men" and I wish, with everything I have inside of me, that I could go off and find a tribe like in the movie, and be accepted into that tribe and live as the leavers lived. I hate how we are destroying the world! We have not the right to do as we do, in destroying mother earth.
I just purchased "My Ishmael", and can't wait to read it. Beer with me though as I am a very slow reader.
P.S. Is it too late to start living a leaver??? Do you have any suggestons??? How do I start?..... thank you for not letting me feel like I'm alone in feeling that humans (takers) are destroying the world as we know it, and that they (we think we 're all sooo much more important.)
When I was a child, I cried over a dog killed by a car, and that the driver didn't stop, or seem to care. No ambulance came. Later I saw that same dog in a ditch, piled on top of many other dead animals(a sight I'll never forget). My father said I "just didn't understand, and that animals aren't as important as people. When you get older you will understand".
P.S. I'm older now and I still don't understand.
Thank you again. Peace to you ,

Lilly-Marlaina <>
RII USA - Monday, December 08, 1997 at 17:58:05 (PST)
I'm paractically through Ishmaal and I can't put it down. Thanks Daniel for you wonderful, inspiring words of wisdom!!!!!!
Alicia Hubbs <>
Pullman , WA USA - Monday, December 08, 1997 at 16:14:27 (PST)
Ishamel and the Story of B both gave me fanny fatique
from sitting still for as long as it took me to finish reading. I only hope Mr. Quinn will find it in his soul to keep me planted in place year after year with new books. They are
beyond the capacity of words.THANK YOU !

Hollis H Martin <>
Berlin, Md. USA - Monday, December 08, 1997 at 13:21:19 (PST)
It is raining outside. I love the sight, sound, and feel of the rain, but unfortunately it forces ants to seek shelter inside the house. I'm feeling pressed to make some kind of decision here. Does it violate the peace-keeping law kill the ants? Th ey are swarming the kitchen counters, getting into the food. My food, their food? If I eat the ants, then I am on solid moral ground, I know. But if I kill them because they are into the food? I'm hoping that one of them will bite me--then I can claim self-defense and I won't have to eat them.

Ok, so I'm being a little facetious. But just a little.

George George <>
Berkeley, CA USA - Monday, December 08, 1997 at 10:06:37 (PST)
People are listening.....
Robert Nathan Bell <>
Peoria, IL USA - Sunday, December 07, 1997 at 23:50:25 (PST)
People are listening.....
rober Nathan BEll <>
Peoria, IL USA - Sunday, December 07, 1997 at 23:49:33 (PST)
I feel like I've had so many of the same searching thoughts for years but never have had the chance or time or questioner to further my ideas. Ishmael is making me think about more aspects about the future of humans and our earth.
Claire Naylor
Grand Forks, BC CANADA - Sunday, December 07, 1997 at 18:04:39 (PST)
The California state constitution----- Article 1- Declaration of rights, section 1. ALL PEOPLE ARE FREE BY NATURE AND INDEPENDENT AND HAVE INALIENABLE RIGHTS----among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protect ing property and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness and privacy. IN ALL APPEARENCES, THE CALIFORNIA STATE CONSTITUION DEFINES FREEDOM AS OBTAINING POSSESSING AND ACQUIRING PROPERTY.

Man has more to fear from the passions of his fellow creatures than from the convulsions of the elements. Edward Gibbon

There is no nation, it seems, which has not been promised the whole earth. Elias Canetti

I would like to interpret the constitution as WE ARE FREE BY NATURE and should have access to travel at will to any location that would suit any individual or group. As we all know, civilization has encroached every-conceivable path and no longer do we ha ve the freedom to WALK this earth as our anccestor's ounce did.Living in the streets and on the fringe of society and being free by nature would send the message to the takers we are here to reclaim what is rightfully ours.(says the laws of nature).

Free by nature and free not to participate in the ubiquitious circle of make products and get products ,this spring, Iwould like to start a tribe between 8 and 10 people and travel from San Diego to the Washington border. If ther is anyb ody reading this message that is willing to give up his or her comforts of the taker lifestyle, I would be very interested hearing from you. WE will meat alot of opposition and challenges each and everyday . The main focus of the journey is to challenge s ociety every time a right of way comes in coflict.I would hope there would be others out there willing to take the same adventure. The time to start the revolution is now

Marv Blackman <>
Diamond springs, ca USA - Sunday, December 07, 1997 at 15:23:51 (PST)
I was dismayed to find that lately a lot of people, many of them young like me, have been making brainless insults directed toward this book.

What I find interesting, however, is that the comments of these people are usually just a couple of lines long while the thoughtful comments others make (usually in support of DQ and his work) are much lengthier- obviously showing that those who support i t have much more evidence to back their conviction.

Andy Angstman <>
Bethel, AK USA - Sunday, December 07, 1997 at 15:11:12 (PST)
Although the following message is somewhat lengthy, please take the time to read it- you should find it interesting.

I've always thought that somewhere in history we could find an example of a certain group of people- other than ourselves- that quit the Leaver lifestyle to take up large scale agriculture, and therefore, a Taker society. After much research, I belie ve I have found such a group of people.
The Mayans were originally a tribal people inhabiting the Yucatan Peninsula of Meso America. (I'm not sure of dates, so I will not give them- but rough estimates are available) These people led a typical leaver life- hunting, fishing, foraging, and pr acticing small scale agriculture to suit whatever needs that were not met by the first three methods.
Much like the agricultural revolution in the Fertile Crescent, at a certain point in time a small number of Mayans began farming as a main source of food. Many historians and archeologists agree a reason for this may have been a climate change during that period which drove away some of the animals the Maya had previously subsisted on.
But however this change to full scale agriculture occurred, it did. A few little groups settled down and planted crops. These villages, grew to towns, and the towns grew to cities. These are today the most visible part of this civilization, and you all are familiar with them (massive pyramids and temples and the like).
As the Maya built more and more cities, more and more jungle was cleared away, and as a result more and more of the animals they had previously hunted moved away, thus heightening their need for agriculture. They kept expanding and growing.

I'm not sure why the Mayans did not expand much beyond the Yucatan. One reason may be that there were other tribal and/or Taker groups along the edge of Mayan territory, goupr that were strong enough to hold back the tide of Mayan expansion. I will s tudy this more.
In any case, the Mayans were therefore limited to a certain space in which to expand, and at a certain point, they had no where else to put crops to feed their ever expanding population. Then, almost too swift to comprehend, all infrastructure collaps ed at once. The Mayan civilization was dead in what many consider a matter of years. Many aspects of this story remain a mystery , but one part is clear. They built a civilization that didn't work, much as we have, and it was destroyed.
The Aztecs and Incas, I believe, were headed down the very same path, and I also believe that DQ's comment in My Ishmael about those groups letting people they conquered live however they wanted to could be debated. Anyway, they (Aztecs &Incas) had both developed more or less Taker societies. I am certain they would have met a similar demise to that of the Maya (previously), except that along came the Spanish.
The Spanish, as you all know, were also in a Taker civilization. The difference was that the Spanish had something like 9,000 years of Takerism under their belt, with horses, more advanced weapons, and sophisticated fighting techniques. Who do you t hink won? The Spanish/Aztec and Spanish/Inca conflicts were not so much Taker/Leaver conflicts as they were Strong Taker/Weak Taker conflicts.

Andy Angstman <>
Bethel, AK USA - Sunday, December 07, 1997 at 14:46:16 (PST)
I finished The Story of B yesterday. Great!
Best novel as well as further extensions of the ideas and heavily recommended. I've been thinking since then about some possible
positive feedback loops in Taker culture.
1. Alienation from community/the rest of the world leads to anxiety
and axiety leads to over-eating.
2. Alienation from community/world
leads to people
taking extraordinary steps (as some do in our
society) to have their "own" children. They
do not feel a part of anything larger.
3. Alienation similarly leads to taking
extraordinary steps to extend individual life
spans, again because whatever noises people
may make about heaven, at some level, they
feel "this is it; this is all there is; when
I die life is over."

These three processes, are of course, resource intensive.

So -- Taker culture may produce within it
the very conditions to intensify it.

I am NOT saying there may not also be balancing loops --- suggestions?? Are there
other positive feedback loops?

John C. Thomas <,>
Yorktown Hts., NY USA - Sunday, December 07, 1997 at 05:49:25 (PST)
Thanks for keeping us informed. I'm off to buy "My Ishmael" tomorrow.
John Solso <>
Tucson, AZ USA - Saturday, December 06, 1997 at 21:07:02 (PST)
Ithought this website was educational and thought provoking. I would like to hear from Daniel Quinn the authot of Ismael if that is possible.


Zipsride <>
Chicago, IL USA - Saturday, December 06, 1997 at 18:58:23 (PST)
Each one teach one. I've already started.
Thank you for your clarity and your willingness to express the simple known but unacknowledged.


PJ Monsour <>
Oklahoma City, OK USA - Saturday, December 06, 1997 at 16:20:51 (PST)
I am glad that you liked what I had to say. My interest in Religious Studies
does metriculate from faith-type beginnings. The reason I wrote my profile the
way that I did was to distinguish between what i am studying, and how, and the
people who study the Bible as a rule-book for life. When I was being raised by my
parents I was taken to a Presbyterian ministry and went through the process of
confirmation. I was left extremely empty by the experience. Since then I have
not tried to learn about religion, but merely speculated as to its significance
and stuff like that. I was caught up in the magnetic draw of "mysticism" and the
idea that there were monsters and demons and angels and all of that all over the
place and people could somehow tap into it for whatever reason. I have made a
change in my perspective of religion, but that is not to say that I don't believe
in all those things I just mentioned anymore. There are enough people in the
world that have experiences with things that they use those names to describe that
arguing whether or not the names are accurate is pointless, especially with the
mental strength people will exhibit to maintain the validity of their beliefs.
What I am interested in is the people who wrote the Bible, and other texts from
that period. They were a civilization in many ways very much unlike our own.
They had an audience in mind when writing their texts just like authors today
have. They used slang and "in-group" language to hide the meanings of their texts
from groups like the Romans just like modern anti-political revolutionary groups
have, like the Rastafarians (Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church). Those people wrote
down stories that were handed around in oral form from way back into prehistory
that helped them to further political reforms and deal with the oppression of both
foreign governments and their own. The stories were mythology to the people who
wrote them. Most of the modern Western concept of what they mean is misguided
interpretations of a culture that, until recently, no one understood. A lot of
the mis-interpretation is due to linguitic error and ulterior political motives
and the part of the translators (For example: "The meek shall inherit the earth."
from the Roman Catholic Chruch. The original word that has been translated into
"meek" actually meant the opposite. Those who are strong with the will of God
shall inherit the earth. So now we can see a mis-interpretation and speculate as
to its significance. Perhaps the RCC wanted people to think that if they were
meek, and didn't resist attrocities like the RCC itself had in store for them,
exploitation, land-robbery, the Inquisition, etc. then God would be on their side
and perhaps the "meek" would provide less resistance.) For me, the personal
gratification is seeing the mythology and misguided loyalties of people from my
naturalization being replaced with an actual informed understanding. There is so
much interesting material in the history of these peoples, it just astounds me
everyday I study it. My two favorite pieces of Biblical trivia are:
1. The Israelite community, those people who originally wrote the text that
we now call the Old Testament, did not believe in an immortal soul. They thought
that this time on earth was all they got. All that stuff about immortal souls and
heaven and hell as places those souls go in the afterlife was added by the Greeks,
a group that persecuted the Israelites!
2. Moses never parted the Red Sea, and the Bible doesn't say that he did!
What Westerners have translated into "the Red Sea" was a phrase in Hebrew that
means "the reed sea". The reed sea is actually a place that you could go to
tomorrow if you wanted to, it in the delta of the Nile. Here's the interesting
thing about the "reed sea" ... the winds of the Mediterranean blow so strongly, at
regular intervals of time, that they blow all of the water out of the reed sea.
Its about four feet deep and marshy when the water is in it, but when the water is
blown out of it one could easily walk accross it. A chariot would probably get
stuck in the muddy bottom of the marsh, and when the wind stopped anyone stuck in
the mud may very well drown. It would be very plausible that Moses could have
heard about the timing of the reed sea's dry times and planned the exodus to
coincide with it. What is so ridiculous about this is that everyone who reads the
original Hebrew agrees that it says the "reed sea", yet Bibles continue to print
the "Red Sea". The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible even includes a
footnote that says, "or the reed sea" after it says "Red Sea" in the text. Talk
about irresponsible!
So I guess my interest in the study of religion is multi-faceted. I enjoy the
stories, many of the Bible stories are really wonderful tales after you sift
through all the theological/religion crap that has been tacked on them. I enjoy
learning the truth of the matter. I sometimes find what I learn to be funny,
sometimes sad, sometimes frustrating, but always intriguing. The Bible is the
single most powerful piece of literature in the Western world today. It is used
as a justification for people's behavior and a standard for social interaction.
In America we theoretically separate the church and the state, yet in every
courtroom in the country and at every political inaguration people have to lay
their hands on the Bible. If it is so powerful then I want to know what its
really saying. Slaveholders in the south of this country used a Bible story about
Noah to justify keeping slaves. They said that of Noah's three sons, Shem, Ham,
and Japheth, Ham was the ancestor of black people and as Ham was forced to serve
his two brothers in the Bible story, the ancestors of whites and semitics, the
blacks had to serve them too. The frightening thing about that was that people
bought it. No one could stand up to the Bible thumpers and tell them that they
were full of it. No one really knew if they were right or not, and the
politicians of the day were in a tight spot to make a choice one way or the
other. You had to be Christian to be elected and to hold your office, even if
that meant chosing "christianity" over truth and humanity.
The questions I have had about the Bible stories and the history of Judaism
and Christianity came from a "christian" upbringing. The answers are coming from
academic study. The rewards are immense, for me. There is no greater power than
knowledge, unless enough people don't like what you have to say and kill you.
Some kinds of funny aren't the kinds that make us laugh.

Brian <>
Portland, OR USA - Saturday, December 06, 1997 at 15:49:05 (PST)
I just finished reading My Ishmael and must say that I was very pleased with it. Hopefully some of the proposed solutions put forth by Mr. Quinn will quiet the skeptics crying "put up or shut up." Right now I'm trying to figure out a way to break fre e of the Taker prison and am quite stumped. The more I think about it, the more I feel that the only way we will ever be free is after this taker aircraft crashes and destroys itself.

I am surprised at some of the harsh criticism of Daniel Quinn's books at this site. I almost sense fear in some of the entries, but I guess that is to be expected. When you show some one a blemish on their character they can react by either trying to ch ange, or ardently denying it's existence. Hopefully enough of us will opt for the former and make this world a livable place again. Best of luck to all of the hope-to-be leavers out there.


Joe Tvrdy <>
Manhattan, KS USA - Saturday, December 06, 1997 at 12:27:20 (PST)
It is easy to talk about the truth, pick it up, play with it, stretch it like a rubber band... Do you like to play?
Daniel Quinn is a skillful story-teller, the language he uses to interpret the message is quite simple and accessable to everyone...
Beautifully put, clear and sharp.
So, brother and sister, we got the WORD.
What do we do now? How do we do it?
It all begins from within, baby. You have to change your belief system in order to bring about the change in your environment, since, baby, dontcha know that your environment is determined by your behavior? And your behaviour is certainly determined by yo ur beliefs... How do we change our beliefs?
Well, I tried experimenting with it and so far has come up with two WAYS THAT WORKed for me, at least.
1. Psychedelic drugs - mind altering substanses such as psylocybin mashrooms, LSD (do not recommend acid used on consistent bases!) and marijuana.
Ultimately you do not nedd to take drugs to bring about a change, but this is actually a pretty efficient method of bending your perceptual field and stepping out of your swamp, baby.
2. Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
Write to me your quiestions and opinions.
I have gone through a number of interesting encounters with wise people on my path, and they surely did not miss a chance to fill me up to the yin-yang with the knowledge on this particular matter. I do admit in advance that I am a hypocrate, and have a t endency to make mistakes.
I love you all though.... Please write.

Andromeda <>
Port Townsend, wa USA - Saturday, December 06, 1997 at 07:51:26 (PST)
To Brent from Chicago, Illinois,
I have noticed that you have put messages and reactions up several of times, but have said nothing of importance and just critize the book, without any sort of reason why you feel the way that you do. You told me to "get a life" because this book is just "fiction". Sure, the story is fiction, but I do not think his ideas are. Unless you are going to say something of importance to why you didnt like this book, please leave this to people who actually ARE saying something of importance.

Kevin McNally <>
Platteville, WI USA - Saturday, December 06, 1997 at 07:03:58 (PST)
Am a community organizer/educator and hope to connect with others in the Appalachian Region... Ishamel and B have been extremely exciting...
don prange <>
winchester, va USA - Saturday, December 06, 1997 at 06:41:11 (PST)
My correct name is Francisco Garfias. Do any one know if there is Spanish version of B and My Ishmael??
Francisco Garfias <>
MEXICO, DF MEXICO - Friday, December 05, 1997 at 20:50:43 (PST)
I have read all the books: Ishmael, Providence, The story of B and My Ishmael and have realy enyoed them. After some thinking on the subjects covered by by them I would like to do something to help (mainly in the education arena).

I would like to know if there is a Spanish speaking network or group with same kind of interest. Please let me know.

Francisco Gardias <>
MEXICO, DF MEXICO - Friday, December 05, 1997 at 19:46:02 (PST)
To Brian (Portland), Ted Marlow and all interested readers

I have been monitoring this site for some time and I share your concerns. Although some have an extensive background in our socio-environmental situation prior to reading DQ's books, there is so much more we all have to learn, more importantly, to unlearn in order to free ourselves from the stories of mother culture, and DQ cannot be the end or the source of all our unlearning.

I have put together a reading list of my own, which I have shared with other web visitors, but I am not, nor wish to be a guru of the new unlearning. The webmaster has supplied a small reading list, but it is short and not very broad in scope, and as Ted and Brian implied, it needs to come from all of us, individually and together.

But there is a problem with just throwing titles into a list in that it would become just a pile of paper, cardbord and ink without some sort of organization.

I have a suggestion that would allow interested readers to assemble, by participatory democratic consensus, a learning tool that could help us, and others, become the B's we want and need to be.

Rather than build a pire of books, I suggest that we begin by assembling a list of catagories or topics that we find ensential or complimentary to the cultural unlearning process. It would begin with any interested individual, posting their own list. Anyo ne interested in adding to, or amending that list would copy it from the web, amend it, and repost the ammended version.

After the list has bounced around a while, hopefully it will have evolved by concensus into a workable form.

With our catagories established, we would begin to contribite titles that we have read, with reviews, and possibly ratings and levels (it is important to have sources for the young as well as the advanced readers). We could continue to add or amend these reviews as with the catagories, but I don't believe anyone should veto what another persons considers valuable ideas.

Is this a program ? I don't think so, just a process and a tool. Of course it would be a better process if actually practiced within a physical rather than virtual community. But there is no reason why we could not use this tool, or develope our own with in our home community. Democracy, and education works best when it is participatory and interactive, and when individuals have a stake or vested interest in the outcome. We all have a serious interest in this task we undertake, to save our homes, or to sa ve our world.

If the webmaster is interested in coordinating such a process, that might be valuable, however I believe it would be more valuable if community generated.

At this point, rather than post my own list of topics, I'll sign off and let idea this float on the web for a while and see if it generates interest.

Take care,


Jim Demko <>
Petersburg, AK 99833 - Friday, December 05, 1997 at 10:35:40 (PST)
I just read Ishmael for a college course. It was moving and has me thinking daily about where our civilization is heading. I heard a story on NPR about human cloning and began to wonder if cloning will become another process where the taker society will wage war on the leaver society.
Chuck Lane <>
Grand Rapids, mi USA - Thursday, December 04, 1997 at 16:51:52 (PST)
i read story of b first a year or so ago, and
then read the other books. am Reading my ishmael now.
I enjoyed story of b more. I am a free thinker and do not fit
into any class. i write in order to discover myself, but have not
tried to publish. i have a web site on geocities. at athens/acropolis1501 but
have not updated it in months.
I am seeking people to exchange concepts, viewpoints ect.
Communication with others becomes more difficult
the more I move out of culture frames.
i am happy you have a web sit. will return soon. jim

James (jim) e. pattillo <>
Decatur , ga USA - Wednesday, December 03, 1997 at 18:08:43 (PST)
Many interesting posts as of late. I especially appreciate reading the thoughts proffered by young people, pro and con.

I would suggest though, to everyone, that you not take what Quinn writes at face value. Indeed, Mr. Quinn has recommended many times that readers not merely follow his ideas but question them and learn - and that is what I have done and continue to do si nce reading Ishmael and The Story of B.

In continuing my Leaver/Taker education, I have read many books and articles about nature and human history that I would have not have read before. In doing so, I have discovered a very important lesson - Daniel Quinn is right. Not every word he writes is right, but his premise about our culture and who we think we are is fundamentally correct.

Whether you think Quinn's books are great or not, do yourself (and the rest of the world) a favor, keep reading and learning. As you do, think back on the ideas put forth in Ishmael and I believe you will be astounded at how they start to make sense.

Daniel Quinn's books should not be, and are not, the end-all of everything, but a jumping-off place to an education that can possibly take us to a whole new (old) way of life.

Ted Markow <>
Brunswick, ME USA - Wednesday, December 03, 1997 at 15:16:08 (PST)
Reading Ishmael 2 years ago was the start of
a most exciting spiritual journey for me. I am a Catholic Christian, and found Ishmael to offer wonderful insight into the Genesis stories which have baffled me for so long.

The journey begun with Ishmael has led me to more of a "Leaver" mentality, though perhaps not exactly as Mr. Quinn would have hoped. I do know that we are stewards of the earth - but I also know that a good steward realizes who is the owner, and the best stewards are those who work in concert with the masterplan. And so, in some way, Ishmael affirmed my views on ecology and enviromental issues, and at the same time has moved me to a vastly different approach to Christian prayer - to BE - and to be in the right place in the universe. To move in the direction of acceptance.

Funny - I read the book and then looked at the bio on Daniel Quinn - being a Merton "fan", I was not the least bit surprized to discover that D. Quinn did time at Gethsemane.... while I do live with the faith that God entered in to our world in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, I found no conflict with this faith and the teachings of Ishmael.

Beth Nicol <>
Auburn, AL USA - Wednesday, December 03, 1997 at 15:04:58 (PST)
I just read the book Ishmael in a gifted class in school. I thought it had a few good points, but I also think alot of books or movies even, have good points, this does NOT mean that we should change our way of life according to what one FICTION book has to say. For all of you who are really believing in this I think you need help.
Lisa <none>
Chicago, IL USA - Wednesday, December 03, 1997 at 11:10:27 (PST)
I really think that Ishmael has some good points in Ishmael and My Ishmael, he goes about saying them really well. When he talks about religon, is he talking about Christianity in general, or is he talking about the conformity and "brain-washing"that some religons impose. If you could answer this question of mine I would greatly appreciate it.
Bryan Gay <>
Eagan, Mn USA - Wednesday, December 03, 1997 at 11:00:53 (PST)
Just finished reading Ishmael. I was truly inspired by it's ideas. It is comforting to see someone like Quinn put into words what so many of us have wondered at for so long. It is also a little disturbing to see how quickly some people will attack t he ideas within. With so many relevant problems in our world today, I think it is very important to try and see things from a different perspective, in this case, that of the Leaver. Society has found itself in a vicious downhill cycle that, because of it's nature, can not be solved without seeing things in a new light. I think the thing to do for people who embrace the ideas within these books is not to ask "What can I do?" but to start brainstorming for themselves on what can be done and then to sha re those ideas with others, like Quinn has done. We all have the potential to be an important part in the change that I believe must come within our life-time. Please e-mail me with your ideas.

Tim Behrens <>
Columbia, MO USA - Wednesday, December 03, 1997 at 10:04:00 (PST)
Daniel Quinn is THE author of the century - I have read
all of his books and find them fascinating and illuminating.
Looking forward to more.

janet kluever <swimwom @>
sherman sherman, ct USA - Wednesday, December 03, 1997 at 06:36:53 (PST)
I have read Quinn's books and I like the idea of a community of people who want to network together to be able to finally take action to reclaim our world. I fear that people will not be able to get from the wanting to act to the acting, only time and effort will tell. I fear that Quinn will become a messiah figurehead for people, and there could be no greater travesty. We need to work together and individually to accomplish our goals. Quinn has only told a part of the story, there is so much more that people need to learn and understand. The first thing is that action does not have to wait for mastery. The second is that Quinn has by no means said even a fraction of what there is to say about our predicament, environmentally, religiously, econom ically, or otherwise. I hope that celebrating the realization that each of us is not alone in our desire to understand and act does not replace the learning or the action. I hope that people realize that the message we need to spread all across the worl d is not Quinn's, but our own.
Brian <>
Portland, OR USA - Tuesday, December 02, 1997 at 21:58:32 (PST)
"Ishmael" and "My Ishmael" are the best books I have ever read. I am 14 years old and in the 8th grade. My sister had to read "Ishmael" for a summer reading assignment for school. I borrowed the book from her and found it was a very insightful stor y. "My Ishmael" is an even more enjoiable book. I have just completed reading it and I couldn't put it down. Thank you Mr. Quinn for writing such a book.
Erin Morrow <>
Columbus , OH USA - Tuesday, December 02, 1997 at 19:35:12 (PST)
I was introduced to this book by a friend on a trip to Montana. Reading through the comments, I seem to sympathize with everyone. I really enjoyed the different interpretation of the Cain & Able story, and although many people here believe it denounc es many Christian ideals, I don't think it does. It's changed my outlook on a few things, especially on world starvation. To the girl who thought it was a bad idea to make Ishmael a gorrilla, I disagree. I found myself getting irritated as Ishmael seem ed to talk down to the man, but maybe that's what we need. To see the rest of the world's anger, frustration with our stupideness. I also have to say that as an Archaeology major, I especially enjoyed the analogy about failing civilizations like that o f failing aircrafts.
Britta Grieshaber <>
La Crosse, WI USA - Tuesday, December 02, 1997 at 18:58:56 (PST)
I really love the book although I only have eye I can see that this book is great!
Allan Murphy <VCrismon@>
Nashville, TN USA - Tuesday, December 02, 1997 at 11:47:09 (PST)
Dear Webmaster, could you please fix the spelling of reading not reding in the last entry from me
An open (but not good proof reading) mind

An open mind <>
River Falls , WI USA - Tuesday, December 02, 1997 at 11:27:06 (PST)
In reding Ismael I found my self sitting in Mcdonalds the other day with my value meal garbage in front of me after finishing, and for one of the first times found myself thinking on a much smaller scale. Then I realized how well "takers" fit us.

An open mind <>
River Falls, WI USA - Tuesday, December 02, 1997 at 11:15:54 (PST)
i just recently finished reading this book in my gifted class, and for one thing, IT'S TOO DARN LONG!,and it was also REALLY FREAKING BORING!, but other then that, it was okay
brent a <>
USA - Tuesday, December 02, 1997 at 11:13:07 (PST)
Although I enjoyed Ishmael very much I still think it is a little bit hypocritical of him to talk about how the gods know all and we should just do what they say, if he is just a simple gorilla, how did he get this devine knowledge anyways?

Lena Charles <none>
palatine , IL USA - Tuesday, December 02, 1997 at 11:12:38 (PST)
I found that ishmael had no influence on me at all. It seems as if Danny Boy is starting some form of a new religion or cult.

Chicago, IL USA - Tuesday, December 02, 1997 at 11:08:12 (PST)
This was a truly eye-opening experience for me. I cannot get enough of Ishmael, or My Ishmael. After completing the two books, I have an empty feeling inside because I want more. I have the desire to save the world, and everything in the book was ta ken to heart. This was definately the best two books I have ever read.
If there is anyone out there that is as moved as I am about these books, e-mail me at I would love to talk further on these subjects with other people. The only way to build is to learn the insights of other people out there .

Robert Mason <>
Chicopee, Ma USA - Tuesday, December 02, 1997 at 08:26:44 (PST)
I read the book for Kristin Jacobson's Environmental Science Class at ICC in East Peoria, Illinois. I liked the book a lot and found it to be an eye-opening experience. She has used your book to help teach her class and manipulates its contents well in order to have her students understand what society needs to change in order to have the earth and its ecological system remain.
Thanks for this opportunity,
Michelle DeMoss

Michelle DeMoss <>
Metamora, IL USA - Monday, December 01, 1997 at 18:15:20 (PST)
Your books are CRAZY!!!!! I mean, you are trying to brainwahs our youth with this kind of garbage. I'm just kidding. I loved both Ishmael and My Ishamel and am going to start reading The Story of B. I don't know how to put into words what these two books have done for me but they have most definitely made an internal change inside me. I think these two books are very important and i hope these books catch on very quickly. I think that will be the only way anyone can make a positive change here on the planet.
Christian Hynes <>
Minneapolis, MN USA - Monday, December 01, 1997 at 17:28:08 (PST)
to subdue the negative media's effects over time, we need more stories about people's willingness to demonstrate goodwill towards each other - as I am attempting to do in Hoboken,nj.
Joe D <>
cliffside park, NJ USA - Monday, December 01, 1997 at 13:38:57 (PST)
1. Possibly, current cultures exhibit some mixture of "Leaver" and "Taker." Even many modern companies try to foster (?) exploit (?) a feeling of community. I am wondering how we can arouse whatever "Leaver" is left in all of us.

2. For many years, I've had a "hobby" of collecting edible wild plants. There are now too many of us for everyone to sustain themselves this way, but it is an interesting thing to do for a short order to feel differently about your relationshi p to the world. (Since our culture typically DOESN'T teach survival skills, please be sure you know what you're doing though!)

3. After reading Ishmael a few years ago, I was inspired to write a play called, "By any other name." There's an excerpt at under "longer writings" -- if anyone is interested, e-mail me and I'll send you the whole thing.

John C. Thomas <,>
Yorktown Hts., NY USA - Monday, December 01, 1997 at 13:08:48 (PST)

Palatine, Il USA - Monday, December 01, 1997 at 11:40:30 (PST)
To Kevin Ryan, get a life. This book is not the answer to all of the questions on the purpose of life and the way we should live. It's fiction for a reason, it is not true.
Brent <(don't have one)>
Chicago, IL USA - Monday, December 01, 1997 at 11:38:45 (PST)
This book contridicts many views, virutes and religions.
This book is pointless and talks about nothing.
saving the world, yah right?
The author does not know anything to write such facts.
What a loser. This book is bogus.

Omar Ali Mohammed <Khalidm>
Barrington, Il USA - Monday, December 01, 1997 at 11:32:48 (PST)
This book contridicts many views, virutes and religions. This book is pointless and talks about nothing. saving the world, yah right? The author does not know anything to write such facts. What a loser. This book is bogus.

Omar Ali Mohammed <Khalidm>
Barrington, Il USA - Monday, December 01, 1997 at 11:27:44 (PST)

Lena Charles
palatine , IL USA - Monday, December 01, 1997 at 11:18:25 (PST)
I read the book Ishmael by Daaniel Quinn for a class project and during the whole book I was very against many of the points and philosophies spoken. I despise this book and encourage you to feel the same. It has no real truths and is very closed an d to the point. I think that the fact that it was based on an ape also was a bad choice by the author.

Kristen Arvidson <>
Palatine, Il USA - Monday, December 01, 1997 at 11:15:49 (PST)
I love My Ishmael! The only problem is that it goes so quickly. I'm halfway done and I only started it last night!
Joshua Merrill <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Monday, December 01, 1997 at 07:45:38 (PST)
While browsing through the reader responses, I was stunned by the number of YOUNG people reading and, more importantly, relating with the ideas found in Ishmael. This gives me hope. I love the site; it serves as a reminder that we are not alone. M any thanks, katrina
Katrina Wert <>
Harrisonburg, VA USA - Monday, December 01, 1997 at 06:29:09 (PST)