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Download Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit Audiobook, by Daniel Quinn Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (39,139 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Daniel Quinn Narrator: Anthony Heald Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2000 ISBN: 9780553754223
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The narrator of this extraordinary tale is a man in search for truth. He answers an ad in a local newspaper from a teacher looking for serious pupils, only to find himself alone in an abandoned office with a full-grown gorilla who is nibbling delicately on a slender branch. “You are the teacher?” he asks incredulously. “I am the teacher,” the gorilla replies.

Ishmael is a creature of immense wisdom and he has a story to tell, one that no other human being has ever heard. It is a story that extends backward and forward over the lifespan of the earth from the birth of time to a future there is still time to save. Like all great teachers, Ishmael refuses to make the lesson easy; he demands the final illumination to come from within ourselves. Is it man’s destiny to rule the world? Or is a higher destiny possible for him—one more wonderful than he has ever imagined?

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Quotes & Awards

  • A thoughtful, fearlessly low-key novel about the role of our species on the planet . . . laid out for us with an originality and a clarity that few would deny. The New York Times Book Review
  • [Quinn entraps] us in the dialogue itself, in the sweet and terrible lucidity of Ishmael’s analysis of the human condition. . . . It was surely for this deep, clear persuasiveness of argument thatIshmael was given its huge prize. The Washington Post
  • It is as suspenseful, inventive, and socially urgent as any fiction or nonfiction book you are likely to read this or any other year. The Austin Chronicle
  • Deserves high marks as a serious—and all too rare—effort that is unflinchingly engaged with fundamental life-and-death concerns. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ignacio | 2/5/2014

    " A beautifully crafted philosophy book that reads like a novel, very thought provoking and, regardless of whether you agree with the ideas exposed or not, it makes you think more closely about the history of civilization as we know it. I can't recommend it enough. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jessica | 2/1/2014

    " I think if you are of okay with the ideas revolving around the population bomb, this may be a book for you. Essentially this book is about a gorilla (Ishmael) teaching a human about how Mother Culture is destroying the world and that there are two kinds of beings that inhabit his world the leavers and the takers. There were some interesting explanations for some of the religious "myths" out there but overall I found this book boring and irksome especially since Quinn had the human play the role of lesser intelligence. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellen knoud | 1/31/2014

    " Everyone should read this book, life changing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Johnrlbooks | 1/28/2014

    " Interesting characters, espectially Ishmael. Interesting interpretation of anthropology, but some good points. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheri | 1/20/2014

    " A student asked me about this book last week, and it brought it up again for me. This was a favorite read of mine a few years ago. I recommended it to everyone I knew for awhile. It is not without flaws in logic, but this book made me really rethink some things that I thought were "F"acts in life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet Linda | 1/15/2014

    " Essential reading for those of us who understand that one man's notion of perfection is another man's hell. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dayna | 1/14/2014

    " I really think everyone should read this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ginny Page | 1/13/2014

    " I remember being impressed by the book and its format. That it was 'preachy' was of course but it accomplished its overall goal without much force or awkwardness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori Ide | 1/10/2014

    " Intersting book. Didn't want to put it down as a non-read, and yet at the same time I couldn't wait for it to be done with.Just finished it and am glad that I did, but I'm not usually into these kind of philosophical books. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Hannah | 12/26/2013

    " Two words about this book: utter hogwash "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sally Boots | 12/17/2013

    " I dunno. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Megan | 12/12/2013

    " Great book, like this much more than any of his others. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anastasiya | 11/27/2013

    " A philosophical thought experiment that is reminiscent of both God's Debris and The Man from Earth. I have a strong feeling Yann Martel read this book while attempting to find inspiration for Beatrice and Virgil. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sapien | 11/26/2013

    " This is the most important book I have ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sahiti Karempudi | 11/16/2013

    " Extremely thought provoking; thank you to Jon Leibowitz for recommending it to me! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shana E | 10/17/2013

    " Fabulous, but perhaps I wasn't as emotionally invested in the main character because I'd already read the sequel, so I liked her better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremy Osztreicher | 5/1/2013

    " Great book, nice ideas. The writing is not amazing but good enough. Reads a bit like it should be an essay at points. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Soxfan3376 | 4/17/2013

    " It's dry in a few places and seems somewhat ridiculous in the beginning but overall a very thought provoking book about our culture and all we have grown to learn as truth. You see our world from a whole new angle. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 kp | 3/26/2013

    " Interesting, and easy to read. This offers to the average human a way to see where we're at and where we're going, but one wonders why Quinn didn't write a "real" analysis that would be useful for those who won't seek this particular way of knowing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonathan | 3/14/2013

    " Very interesting ideas about humans and how we think about the environment. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kysa | 12/13/2012

    " Condescending exestential monkeys are apparently not my favorite. Curse you book club for choosing this lemon. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles | 8/30/2012

    " Good book with great ideas which force you to examine history from a different perspective. The story narrative did feel kinda forced, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Redsthread | 4/29/2012

    " I wouldn't say it was life altering but it definitely motivated some reflection. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ian | 2/23/2012

    " What in the holy fuck? Who new? Listen to the apes, they are our Eco-saviours. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebecca | 7/1/2011

    " Well written, thought provoking. Meant a lot to me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kay | 6/30/2011

    " Very thoughtful. Enjoyed this book a lot. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Pablo | 6/29/2011

    " I disagreed with pretty much every premise of this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ted EqualityPlease-Makana | 6/23/2011

    " AMAZING book and made me cry! True to life story full of exposing of myths of Christianity and Islam etc + warning human beings to take care of the planet which they call home... beautiful and rather sad story of the novel inter-woven into the warnings. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aren | 6/22/2011

    " Close the screen to your laptop and go read this book. Immediately. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jcat66 | 6/21/2011

    " I may or may not agree with the message of this book, but I found the method of delivery exhausting to wade through. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 6/18/2011

    " A gorilla who can mind meld with humans. Awesome. Can get a bit preachy (as gorillas tend to be..) but is worth the consideration. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 6/14/2011

    " Conflicted. Enjoyed reading this book. Do not agree with reviewers who describe it as the worst book ever written. Probably simplistic and contrived. But thought-provoking. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristen | 6/12/2011

    " Strange Story.. But interesting take on life. So Read it :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 laura | 6/12/2011

    " Really hit or miss on the evo theory/anthro. Interesting premise and conclusions, though. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 linda | 6/4/2011

    " Somewhat cheating here ..... got 2/3 of the way through and thought ....why??????
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 akanksha | 6/2/2011

    " I came across this book at precisely the right time, and I found it profoundly shaping. but then again, I was a teenager. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sean | 6/2/2011

    " Nothing more can be said than that this book will change your life. "

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About the Narrator

Anthony Heald, an Audie Award–winning narrator, has earned Tony nominations and an Obie Award for his theater work; appeared in television’s Law & Order, The X-Files, Miami Vice, and Boston Public; and starred as Dr. Frederick Chilton in the 1991 Oscar-winning film The Silence of the Lambs. Heald has also won ten AudioFile Earphones Awards. He lives in Ashland, Oregon, with his family.