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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 142)...

    I often encourage people to read Ishamel (and now I suppose I should tell those people to read the Story of B as well), and they almost always ask me, "OK, what's it about?" I'm kind of at a loss for words. I don't really want to mention the gorilla aspect, and when I say, "It's a dialogue between a student and a teacher about saving the world." or something similar, they usually just smile and tell me that sounds "interesting." What would be a better response to the question of what Ishmael is about?

    ...and the response:

    Just say, "I can't explain what it's about. But believe me, it's a book that has fundamentally changed the way I see the world, and you really can't understand where I'm at unless you read it." (Or whatever you feel about it.) The key point is to decline to "explain" it. By quizzing you, they're looking for a way out, and if you give it to them, they'll take it.


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