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Ishmael Community Guestbook

Add an entry · Guestbook Home Previous 15 Records · Next 15 Records

Daniel Rodríguez    #15711
Santo Domingo    Costa Rica     Posted: Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 19:58:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Dear Daniel Quinn: I am a high school student in Costa Rica. I had to read this book for my English class. First off, I was just reading as a school duty. As I was reading, the Ishmael's wisdom was catching me more and more into the story. The different point of view that Ishmael is expressing about our human nature is one of the opinions that have changed my perception about world the most. Before I read the novel, I used to follow most of the Mother Culture's teachings and just submit to what it wanted. Now, I am able to distinguish what is a Leaver custom or Taker custom and by this moment every time I do something I ask to myself: is this something that is going to help destroy the world? (before reading Ishmael I would have said "our world" instead of "the world"). Future generations are required to read books like this one, with this kind of contents. It is actually true that we all must change our minds and our actions, but especially next generations since they are the ones that are going to be in charge of our society. Our duty is to preserve and save the world from its destruction and theirs is not to do the same mistakes we did and always try to make a better world, without any captivity of any kind. Imagine that... nobody's captive of fashion, technology, hatred, gossip, society, jobs, and the list could go on and on. That's the major idea I got from the book. Finally, I just wanted to thank you because through the book,you changed almost my whole lifestyle in order to make it more friendlier with the Natural Law.

Andy Lopez    #15710
   USA     Posted: Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 19:49:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Ishmael is a book with a marvellous point. The book is quite boring. Yet, after reading it one can see that Ishmael is right indeed. Our mythology, in other words Genesis, states the world was made for man. It states that we think we know good and evil. It points out the great fact that Adam and Eve are the primary reason why we are destroying. If Eve (Life) wouldn't have tempted Adam (man), then we would all probably living in the Eden. Cain wouldn't be murdering Able. Mankind would not overpopulate, and it wouldn't kill it's competitors. There would probably be evolution. That is the marvellous thing about the book, the point it has is great. The ideas it has are great. It even gives us a plan on how to save the world. We must reverse the story of Genesis. We must spit the fruit of the forbidden tree. Cain must stop murdering Abel. Yet, I find this plan as a plan that can't be accomplished. Mankind will not spit the fruit of the frobidden tree.

Paz Monge    #15709
San Jose    Costa Rica     Posted: Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 19:26:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Dear Mr. Quinn; I have to be honest with you. At first I didn't liked Ishmael a lot. For me it as a really boring book at the beginning but as time passed by I started to finally get you message. My English teacher named Christine Breitenbach opened my eyes when I was reading you book. I started seeing things in a different perspective. A couple of week ago I finished the book and since then I've started to change my habits. I recycle, I stopped littering and the most important I stopped consuming as I used to do. This book changed my life and now I see what is really happening. I am used to live in a little bubble and I usually see the world perfect but it isn’t. Ishmael made me see the world as it is. This is the reason I write to you; to thank you for changing my perspective. Thank you Mr. Quinn and keep teaching the entire world what is really our problem. Sincerely, Paz Monge

Esteban Gomez    #15708
San Jose    Costa Rica     Posted: Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 19:19:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Dear Daniel.

Recently I have been reading at my school in Costa Rica your book Ishmael. A few days ago I finished reading it, and it caused a very big impact on me.

The book made my way of being be diferent, my way of thinking changed my way of seeing the world, and its problems such as global warming, consumerism, etc. I believe that I have recently started on my way to help this planet more and more by keeping it clean and nice. With this effort people will have a better life on this planet.

I have told people such as my family about this book and gave them a short summary so that in a near future they will be eager in reading it. After I finished reading this book I discovered that I had a new personal leyend. Before I read this book, in the future I wanted to have a great family, a nice job and to live in a nice house, very happy, but now that has changed. Now, in the future I want to have all of what I said before, but I want to cause a great possitive impact on the world. Make the people all aroung the world, or at least my country understand about the current problems. When all of this has happened, then the planet will stop having all of the problems and the future generatons wont have them since they will be taught of what happens if the humans dont take care of the planet.

I hope that you continue to make books that have the ability to change the world.



Andres Finol    #15703
San Jose    Costa Rica     Posted: Monday, December 1, 2008 at 15:13:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Dear Daniel Quinn,

I am pleased to have read your book, Ishmael, however I am deeply troubled by the message, as true as it may be. I do understand the message of the story and I do believe it, however I am troubled by it because I do not believe humanity is able to rise up from this situation.

But, even though I believe this, I also believe that if we have any sort of chance of surviving, we have to act as you do, spread this message, and of course, work towards saving the world.

This is stated perfectly, at the end of the novel when it says, ¨With Gorilla Gone, Is There Hope For Man?¨ This, symobolically speaking meant, for me, that with the preacher/teacher gone, is there hope for the student. In humanities case it means, with a leader/teacher gone, is there hope for humanity or our planet.

Sincerely, Andres Finol

Kristian Brower    #15702
   USA     Posted: Monday, December 1, 2008 at 0:54:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

I love how the Ishmael series helps expand the mind, bringing ideas that are deep down fell right in some way, and how or atleast as much as you the reader can comprehend what is right. I' am going to say again read the Dune Series by Frank Herbert, Ignore the movies, read slowly let it sink in, and yes the series ends in a cliffhanger but if you want you can finish what the story might have concluded to be by the Author's Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson the books Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune and they might not have the depth of Frank Herberts books I think they manage to convey what Frank Herbert had planned for the end, he did leave a lot of notes and that is how they finished the series. I know this is a site about Daniel Quinns books but I had to bring up the Dune series, because it reflects alot what Ishmael and others our about, change and learning to live.

mzz zot lynn szurgot    #15700
swarming    eaters     Posted: Sunday, November 30, 2008 at 9:6:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

hungry swarms


40,000 to one farm

Welcome to Martina, Carol, Tom, Catalina, Mariano, and Carlos!

Martina, i am glad you are ready to act on conscience, and to repair, how wondrous. i support that, and i get some things out of Daniel Quinn's writings i want to mention to you. We who use money and buy food and convert wilderness are not humanity. Some peoples do not. Not all of man has been very self-centered, not even today; not all humans possess the consumerist behavior or those characteristics. Abusive, extractive, and totalitarian characteristics belong to a culture, a system we are caught up in, not to human nature. Not all humans destroy the world around us, and not all think that genus homo has the right to do that. We are not humanity. Not all of us have caused that damage in the world (while i have, i point to tribal folks, who have not, and still do not). You were able to step in the student's shoes, and that is a great credit to you and to Quinn; bravo! Next you can try on some tribalist shoes, or step behind animist eyes, and keep looking differently. Since books help, there are many recommendations here, like The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World, by David Abram Spell of the Sensuous and recommended list and links to each of Dan Quinn's titles

great study chart keep looking


i think it's not yet decided which is the smartest animal in the world; my sense is that prize could go to one of the cetaceans, seagoing mammals who eschew ecosystem damage, with sophisticated 3-D communications that do involve full-body scans akin to MRIs, language that may involve multigenerational sagas and the passing on of recorded histories, mammals with more neurons and dendrites and synapses than humans. Seagoing mammals under threat.


The links i mentioned to tribal-support organizations: Pachamama Alliance friends of Peoples close to Nature AIM (ggc) AIM (icac) Four Directions Solidarity Network AIM Support groups Alliance for Wild Ethics Indigenous Language Institute Indigenous Environmental Network Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism Bridges Across Borders Survival International Four Directions Solidarity Network Find your local groups from among these links: Burial and Sacred Grounds Watch Links So far, i haven't seen a site dedicated to tribes buying and selling from each other, or tribal businesses doing the same, or a place where a person could support any of them when we choose economic activity. Anybody know? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please do meet in person, and support surviving tribes and their traditions; it deepens all our various works of awakenings. Thanks to speakers and writers like Daniel Quinn, to furtherers like the regulars here, and to all who can hear: Once we hear, we can also act in the world.

Martina    #15699
San Jose    Costa Rica     Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2008 at 14:24:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Ishmael is a book which, I learned a lot from, and it is a book that I would recommend to anyone. This book has taught me how man has been very self-centered and about the consumerist behavior that it possesses. These characteristics that man has have caused him to destroy the world around him, but also, think that he has the right to do that. This book has opened my eyes, to realize what we have done to the world. Now I cannot understand how man is the smartest animal in the world, yet it is destroying planet Earth which is the only possibility for him to be able to live. This book has also given me a conscience because I am more aware of the actions that I commit daily to try and help the environment and not keep on destroying it. I think that everyone has to read this book to be able to think about the damage we are doing to the world, in order to stop. I think that Daniel Quinn is a great author because while I read the book I stepped into the student's shoes and I was able to participate in the story, but to also discover a truth that we all want to avoid. This truth is that humans don't want to admit that they are responsible for that damage that we all have caused in the world, but also that we don't want to repair the planet because we are lazy and are ignoring these problems.

Mike    #15698
   USA     Posted: Thursday, November 27, 2008 at 15:13:0 CST (GMT -6:00)


If you want more Ishmael, be sure to read the sequel, My Ishmael. Click on "DQ's books" under the "Find Out About" section on the side menu of this website and you can find out all about it.

Based on your post, I also think you would love Tales of Adam. You should definitely get a hold of that one.

Carol Tarrant    #15697
Leighton Buzzard    Bucks United Kingdom     Posted: Thursday, November 27, 2008 at 3:25:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

I have just this morn finished reading Ishmael....a book I had to import from the USA worryingly most book shops had never heard of it .....but Waterstones ordered it for me.....and from half way through it I set about ordering more copies for all my outer 'family' second hand on the Internet via USA again)I first heard it referred to a year ago on the BBC in a discussion....and set about finding it.

I now feel a sudden sense of loss and mourning for Ishmael my teacher ......but bigger than that a galvanising of all those instincts that pushed me to a more 'hippy' lifestyle for the last forty years since the sixties, an admiration of all who 'steward' land they live from....but do not morally'own' to despoil or overuse as prompted so continuously today. Now I feel a tipping point is reached a window of opportunity, with the financial downturn on so many world wide investments, the ecological danger pointers , new more optimistic leadership in the USA, and some form of Takers crisis.......maybe the message that humanking egotistically 'conquering the earth'....or in other words 'eating the raft we drift on' will be seen for what it is!I for one am spreading Daniel Quinn's message hard from now on.....just look at Cain and how he deals with Abel in rain forests of West Papua this very moment ......and save some lives.

Tom Vondenhuevel    #15696
Sidney    OH USA     Posted: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at 13:47:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Just started reading the series, I don't know how I've gone so long not knowing about it.

Steven Earl Salmony    #15695
Chapel Hill    NC USA     Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 7:40:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Saving the planet as a fit place for human habitation by our children cannot be relegated to a spectator sport.

Perhaps expressions of intellectual honesty and moral courage in our time are radical activities because they are so rarely in evidence.

Is it not yet time careful and capable people in large numbers begin to behave honestly and courageously rather than remain silent and comfortable by choosing to follow greedy, misguided leaders who are irresponsibly pursuing the patently unsustainable business-as-usual expansion of the global political economy, an unbridled, rampant expansion of big-business activities that is resulting in the massive extirpation of biodiversity, the relentless degradation of our environs, the reckless ravage of Earth's body and perhaps the endangerment of humanity?

Hurry up, please. Now is the moment for humane, civil action.

Steven Earl Salmony AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population, established 2001

Catalina Peralta    #15694
San José, Costa Rica    Costa Rica     Posted: Monday, November 24, 2008 at 17:41:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Dear Mr. Quinn: I take it you are a busy man and have the very least amount of time to read this posts that are written to you, however, since I read your book, I also take it that you are the kind of person that cares about hearing people, because you understand the diffrence that masses can do in the world. I am a simple girl. You might have heard that line and think its very clichéd(I dont know if thats how you say it), but I am really a simple girl with the very least of problems. I am a simple girl, who used to think everythign in her life was perfect. Honestly, I have seen everyone around me, and to be honest, I really thought that the situations in the world didnt have anything to do with me; just like many other people I have met. Our English teacher, Mrs. Brightenback (she is a very talented person, you should talk to her for inspiration for your next book) was concerned about this, so she made her students read Ishmael. I am really worried about everything that is happening in the world. I have talked to my family, which involves more than 40 people about your book, and informed them about the world and there terrible situation. I am going to continue trying to fix the world. Unfortuatley, as I am concerned, I am not a very giving person. I have my own plans and dreams, and I will try to acomplish my set goals. Even though I´m not promising to commit everything in me, including my career, my studies and my goals, I do promise you to work for the only thing man share above anything, and the only thing man can´t abandon; the only thing that has always been there for us, and we have never been there for her: the world. Thank you Mr. Quinn, and please continue writing books to impress and to challenge people to help the world, and themselves. Catalina Peralta

Mariano    #15693
San Jose    Costa Rica     Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 17:58:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Dear Mr.Quinn, I would like to begin by saying that I really enjoy reading your book Ishmael. The most impressive thing that you can learn is that everything you talk about in the book is true. Meaning you do such a good job to explain us people and our behavior. I think that it’s hard for us to realize that truth. We think that we rule the world. We do harmful things to our home and don’t care. The thing that worry’s me the most is that new generations are been born and no change has occur. It’s up to us to change the world or to break off this chain of generations. Theirs still time to save our home and other living things that surround us. It’s easy to understand this book. It’s not about a gorilla it has more meaning. This is a message send to us humans "rulers’ of the universe". I think that were not interested about this world but were going to face the consequence later on. We can stop this but we need to stop right at this moment. We can do it! I could understand the part when the book says that we haven’t evolved completely. I would like to ask you the following question: How can we brake off this chain? In other way how can we convince people to understand that were in trouble and we need to change right now before it’s too late? You sir do a great job because at this time is when people are seeing changes. I saw that you wrote this book on 1977 were the problems were beginning. This is something that I really admire and I can see that you’re a very intelligent and a honorable man. Your favorite fan, Mariano Montero

Carlos Salas    #15692
Curridabat    San Jose Costa Rica     Posted: Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 10:10:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Daniel Quinn, I believe and I agree with you that the novel, Ishmael, the one that you created is very important, especially for human life. I also think that the world that we live in requires treatment and care by human beings. The treatment of Earth is important because, if we don’t care for it we are going to destroy it. I believe that your book is one of the books that can help prevent the destruction of the world. I believe that human beings need to understand that the world that they live in is not only for them, but also for other animals that live in it. I agree with you that the people need to understand that pollution is one of the worst things that is causing the destruction of the world. Humans should stop polluting because if not many species, animals and even people are going to disappear. Our children in the future are not going to enjoy the environment of the planet Earth. I personally think that we, the human race, should do what Ishmael tried to do. TRY TO SAVE THE WORLD. Also, we should try to get some group of people and try to save the world from pollution. Personally I loved the book because I believe the same as you do. And I recommend that you should continue writing those types of books because many people, including me are going to take action on the things that they are doing. So the world is going to be better and better. But this requires time and patience so that the people can be influenced and inspired by the book. I also thank you for inspiring me and many other people with this book. I believe that right now many people around the world are passionate about saving the world. I think that people that have read this book are taking action and are conscious about the pollution in the world and they are helping so the pollution stops.

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