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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
The national bestseller and underground classic that has changed the way readers (including Oprah Winfrey) say they view the world, Daniel Quinn's 1992 book Ishmael has become a testament to a burgeoning spiritual movement. Now, five years after winning the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship — a prize honoring fiction that offers creative and positive solutions to global problems — Quinn offers his follow-up, My Ishmael.
In My Ishmael, the Ishmael saga takes a startling direction that is in no way prefigured by the original. Julie Gerchak is one of the most engaging young heroes since Huckleberry Finn — and one of Ishmael's most challenging and rewarding disciples. Unable to justify turning her away, the gorilla accepts the daunting task of juggling two pupils of widely differing characters, one of whom (Julie) insists on remaining unknown to the other (Alan Lomax, the narrator of Ishmael). Julie is unquestionably bright, quite possibly brighter than Alan, but she's also shy of his educational background by ten years. It is clear that Ishmael can by no means follow the same strategy with both, or expect the same outcome. Alan and Julie take different routes with their simian mentor and end up in very different places.
But something else distinguishes Ishmael's relationship with Julie. When the infrastructure of his life begins to crumble, Ishmael must choose one of his students to entrust with a great secret and a great mission. Surprisingly, his choice falls not on the older, more experienced student but on the younger one. Revealing the missionandthe secret entrusted to her, Julie pens a conclusion to the Ishmael story that will raise cheers from his fans around the world.