The Story of B

( 34 )

Overview

The Story of B combines Daniel Quinn's provocative and visionary ideas with a masterfully plotted story of adventure and suspense in this stunning, resonant novel that is sure to stay with readers long after they have finished the last page. Father Jared Osborne--bound by a centuries-old mandate held by his order to know before all others that the Antichrist is among us--is sent to Europe on a mission to find a peripatetic preacher whose radical message is attracting a growing circle of followers. The target of ...
See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$14.20
BN.com price
(Save 21%)$18.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (52) from $1.99   
  • New (13) from $9.93   
  • Used (39) from $1.99   
The Story of B

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$13.99
BN.com price

Overview

The Story of B combines Daniel Quinn's provocative and visionary ideas with a masterfully plotted story of adventure and suspense in this stunning, resonant novel that is sure to stay with readers long after they have finished the last page. Father Jared Osborne--bound by a centuries-old mandate held by his order to know before all others that the Antichrist is among us--is sent to Europe on a mission to find a peripatetic preacher whose radical message is attracting a growing circle of followers. The target of Osborne's investigation is an American known only as B. He isn't teaching New Age platitudes or building a fanatical following; instead, he is quietly uncovering the hidden history of our planet, redefining the fall of man, and retracing a path of human spirituality that extends millions of years into the past. From the beginning, Fr. Osborne is stunned, outraged, and awed by the simplicity and profundity of B's teachings. Is B merely a heretic--or is he the Antichrist sent to seduce humanity not with wickedness, but with ideas more alluring than those of traditional religion? With surprising twists and fascinating characters, The Story of B answers this question as it sends readers on an intellectual journey that will forever change the way they view spirituality, human history, and, indeed, the state of our present world.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Quinn returns to fiction after a five-year hiatus with a sequel of sorts to Ishmael, winner of the Turner Tomorrow Award in 1991. Like its controversial predecessor, this book is not really a novel, but an extended Socratic dialogue that promulgates the same animist solutions to global problems that the author recorded last year in his spiritual autobiography, Providence: The Story of a Fifty-Year Vision Quest. The narrator, Jared Osborne, is a priest of the Laurentians, a fictional Roman Catholic order under an ancient, covert mandate to stand watch against the coming of the Antichrist. Although skeptical, Jared is enjoined by his superior to investigate Charles Atterley, an expatriate American preacher known to his followers as "B." Allowing Jared into his inner circle in Munich, B soon dispels both the concern that he is the Antichrist and the shivery intimations of apocalypse that make the opening chapters darkly intriguing. Through long, often numbingly repetitive parables and speeches, B instructs Jared in the solutions to overpopulation, ecological despoliation, cultural intolerance and other ills that have dogged civilization since the time of "the Great Forgetting" 10,000 years ago. B's smug pontificating and his disciples' unquestioning devotion reduces them to interchangeable mouthpieces for Quinn's philosophies. As a result, Jared's spiritual conversion away from Roman Catholicism and toward Quinn-ism, intended to be the book's dramatic high point, falls painfully flat. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Quinn, author of the best-selling cult classic Ishmael (LJ 12/91), returns with another quasispiritual tale about a priest who awaits the arrival of the Antichrist.
Kirkus Reviews
Loose sequel to Quinn's debut novel, Ishmael (1992), the odd and controversial winner of the $500,000 Turner Tomorrow Award.

In Ishmael, a young neophyte more or less accidentally apprenticed himself to a great talking ape, allowing Quinn to string together a series of Socratic dialogues on mankind's woes. Here, the device is much the same. We meet a young Laurentian priest, Jared Osbourne, who notes early on that the Laurentians still observe an old injunction: to watch for the appearance of the Antichrist. Jared is sent by his superior to investigate an itinerant European preacher known as B, a.k.a. Charles Atterley. Atterley isn't satanic in the least, however, nor even very religious, so the "Antichrist" tag is just a platform for Quinn to do his own preaching, which is reminiscent of the ape's declamations in Ishmael. When B is assassinated for his views, it makes little sense in terms of the plot, since all B does is talk (and talk)—he doesn't cast spells or plot world dominion. He talks about how primitive cultures were divided up into "Leavers" and "Takers," how these ancient archetypes are still working themselves out, and how overpopulation will, in the next century, come near to obliterating us all. Modern agriculture, which Quinn thinks of as "totalitarian" because it's so divorced from nature, will not address the needs of 12 billion people (the UN estimate of how many of us there will be by 2040). The novel's format is artificial and far-fetched, but no matter: The author writes a facile, clear prose, and the ideas he wants to discuss are admittedly important. Quinn is a provocative thinker. Imagine a combination of Robert M. Pirsig for style, Ayn Rand for cardboard characters on soapboxes, and the Unabomber for a nature-centered but slightly menacing feel.

The combination equals Quinn, and makes for a helluva rant.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553379013
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 163,940
  • Product dimensions: 5.27 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Quinn's first book, Ishmael, won the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship, a prize for fiction presenting creative and positive solutions to global problems.  He is also the author of Providence, The Story of B, and My Ishmael.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2003

    A Must for Any Who Seek

    Quinn's second book of the Ishmael trilogy, which I actually read last, is another breath-taking leap up the Quinn Ladder of Enlightenment. Both Quinn's content and his method of conveying his message boldly rise above the earlier, more sympathetic teachings of Ishmael. Charles (or B) emerges as a mysterious bearer of truth--the truth that our gut has known for years but has not yet acknowledged consciously. B has an indescribable charisma that permeates an honesty too noble for even modesty. His message is one of vision and hope. As Ishmael noted, the human race should not wallow in shame. Rather, we should see ourselves as the first culture to hold nature's most important opportunity--the opportunity to reverse a world-wide movement of destruction. With B's new vision, a new day has surely begun.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2003

    tweak your outlook

    Truly sublime. Read it, your views on culture, religion and the future of the human race will be altered. Macro-Anthropology through a Darwin colored lense, this book just makes too much sense. One recommendation, as you read the book, skip back and read the short lectures as they are referred too. Makes for better reading. Read and spread the word, You Are B.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2003

    good imagination

    Quinn obviously has a very good imagination, but if you're looking for a new philosophy of life or something that is of any value beyond interesting mythology, you really should spend your time elsewhere.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2002

    Want to see the w?orld differently?

    The Story Of B in its own unique way has done what Ishmael and My Ishmael has done for me, CHANGE MY MIND ABOUT OUR CULTURE. Daniel Quinn's work has changed the way I see the world, and the way I live my life. Quinns work are tools to save the world. Give B a read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2002

    This Book Should be Manditory for Life

    There is nothing I could simply say about this book that could come close to giving it justice. I read Ishmael and My Ishmael before reading The Story of B, and I loved what I found there. Through Quinn's unique 'teacher/pupil' writing style, he takes us on yet another journey of the heart, the soul, and especially the mind, as the reader works thru his myriads of ideas. I can never tire of Quinn's way of writing, so each of his books can be read again and again with new things popping out at you every time. This book - along with all Daniel Quinn books - is among my most treasured stepping-stones this lifetime. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves life, and thinks there just might be more to love. Starr

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2001

    mr. quinn does it again

    this is by far my favorite novel ever written.... it shakes the foundations of your perception of the world we live in... reading this book (or any of quinn's novels) is to change your life forever

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2001

    Beautiful and relevant---a must read

    I can't reccomend reading this book enough--it's funny, suspenceful, relevant and deeply beautiful in it's vision of life and the changes to come. If you care about humanity's future and the future of your grandchildren, it's a must read. Than, pass it on.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2001

    WARNING: May Change Your Life

    This book changed my life - suddenly my life's anguish, the unarticulated frustration and suspicion that had been bothering me, was given form and reason. Since my days as an English major in college 20 years ago I have read a great many books. This one is truly deserving of the term 'revolutionary.'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2000

    From believing cultural myths to knowing natural laws

    This is the second of Quinn's books. It is thus a deepening of the issues discussed in Ishmael. In my opinion, this is the book that is the most fun to read, as it was written as a thriller. However, I think Quinn went too fast in writing it, and his arguments are not as strong and as developed as they should be. It nevertheless remains a must-read if you liked the first book. The main point of this novel is to make us focus on the issue of population growth. Indeed, it might be surprising to most of us that the human population is now doubling every thirty five years. It undeniably represents a very big problem because, as the Earth's resources are limited, we might not be able to support many more mouths to feed and accomodate. Our present understanding of population growth is that we need to generate more food in order to keep up with this incredible population growth. However, nobody really asks the most important question: Why is this poluation growing so fast suddenly, when it used to grow only very very slowly just a few thousand years ago? Quinn, who works in collaboration with Dr. Alan Thornhill in the Natural Sciences Department at Rice University, proposed an interesting point: We have been confusing the cause for the consequence the whole time! Indeed, making the comparison with the arm race during the Cold War, Quinn makes us aware that people are made of food, and that there would not be more people if there was not more food. Therefore, we are the ones fueling this incredible population growth by creating more food than we really need! This is very logical in terms of natural negative feedback loops that we find in the wild; that is, generally animals eat their food, which by consequence decreases, which leads to a decrease in population, leading to an increase in food, an increase in population, a decrease in food...etc... However, humans have extracted themselves from this negative feedback loop, which promotes balance, and have created a positive feedback loop, which is drawing us toward the collapse of the fragile equilibrium of the web of life. Quinn then moves on to make the distinction between salvationist religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Islam), whose followers are passively waiting for a miraculous Savior to come fix all our problems, and anismists, who are people who are aware of the laws of nature and lead their life in accordance to them. Thus, Quinn explains that when humans decided to 'take their life in their own hands' they tried to design laws from scratch, which proved to be a disaster. Indeed, if natural laws evolved over many million years so that they reflect what 'works,' humans have been focusing on what is 'forbidden' to do. In consequence, humans have faced great difficulties in trying to prevent people from doing what is forbidden, leading to the incredible mess of our present judicial system, as well as rebellious acts from the youngs who feel pressured to conform, so that we are now facing a cultural collapse of values. Quinn nevertheless ends the book on a note of optimism, as he says that instead of trying to implement new programs that never work to fight our social problems, we should instead adopt a new vision of human life within the entire community of life, so that people get more of what they really want (a sense of belongingness and fulfillment, for example) and stop acting crazy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2000

    A book about profound, familiar human change-

    This book is outstanding not so much in its narrative story or even prose style, but in its teachings- which is the purpose for the book. After reading it, you will think about it on a daily basis whether you want to or not. It is a pleasure and an opportunity in itself.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Anominous

    Amazing i love it


    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    No longer meaningful

    This book has not aged well. He covers a lot of issues but offers no real solutions. It talks a lot about issues that we all know well, overpopulation, social ills, the unintended outcomes of massed produced food but gives no solid, actionable plan or alternative philosophy. It seems many readers find this book life changing. I found it rather trite.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2009

    Excellent

    Excellent read for someone who wishes to better understand the world around us.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2008

    Inspiring

    Absolutely wonderful...I almost can't describe the breathtaking impact it's made on my life, my choices and thought process-except that it is quite phenominal! This book has shaped my way of belief and spirituality in a way I never could have imagined.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2007

    Mind blowing

    This book was amazing. I couldn't put it down and five years later I am still quoting the book almost daily. Remember - there is no one right way to live. If there is anything Quinn has given me it's permission to be different and permission to tell others it's ok too.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2004

    great mind-changing book!

    this book is truly great, gets you thinking, might even bring to words many of the things you are thinking yourself.... must read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2001

    This book will open your eyes!

    Worried about the future of the human race? Then you must read this book. I can't say enough about this story, so I'll just leave it at this. Read it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2000

    The mighty Quinn does it again.

    This is one of the most incredible books you will EVER read. It will change the way you look at yourself and everything around you. It's time to take off the obscuring lense that Mother Culture draped over your eyes. This book is a MUST read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2000

    Message of Hope

    Finally an explanation that makes sense, something that we could rationalize without the veiled mystery or secrecy that seems to accompany our explanation of 'the way things came to be this way.' Read the entire Quinn series with an open mind and it just might change your life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)