Ishmael

An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit
Narrated by: Anthony Heald
Series: Ishmael Series (abridged), Book 1
Length: 2 hrs and 54 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (3,347 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Ishmael is an utterly unique and captivating spiritual adventure which redefines what it is to be human. We are introduced to Ishmael, a creature of immense wisdom. He has a story to tell, one that no human being has ever heard before. It is the story of man's place in the grand scheme, and it begins at the birth of time. This history of the world has never appeared in any schoolbook. "Does the earth belong to man?" Ishmael asks. "Or does man belong to the earth?"

Author Daniel Quinn is the first winner of the prestigious Turner Tomorrow Fellowship, awarded for fiction providing creative and positive solutions to global problems. Sly, witty, and profound, Ishmael is a tour de force of the mind and spirit, an extraordinary intellectual adventure that listeners will never forget.

©1992 Daniel Quinn (P)1995 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House Inc.

What listeners say about Ishmael

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Unabridged PLEASE!

I loved the book, so I thought why not the audiobook? The abridgment cuts out most of the "meat" of the story. The abridgment is better than nothing (thus four stars) but the book hits much harder with more information and draws the mind further into the story. Worth the read but could have been great.

99 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Please read this book

Ishmael was my first introduction to Daniel Quinn's work and it has started a love affair. After listenening to the audio version and clinging to every word- I went out and bought the book as I felt it must be a part of my library. However after reading the book, I so agree that Audible MUST add the unabridged version- every word is just too important to arbitrarily nip and tuck. Even so- this is a very well read version of the book- and does manage to convey many of the important themes and is definately worth the listen.

This story is thought provoking and full of metaphor- I highly suggest that you listen / read this with a friend or as a part of a book club as it's a perfect catalyst for important conversations- and truly the themes have never been more timley. I have read or listened to this several times and each time get something new- something lovely. Some readers may struggle with this- have an open mind - enjoy the metaphor and illusion. I suggest that you read a bit at a time and take time to talk about it and digest it before reading / listening on- hang in there- it will be worth your time. Allow it to and it will change your life and your spirit.

31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Really thought provoking

I wish Audible had the unabridged version of this book. It was so thought provoking and interesting that I wondered what nuances I was missing by having only the abidged version. But don't let that dissuade you. This is a very good condensed version. At no time did I encounter any awkward transitions. In fact part of my curiosity lies in trying to figure out where exactly the editor made the cuts.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Life changing

I only wish that you had all of Quinn's works on audio. Ishmael is just the beginning of a great journey.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MA
  • 12-05-03

Excellent, Masterpiece!

I have read the book and listened to the audio-tape. Highly recommend, would prefer an unabridged version. Amazing story told in a unique and creative manner. Can't wait for the audio version of My Ishmael, hopefully unabridged.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

From WTF to HOLY KAW!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Truth be told, the first couple of chapters were strange, odd to say the least. I hung in there, went with it and was rewarded with amazement. This book is brilliant!

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great book! Horrible narration

Any additional comments?

Audible skips certain paragraphs from the book, it takes away from the overall enjoyment of the book in its entirety.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A book for the good of the future

The messages in this book - and Quinn's other books - are so important that I own 2 copies of the book and loan them out as often as I can, and now have the audio so I can loan out my CD.
I believe that this series should be part of the school curriculum - maybe Gr. 5 or 6. The earlier that we can get some fresh minds interested in the world and the future, the better chance that the earth will have to survive our greed and destruction.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A truly important book!

I didn't agree with 100% of what Quinn is trying to say, but it is a very powerful idea presented in an entertaining way. This book is certain to change the way you look at the world to some degree. I have insisted that all my children read this book.

6 people found this helpful

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Most enjoyable listen, worthy of the purchase.

Based upon the strong recommendation of a friend sought out Ishmael and i am glad i found him. A simple story with a timely message, this is a worthy book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jordana
  • 09-26-16

I wish I had more hours with Ishmael ❤️

I absolutely love this book! It became my favourite. I can't believe how the writer and the reader made me feel I want more of it, more knowledge, more sweetness. I think that nothing I can say it will do any justice to this book, there is a before and an after. If you will read one book in your entire life, may this be that one, it is that worth it. Thank you so much!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • james phillips
  • 12-13-18

A must read before death

There is the world before this book...and the world after this book. It is a gem.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Danny Speirs
  • 12-29-18

Lifechanging

The book ended too soon. I wanted to hear more of Ishmael's wise words. I cannot recommend this book enough as it truly is food for thought.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-19-20

The most important book of our times - READ SHARE

Short, concise, educational, inspiring.... and important. Sentiments I have held for many years are decribed in a wonderfaul way, that makes total sense to where we are as 'humanity' right now. This book, which I can't believe I have only just heard about, is a rollercoaster of enjoyment and realisations. Please read it and share it to everyone you know.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-15-20

Best book I've ever read

love this book. so thought provoking and makes you ask so many questions to our way of life.

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  • Catherine Hearne
  • 07-28-20

Everyone should read this

i agree with others who didn't want it to end. i hope some of Daniel's other books will be available on audible soon. i should particularly like to hear the sequel.

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  • ryan
  • 07-22-20

Truly fantastic

A revealing look at the most important topic of our generation. I was blown away with the perspective shown here. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in sustainable business, ecology and life after the flood

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-22-20

Wonderful

Nicely read. Wonderful story. I'd read My Ishmael in my teenage years and was later shocked to discover it was the 2nd or 3rd in a series. Glad to have been able to listen to this one. Unfortunately My Ishmael is not available on Audible and that makes me pretty sad.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-19-20

exceptional

It recalibrates your mind and perfectly simplifies complex concepts to where you can fully grasp them. I read this book once a year.

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  • Martin and Sofia Carter
  • 04-04-20

Beautiful recording of an intense book

What a read! Fully immersive story that challenges the very core of our paradigm of what it is to be human. Highly recommend you buy this and then buy another copy for a friend

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  • N. Warder
  • 07-22-20

A story for the ages (please read with urgency!)

where have we come from, and to where are we going? are we on the right path, and if not is there time to correct our course?

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-08-19

A MUST listen

This story is more relevant than ever, really intelligent and deeply touching. I hope that as many people as possible listen to this audiobook, it can have a positive influence on where we steer this ship of mankind.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Fraser McClymont
  • 12-03-18

This book ruined my life

This book laid waste to my original viewpoint on the meaning of life and what I though life was about. I can't even tell you what this book is about, I can only tell you that it filled my heart with a feeling of Thumos. Truly captivating, I can't wait to listen to it again

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  • Demian Rosenthal
  • 03-01-18

wonderful book! should be compulsory in school!!!

great read with a good an engaging story that is eye opening and thought provoking.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-28-18

Take it or remain a taker.

Loved every word of this one. Incredible journey told through an unusual but effective medium.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-22-17

all time favorite book

read this as a teenager. to listen again was fabulous. my only criticism is it was an abridged version. I'd have much preferred the unabridged.

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  • aaran
  • 07-28-17

The power of story.

If ever there was a way to slip the reality of the human condition and the situation we are in because of it. Ishmael is it.
Wake up and become a leaver!

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  • Symon Peters
  • 03-24-16

loved it a beautiful story full of hope.

one day man may realise his destiny does not need to include the destruction of a world be belongs to.