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Ishmael

An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit
Narrated by: Anthony Heald
Series: Ishmael Series, Book 1
Length: 2 hrs and 54 mins
5 out of 5 stars (64 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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Eric
  • 12-01-2008

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.

95 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Telecommuter12
  • 20-11-2008

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
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  • Julie
  • 23-04-2009

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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lilly
  • 26-07-2005

Life changing

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

14 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MA
  • 05-12-2003

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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  • Richard
  • 15-02-2012

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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  • Jethro
  • 31-01-2014

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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rob
  • 03-02-2005

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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Scott
  • 02-01-2004

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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  • Virgil
  • 23-09-2016

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 Meazza
  • 26-09-2016

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

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  • Danny Speirs
  • 29-12-2018

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • james phillips
  • 13-12-2018

A must read before death

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Martin and Sofia Carter
  • 04-04-2020

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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  • Elaine Tennent
  • 03-02-2020

Loved it.

It was over so quickly. A great story. Will definitely read this again in time.

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  • Chris Cardus
  • 31-01-2020

Great story, shame it's abridged

I was absolutely captivated by this book from beginning to end. The story is beautifully told and really got me thinking. When it dragged me in, I thought it was just going to be 3 hours of preaching to the choir, but then I realised that it had purposefully made me comfortable so that it could challenge some of my most fundementally held beliefs. If nothing else, I am completely shaken by this book. It feels like someone has thrust an electric whisk into my chest and churned up my perception of the world. I'm not sure I entirely agree with all of the conclusions reached by Quinn, but the arguments themselves have energised me.

A lot of the enjoyment I got from this book is also thanks to the narration. Anthony Heald brings both Ishmael and his student to life in such a beautiful vibrant way and listening to these two characters interact felt very natural and engaging.

Unfortunately though, this is an abridged version of the story. I specifically try and listen to unabridged books because I frankly don't trust the person doing the abridging not to leave something important or interesting out. No where, that I can see, on the Audible page does it mention that this is the abridged version. I only found out after listening to the whole thing, at which point they inform you it was abridged. I feel put out and cheated. If I had known in advance that it was abridged, I would have read the book instead of listening to it. This is why I have taken two stars off of the overall score.

Overall a fantastic, challenging book that I'm glad I have 'read', just a shame it was abridged.

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  • Shaun Bliss
  • 18-10-2019

Please Read / listen to it!<br /> (it is short)

It's a book that should be taught in schools 😉 very thought provoking, we'll worth the time it takes, you may even find yourself (As I have) listening to it mulitiable times.

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  • Kim Allyson
  • 30-08-2019

leavers

a must read for all. Ishmael.
o o o o o o o o o

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  • Nia Nguyen
  • 29-03-2019

Good material to bubble the mind

Anthony was good at narrating the story, giving it a personal element. Although different tones were used for different characters, there are just a few conversations that were a little trickier to follow. Overall, the story line is easy to understand and there will be plenty of materials to feed the mind thereafter the book.

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  • Miss Leonie E. McLauchlan
  • 08-07-2018

inspired

I have this book in paperback but recently got the audio book so I could revisit it in a different medium. it's an incredible piece of work and I'd recommend it to anyone.