"From now on I will divide the books I have read into two categories --the ones I read before Ishmael and those read after." -Jim Britell
It is only fitting that my first "reading" post focus on the short novel Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. For those of you out there (yes, the one or two of you) who read my introductory post, this is the book that sat on my shelf collecting dust before I reluctantly decided to pick it up and read it (in order to avoid attending a Super Bowl party). Those who have read Ishmael already probably found that situation incredibly humorous and filled with irony. Those who have yet to read it, well, let me share a few brief thoughts on why I found this book so illuminating.
Ishmael is a very easy read. By "easy" I mean the dialogue is simplistic and somewhat haphazardly written...however, the context is completely fascinating. I found myself ruminating on the key points of this book endlessly for days afterwords. Reactions to the book are often mixed. This book may challenge your fundamental understanding of how the world came to be the way it is...or you may think it's simply a neat little story about a telepathic gorilla...or you may find it to be slanderous anti-Christian hogwash. I believe the more open one is to the challenges presented by Ishmael, the more likely one is to grow in the understanding of him/herself and the environment around them.
Whether you borrow it from a friend, check it out from the library, or buy/lift it from a store...acquiring Ishmael and deciding to read it when you are ready is the best advice I can give. What one may ultimately learn from Ishmael depends entirely upon the reader...