Quinn, Daniel: My Ishmael - A Sequel
Book Number: 60480
Bantam 1997. 1997 8vo hardcover 374pp. Fine. / Fine d/w. In this sequel to Quinn's controversial best seller, Ishmael, the telepathic gorilla has another pupil intent on saving the world: 12-year-old Julie Gerchak. Ishmael (1992), concerning a great, telepathic ape who dispenses ecological wisdom about the possible doom of humankind. Once more, Quinn focuses on the Leavers and Takers, his terms for the two basic, warring kinds of human sensibility. The planet's original inhabitants, the Leavers, were nomadic people who did no harm to the earth. The Takers, who have generally overwhelmed them, began as aggressive farmers obsessed with growth, were the builders of cities and empires, and have now, in the late 20th century, largely run out of space to monopolize. Quinn's books have not featured many memorable characters, aside from Ishmael. This time out, 12-year-old Julie Gerchak, who is tough and wise beyond her years, having had to deal with a self-destructive, alcoholic mother. Julie responds to Ishmael's ad seeking a pupil with an earnest desire to save the world. Once again, the gentle ape shares his wisdom in a series of questions and answers that resemble, in method, a blend of the Socratic dialogues and programmed learning.