Reviews: Ishmael

Interesting, but Needs a Counterpoint

I remember reading this in AP World History class. Basically, it's a book about a gorilla explaining a neo-tribalist argument to a human. Overall, it gives a pretty rosy view of going back to a hunter/gatherer existence, so if you wanted some balance to the author's arguement, you're not going to get it from "the student," who's only purpose is to be The Watson. But if you want a more realistic view of tribalism, read Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe.

Well, it's a pretty good book...

...depending on where you are in life. If you're an 18-23-year-old child of the environmentalist movement (or are simply trying to discover the answers to life's deepest questions), then it will be a profound, thought-provoking read. In time, however, its message becomes overly simplistic, especially when you (and your thinking) mature, you'll discover that, while man's pride has brought about many problems, it has also brought about many great things. But then, that might be part of the point: nothing is ever as clear-cut as "civilization = evil; nature = good."

A Ridiculous Book

I hesitate to say, "It sucks, lets move on," but that is really the best response in this case. Yes, the lecturer is a telepathic gorilla. Yes, it would have been a thousand times better if it was Gorilla Grodd instead. As is, it's a poor story and even poorer philosophy; the whole in this case is less than the sum of its pitiful parts. If you are looking for a good environmentalist/conservationalist book, look somewhere else. If you are looking for decent philosophy, read serious philosophy. If you are looking for good stories with Gorillas in them, look anywhere else but here.