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Don't Call Me Ishmael by Michael Gerard…

Don't Call Me Ishmael

by Michael Gerard Bauer

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good. ( )
  MsRoeters | Mar 23, 2011 |
Anybody who has been a victim of bullying or has been intimidated at school will love the novel Don’t call me Ishmael by Michael Gerard Bauer.
Ishmael Leseur is a fourteen year old boy attending St Daniel's College. Apart from the usual problems associated with being fourteen and attending school; bullies, embarrassment, schoolwork and a little sister, he has the added burden of a name that assures mockery and ridicule. The name also has a story attached, one that his father enjoys telling at every opportunity.
After some beginning, covering Ishmael's home and name, the story settles into a story of school life in year 9. Ishmael gets bully and teased about his name and tries his hardest to stay under the radar of Barry Bagsley, the school bully by blending in and making himself a small target as possible.
All this changes when a new boy named James Scobie, joins the class. James is different according to the people in Ishmael’s class and Ishmael and he is paired with Ishmael in class. Soon the pair have struck up a friendship, and together with their collection of other year nine misfits, they learn to take on not just Barry Bagsley, but also anything else life throws at them.
Don’t call me Ishmael is a humorous book in which will literally make you laugh out loud, and while it also has some frightening and emotional moments, the humour keeps the novel progressing along. The first time I read this book was in year 9, as a class novel. When I was told that we were going to read the novel. To be honest I wasn’t looking forward to it, but when I stared reading it, I couldn’t put it down. I would recommend this book to people of the ages of 12 and older who are looking for a good, funny and well paced book to read. ( )
  mthong | Jun 24, 2010 |
One of the most hilarious books I have ever read; Don’t Call Me Ishmael gives ‘fun to read’ a whole new meaning. This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to look at life through the eyes of Ishmael Leseur, who can handle (almost) any situation with smooth sarcasm. I will never be able to explain why this book is so funny – it just is, and I plan to buy a copy of my own so I can relive the laughs again and again.

It is said that people like books they can relate to, and I can relate to this book a lot. It is centred around bullying, (which I have experienced a lot of previously,) and debating, (which is something that I enjoy a lot, and a prominent part of my school life.) I may not be able to relate to Ishmael’s fear of public speaking, but I enjoyed every moment of the debating scenes and, after seeing so many books about football, soccer and basketball, am extremely pleased to finally read one about a competition I enjoy.

It is a shame that Don’t Call Me Ishmael has not necessarily had all the acclaim it is worthy of, as Bauer had extremely large shoes to fill after the success of his brilliant first novel: The Running Man. In my opinion, Don’t Call Me Ishmael is easily as good, but the trap it has fallen into is that it is a very different type of book, and many of the people who prefer books like The Running Man have been unwittingly dragged out of their preferred genres in the hope of something familiar, and upon finding a different style, have not given this book very good reviews. For anyone who is going to read this story, an open mind and a sense of humour are must-haves.

Don’t Call Me Ishmael is undoubtedly the best feel-good novel I have ever read; an absolute delight that nobody can afford to miss. It’s a story with a good old happy ending, and some well-communicated morals and messages, (but readers might want to make sure they don’t open it in a quiet library; I’d be very surprised to find a person who doesn’t laugh out loud at some point during this book.) ( )
  SamuelW | Jun 11, 2009 |
With a name like Ishmael Lesuer it is hard to not be a target. But over the years Ishmael has learnt to fly under the radar of Barry Bagsley, the year bully. That is until Year Nine when James Scobie enters his life. Now, with a band of unlikely friends, Ishmael is about to become the centre of attention whether he likes it or not. This novel about bullies, mates and girls is laugh-out-loud funny! A 2007 Award winning book. The second novel follows the further hilarious adventures of Ishmael especially in his misadventures with girls.
  cranbrook | May 14, 2009 |
Lucky find at local library. As someone with an unusual name myself ("Hey, were you named after ...? - Uh, yeah...") I could quite relate. Being someone with an "odd" name does make life complicated sometimes, and this book describes it how it is. OK, some things that happen to poor Is(h)mael, when he has his run-ins with the school bully are a bit over the top, but still! With the help of a group of other oddballs, lead by the newcomer James, Ishmael finally learns how to confront people like Barry the Bastard. If you are planning to name your child after celebrities or literary characters you might want to read this first :-).
Read in German translation, which is actually pretty good, due to the fact that you "get" that the setting is Australia (more often than not, cultural differences get lost in sloppy translations). I loved the Rugby match, which the translator also had down to a tee. ( )
1 vote GirlFromIpanema | Mar 29, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061348341, Hardcover)

By the time ninth grade begins, Ishmael Leseur knows it won't be long before Barry Bagsley, the class bully, says, "Ishmael? What kind of wussy-crap name is that?” Ishmael's perfected the art of making himself virtually invisible. But all that changes when James Scobie joins the class. Unlike Ishmael, James has no sense of fear—he claims it was removed during an operation.

Now nothing will stop James and Ishmael from taking on bullies, bugs, and Moby Dick, in the toughest, weirdest, most embarrassingly awful . . . and the best year of their lives.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:22 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Fourteen-year-old Ishmael Leseur is certain that his name is the cause of his unhappy school life as the victim of the worst bully in his class, but when a new boy arrives, he shows Ishmael that things could be different.

» see all 4 descriptions

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