Call Me Ishmael: The Phenomenon Revolutionizing How We Talk About Books
“Call me Ishmael.”
It’s one of the most recognizable opening sentences in literature (right up there with “every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” and “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times”). And now, the iconic phrase has gained a new life as a multimedia phenomenon.
Call Me Ishmael celebrates the power of literature by giving a person the chance to literally “call Ishmael” and share a story about how a book impacted their life. Many calls are then transcribed and posted on callmeishmael.com, becoming tales that go far beyond traditional book reviews. Titles featured range from The Time Traveler’s Wife to Pajama Time, from Maus to The Catcher in the Rye.
The stories people share are funny, sad, poignant and deeply human, which creator Logan Smalley says is the point. He calls the resulting narrative “an enhanced, evolved and beautiful picture of humanity.”