Don't Call Me Ishmael


This study guide will help you analyze the novel Don’t Call Me Ishmael (2006) by Michael Gerard Bauer. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective

Presentation of the text

Title: Don’t Call Me Ishmael (2006)
Author: Michael Gerard Bauer
Genre: Novel

Michael Gerard Bauer (b. 1955) is a young adult and children’s writer and former English teacher from Brisbane, Australia. His debut novel The Running Man was published in 2004 and received positive reviews and literary awards. Following this, he published the first book in the Ishmael trilogy, Don’t Call Me Ishmael, in 2006. The book was a commercial success and also received praise and many awards. The following books in the series are Ishmael and the Return of the Dugongs (2007) and Ishmael and the Hoops of Steel (2011).


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Time period

The main character Ishmael narrates the story in retrospect from his point of view. He predominantly uses the past tense. Chapters 1-6 precede the main plot, with chapters 1-4 (with the exception of a flashback) told in the present tense and chapters 5 and 6 looking back at Ishmael’s first year of high school.

The main plot (Chapters 7-50) unfolds chronologically and covers the entire second year of high school. The plot unfolds in a time-lapse manner and includes several time jumps.

In Australia, the school year usually starts in January and ends in December. Ishmael’s story begins on the first day of the second school year. He has just started year nine (Chapter 5)...

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Don't Call Me Ishmael

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