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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2012
First let me say that I am an atheist and expected a fun and enlightening read. Very disappointed. This is a turgid, self-indulgent, self-congratulatory, close to stream-of-consciousness exercise on telling you how great the author is and what a wonderful lifestyle he leads that you poor schmucks can only dream about. This after a very non-convincing introduction where Jillette defines an atheist as a humble creature who admits he/she doesn't know something rather that thinking one arrogantly knows everything because one is a mindless believer. He also mistakes profanity for impactful writing. The name dropping, pontificating, and bragging builds to where, by page 30, I was ready to close the book, mentally leave the room, and take a deep breath. Jillette often describes the few times he has admitted worthy people into his intimate circle of friends. Count me out. He has, in effect, substituted his own sublime person for that of a deity for them to worship. These appear to be needy people of the kind drawn to cults, and I resent Jillette equating himself to atheism.

Add to that, a lot of the things he writes don't have the ring of truth or are just downright untrue. For example, "...most of the Hasids go to strip clubs and hookers." Do I have to repudiate that? It's nonsense. He also writes that a convert from ultra-Orthodox Judism to atheism had his epiphany when he went to a strip joint and met up with an atheist stripper who quickly explained Darwinism and the geologic history of the world. Really? REALLY?

If you are desperate for arguments to use against believing belligerents, take the book out of the library, or better yet, just read it there, and look for the single, thin, chapter on atheism. Take notes on what you can gleen and leave the rest of this claptrap behind.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2013
As an atheist I found this book very disappointing. It is juvenile in conception, egocentric beyond belief, and counterproductive to those of us who want atheism to have a major role in our intellectual life. Portions of the book are, to be sure, amusing, but the majority of what is in the book is not worth spending time on. Don't waste your time or money on it!
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53 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2011
Wow. At the beginning of this book Penn warns readers that he is an opinionated, obnoxious ahole, and he certainly is not exaggerating for comedic effect. The first 50 or so pages of this book are about Penn's atheism. This section is entertaining, reasonable, and worth reading. After that, you're better off throwing this book away. The remaining 230 or so pages have nothing to do with atheism or religion. Instead, Penn boasts about his (allegedly) enormous genitalia, his (allegedly) incredible sexual exploits, his celebrity name-dropping, and his loony libertarianism. Penn is just another privileged rich white guy telling us pathetic non-millionaires that we're cramping his style. Detractors of atheism will point to this book as exemplifying everything wrong with nonbelief -- here's an arrogant, condescending jerk pontificating on subjects about which he clearly knows very little. Most nonbelievers do not act (or write) like this, and reading this was downright embarrassing at times. Yep, this is exactly what god-botherers hate about atheists all wrapped up in a neat little package. Wow. Just wow.
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14 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2012
As an Atheist I was anxious to read this book. I am not one to leave a book unfinished but just could not stomach this pathetic book beyond page 65. How many times must the "F" word be used? How many times must he name drop? He rambles to the point of distraction. He makes statements that nobody could take as fact if they have a grain of sense. I am sure this book will do nothing but make Atheists cringe. I found absolutely nothing good about the book. He sounds like some teenage boy trying to show off. Perhaps it did get better after I stopped reading but just could not read more to find out.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2013
A very poorly written intellectually empty book. Though I am also a non religious man I find Jilette is lacking in any intelligent well thought out argument. His writing is simplistic and superficial at its best.
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26 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2011
I purchased this book premised on the comedy of Penn & Teller, who I do appreciate. I think their comic insights are entertaining...but this book wears thin after just a few sections. It's not just the overuse of profanity (which I can certainly handle; but simply find it excessive and unnecessary), it's more the intellectual bankruptcy that gives me a rash. Penn's analysis of Agnosticism, for example, is so off the mark that it reeks of intellectual poverty. His agnostic distinctions are simply false, and first year philosophy students would recognize them as so.
Penn's right-wing politics come across clear enough...but smack of Glen Beckism that he seems to condemn.
In short...I read the book...found it wanting and a serious waste of time on so many fronts it's hard to even capture here. I'm convinced this book represents one of the major flaws with the Kindle, in that you can't return it once you download it...even if it is junk and mis-represented by Amazon.com!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Worst written book I've ever read part of. I don't think anybody could read the whole thing.
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2013
Penn claims atheism, but acknowleges that he is uncertain of his position. This is essentially the agnostic position, but he demeans agnostics as cowardly. An amazing performer uses the artifice of potty language to drive away the socially sensitive reader who is likely to see the inconsistant philosophical position. This is a remarkably amaturish production for such a polished performer and communicator.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2014
From this book I have learned that Penn Jillette is astoundingly narcissistic. He is incapable of discussing anything without turning it into a story about himself or some star he knows, mixing things up with a demeaning/uplifting rant in a childish attempt at manipulating the reader. I don't know what it is with libertarians and lying book titles, it's really not right. Perhaps they are proud of their corruption.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2014
The ideas were interesting. The language made it almost impossible to read. The most interesting idea was that Christians don't believe their own myth or they wouldn't act the way they do.
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