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I've finally found the book on religion I'd be willing to show to my future children!
on May 19, 2007
Anyone who's ever wandered into a doctors office or dentists office as a child or with a child will be instantly familiar with those 'illustrated stories from the bible' books that show children the wonders of god by telling all the "good" stories from the "good book" with exciting pictures and paintings.
This book is the perfect antidote to such books. In fact, I know a few doctors and dentists who might end up finding a copy of this book "mysteriously appear" in their office...
The shear genius of this book cannot be praised enough. The idea here is simple: Make a book that takes some of the most idiotic, brutal, sexist, racist, and moronic stories that are contained in the bible and tell those stories with artist renderings and modern language and then provide a commentary on those stories that includes chapter and verse quotes and the Christian "reasoning" for the brutality, murder and rape that their god has seen fit to include in the Bible.
The end result is a book that showcases the shear ignorance of many theists out there as to just what exactly is contained in "the good book." For every good story, there are countless others that can only be described as EVIL.
This book is not perfect, but it's damned close.
The illustrations, while funny and brutally honest to the writings of the bible are mostly black and white sketches, so there are no glorious renderings in oil of the 70,000 people slaughtered by God in the Books of Samuel and Chronicles. This is a pity because the mental image of a glorious oil painting of 70,000 rotting corpses laying on the ground under god's out-stretched hand leaves me giddy with school-boyish joy.
The author has an obvious bias and lets it leak into the examination of the stories outlined in the illustrations, and his commentary on those stories often includes word-for-word redundancy. Meaning that, in many cases, the author tells the story two or three times... It can be a little off-putting to read the same story three times in the space of three paragraphs.
Aside from these minor issues, this books a glorious addition to any agnostic or atheist book collection. I know that if/when I have children of my own, this will be the first book I use with them when the subject of religion and god comes up.