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on February 7, 2010
I had heard the author reading the Adam and Eve story on NPR, which I thought was wonderful. It was a whole different take on the Biblical characters, and was a fascinating (and funny) imagining of their respective characters and motives...making 3-D people out of the relatively flat and familiar Bible characters. And the first half of the book is very much like that and highly recommended (also great to read at the same time as R. Crumb's illustrated version of Genesis).

But then it runs out of steam, and gets too far away from the source material. King David is made into a sort of failed Shecky Greene wanna-be comedian, and it's more of just a superimposition of flat Jewish stereotypes onto Biblical characters. It has little flashes of brilliance, such as the following passage (thoughts of David): "Gone are the carefree days of slaying giants. As you get older you strip away the things you don't have time for, and then you are left only with things you have time for. Your life gets skinnier and skinnier until you wonder why you go on. You go on because there are things that must get done. You become no longer a person so much as a place, an unfunny place where things come to get done." Unfortunately, they're sandwiched between thick layers of schtick.

Of course, humor is in the eye and ear of the beholder. If you're a deep Catskills devotee, then you may get a lot out of the second half. In my eye, the first half is worth the price of admission.
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on March 31, 2016
This book tries to portray stories from the bible with modernized characters who have more human (humane?) features. It is also spoof and shtick comedy. I don't find any of this offensive. My problem is bad writing. The stories become slow, unfunny, and plodding rather quickly. I could imagine a book like this one delving into the contradictions and hard to believe hypotheses and characters in the bible; and doing it humorously. But that is a another book by another author. According to the Amazon product description, this book has 239 printed pages as does my copy. However, page 239 is not the end of a story, there was more to follow unless the author died at the end of the last paragraph. So bad writing is combined with a bad publisher. I gave it two stars because I read the whole book hoping it would get better. No way.
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on November 4, 2009
I had incredibly high hopes after reading this book's hysterically funny preface. Unfortunately, the rest of the book did not come close to the preface in either its wit or its descriptive power. The concept of writing the backstory for specific tales from the Bible is a great one, and some of the stories in this book do live up to the challenge and are entertaining, but many of the stories barely scratch the surface of the originals and just seem silly rather than creative. On the positive side, the preface is so funny that it makes reading the book worthwhile.
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on April 9, 2013
I heard the first chapter of this book on NPR and thought it was very funny. The author has taken the very familiar stories of the Bible and put a modern twist on them. None quite rose to the same level of humor as Adam and Eve. Do not get caught up in thinking it is sacreligious, it is just another interpretation which gives the modern Bible study a fresh look.
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on March 8, 2014
I got this book for a friend of mine after hearing excerpts from the first chapter (Genesis, the story of Adam & Eve). It is really funny listening to it being read. I thought many of the other chapters were amusing as well, but the author had to try a little too hard for some of it. If you're looking for spiritual sustenance, just know that this book is an outrageous spoof on the real Bible.
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on April 22, 2013
This collection of retold Bible stories is absolutely hilarious. Goldstein fills the stories with ironic twists that add a new way of looking at the relationships between the carachters and God. He often adds human qualities and sometimes explains the fatal flaws that each of them had. I highly recommend this one for a fun read that can even make you think a little differently.
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on September 6, 2013
Whether you are a bible thumper or an athiest, if you have any shred of a sense of humor, you'll laugh out loud as I did while on a very quiet airplane. The Adam and Eve story was a killer!!! I hardly ever read a book twice but actually enjoyed it more the second time. Buy an exra as a gift. Your friend will thank you.
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on July 13, 2015
Quintessentially Jonathan Goldstein. Utterly charming. I could hear his voice through the whole book. Hilarious. But deftly not sacrilegious. A must read. There is a podcast on his show Wiretap where he shows up at his sister's house late one evening and reads an excerpt from the book to his young nieces. They are nestled in a chair with him while reads. Much to the annoyance of his sister. It is great. This book will make you laugh out loud. A lot.
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on April 20, 2013
Humor at it's best! And not in a bad way.More like a father teaching Sunday school why questions when he'd rahter be boating.It took me two days to read. Less if I had not had to go to work!
Shipped in time,perfect condition, and I'd buy from this seller again.
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on December 3, 2014
Oh . . . oh, if you're a Christian (or a Jew) and love the Bible or Torah . . . AND . . . you have a sense of humor, then THIS is the book for you! Mr. Goldstein's "take" on familiar Biblical stories is unique and refreshing, yet at the end of the day, always circling back to the original intent. Laughed all the way through!
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