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The Loser Letters Paperback – March 1, 2010
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--Claire Gillen, The Washington Times
"The Loser Letters is an instant classic." --Nancy Piccione, The Catholic Post
"...[C.S.] Lewis now has a rival: The Loser Letters, by Mary Eberstadt.... this is witty and wicked satire." ---Scot McKnight, beliefnet.com
"[T]he engaging author....deftly channels C. S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters through the voice of a fictional twentysomething survivor of college hookups, detox, and Facebook relationship etiquette." --Joan Desmond, The Weekly Standard
"Eberstadt brilliantly defends the faith from radical New Atheism with wit and humor....more than a match for Hitchens and Dawkins and their flying spaghetti monster." --Matthew Archbold, National Catholic Register
<span>"The Loser Letters draws inevitable comparisons to C.S. Lewis' classic The Screwtape Letters, and rightly so.....a provocative, compelling case [made] with rare grace and conviction."
</span> --Claire Gillen, The Washington Times<br \><br \><span>"The Loser Letters is an instant classic."</span> --Nancy Piccione, The Catholic Post<br \><br \><span>"...[C.S.] Lewis now has a rival: The Loser Letters, by Mary Eberstadt.... this is witty and wicked satire."</span> ---Scot McKnight, beliefnet.com<br \><br \><span>"[T]he engaging author....deftly channels C.</span><span> </span><span>S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters through the voice of a fictional twentysomething survivor of college hookups, detox, and Facebook relationship etiquette." </span> --Joan Desmond, The Weekly Standard<br \><br \><span>"Eberstadt brilliantly defends the faith from radical New Atheism with wit and humor....more than a match for Hitchens and Dawkins and their flying spaghetti monster." </span> --Matthew Archbold, National Catholic Register<br \><br \>As a Christian humorist, Mary Eberstadt is the rightful heir and assignee of C.S. Lewis, and her heroine in The Loser Letters is the legitimate child (or perhaps grandchild) of "the patient" in The Screwtape Letters. - --P.J. O'Rourke, Author, Parliament of Whores
Mary Eberstadt is one smart cookie. If you don't believe me, ask Satan. --George Weigel
This is a wise, funny, and winning book. --Michael Novak
About the Author
Mary Eberstadt is anessayist, novelist, and author of several influential works of non-fiction, includingHow the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization; Adam and Eve after the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution;andHome-Alone America. Her novelThe Loser Letters: A Comic Tale of Life, Death, and Atheism, has been adapted for stage and will premiere in fall 2016. She is also editor of the anthologyWhy I Turned Right: Leading Baby Boom Conservatives Chronicle Their Political Journeys.
A frequent contributor to magazines and journals including TIME, theWall Street Journal, National Review, theWeekly Standard, andFirst Things, Mrs. Eberstadt (nee Tedeschi) has also served as an editor atThe Public Interest, The National Interest, andPolicy Review. She has been associated with various think tanks, including most recently the Hoover Institution and the Ethics and Public Policy Center. In 2011, she founded a literary organization called the Kirkpatrick Society that has mentored hundreds of writers.
During the Reagan administration, Mrs. Eberstadt spent two years as a speechwriter to Secretary of State George Shultz.. She graduatedmagna cum laudefrom Cornell University with a double major in philosophy and government. She lives in the Washington, DC area.
Top Customer Reviews
The intimidatingly intelligent Eberstadt has established herself as an incisive writer who engages explosive and controversial topics. She critiqued the practice of administering strong drugs to schoolchildren in an effort to promote better school performance in Why Ritalin Rules and extended her treatment of the topic in her book, Home Alone America.
She has exposed the effects of the sexual revolution and has chronicled developments from Anglican acceptance of contraception at the Lambeth Conference in 1930 to the denomination's current warfare over homosexuality. She presents a uniquely perceptive view of pop culture with arresting titles such as Is Food the New Sex? and Eminem Is Right. She makes frequent, and provocative, contributions to the Wall Street Journal, Policy Review, Commentary, and First Things.
The Loser Letters, Eberstadt's first published work of fiction, draws on a long satirical tradition from Juvenal to The Screwtape Letters. Eberstadt's protagonist, a young woman named A. F. Christian (as in, "A Former Christian"), details the journey of her enlightened abandonment of her "cradle Dullness" (namely, her Christian faith) and her adaptation to atheism. Christian writes excited, star-struck letters to the self-described so-called "Brights" of the New Atheism, in which she gushes about the Brights' superiority while candidly evaluating the weaknesses that limit the New Atheism's ability to win new converts.Read more ›
However if you are like me, and were hoping for something to challenge your thinking about atheism and faith, save your money. This book will only insult you and offer you nothing new to reflect on. Make no mistake: the "loser" in the title is only superficially referencing god. By the time you close the back cover, you understand that the "loser" can only be A.F. Christian, the execrable character whose letters these are purported to be.
Mary Eberstadt's self-styled atheist is a caricature, a parody of a person who capitalizes the second person pronouns of the exalted atheist minds she reveres, as though she believes them to be deities worthy of that kind of respect. Further, she seems deeply (and strangely) literate on Christian thinking and literature, because she seems to spend the entire book warning said deities that they must not reference so-and-so, because his logic is ironclad! And stay away from mentioning such-and-thus, because we atheists are wrong on that. And if we are to succeed in our mission to destroy the culture--because after all, that's what all atheists want, isn't it--we must not refer to these particular statistics ... and so on. As a final insult, she details the circumstances by which the ersatz protagonist cast off her belief in god because it was somehow inconsistent with her decision to abort her child, in other words, because it was easier to be an atheist than to accept the existence of the Christian god and be saddled with the requisite responsibility and guilt, as if they necessarily go hand in hand at all.Read more ›
For more serious considerations of a Theistic perspective on the New Atheists I would recommend Edward Feser's The Last Superstition or the Godless Delusion by Patrick Madrid and Kenneth Hensley. The former is rather heady, but the latter reads easily. Dinesh D'Souza's What's So Great About Christianity? would be of help as well to anybody wanting a theistic perspective in answer to New Atheistic assertions.
The premise is very promising. Atheism could use an intellectual combat in the Screwtape style. And that's what I was hoping for.
Instead, the whole book is little more than a giant joke. The tone is so sarcastic and off-putting, that it really does very little good for Christianity. I couldn't make it past the first few chapters.
Unfortunately, while Eberstadt's letters make some very good points, the "voice" is so annoying that all intellectual nuggets are lost.
For example when talking about how she doesn't like the Judeo-Christian God, she says this:
"Now on the other hand, a deity who would let me smoke and drink as much as I want, drop five pounds without going a-rex again, string up that judge from juvie court... a god who turns bread into iPod minis and water into Grey Goose vodka-- now we're getting somewhere. THAT'S what I'm talking about, if you know what I mean."
This is typical of the entire book... it's very pop-culture littered to the point of just being mush.
Too bad because I had high hopes for this book. If you want teeny bop humor, sure. But if you are looking for something real and useful... skip it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Easy to read, cleaver, and powerful, Mary Eberstadt charms you into not wanted to wait for what the next of her letters will say about atheism. Read morePublished on May 26, 2014 by Walter Majeske
This is a great read. Biting and astute, it very cleverly turns the arguments of atheism back on their proponents. Very well done, and funny besides. Read morePublished on April 30, 2014 by John Becknell
The attempt to write in the voice of a teenage girl doesn't quite work, and is somewhat grating at times. Read morePublished on January 21, 2014 by Gregory L. Smith
The Loser letters drips with way too much sarcasm for it to be taken seriously. The comparison to the Screwtape Letters is not apt. Read morePublished on December 8, 2013 by L. LAM
For anyone who enjoys C.S. Lewis' "The Screwtape Letters", this is a worthy successor. As a convert from atheism to Catholicism myself, I really appreciate the well... Read morePublished on August 27, 2013 by Sue
To me, this book is not up to her usual standard. I have not read a lot of her writing so it may just be my lack of experience with her work, but we read "Eminem Is Right:"... Read morePublished on June 19, 2013 by D. L. Gilbert