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Sock: A Novel Paperback – Audiobook, July 1, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
I wouldn't have read it had it not been by Penn Jillette. First things first: I used to hate Penn and Teller. Back when Penn did all the voice over work for Comedy Central, he drove me nuts. But my perspective changed dramaticly after the Showtime series "Bull****." The show was fantastic. I agreed with almost every single thing on there, and it gave me a whole new dimension to who Penn Jillette was: An Atheist, like me. He's very charasmatic, convincing, and intelligent on the show. I'd even go so far as to say I have a man-crush on him.
This book is really an Atheist manifesto thinly disguised as a murder mystery told through the POV of a Sock Monkey. There is a story there, but it gets sidetracked a LOT and goes on about social commentary, including quite a bit on religion. All the lead characters are Atheist as well. And because it comes from such a hard slant, anyone of faith may have a pretty tough time getting through this.
Most people might have a tough time anyway. The writing starts off very dense. Very stream of consciousness. The level of the density at the beginning doesn't hold up all the way through, though. And the constant song refrences get kind of old. Sometimes they really seem thrown in. If it weren't the most famouse chorus lines from each song, I might not have minded.
What I think the story really is about is a love story between a gay man and a straight man without turning into a traditional love story. I am going to assume that this being Penn's first novel, and the first persion perspective, that it is mostly his actual voice coming through in the book.Read more ›
As a novel, "Sock" is really somewhat basic, it transposes traditional stock elements of "mysteries" into a more abstract set of events. The technique could be interpreted as a gimmick, if it weren't for the fact that the whodunit aspects aren't the real driving force of the narrative. That said, the prose is the thing and it remains fully charged throughout (honestly: no let down in the second act). In fact, in many ways the story itself could easily be considered secondary. The real driving force is some pointed stabs at capital "F" faith, god and all that comes with it. You'll find an undressing of the notion of being agnostic and a strong call for atheism. Rats, rats lay down flat.
This orientation does manage to depart, again, from the typical novel form and end our little story with a sort of essay in unmitigated and convincing favor of sanity over faith. Sock lets you know in no uncertain terms that it's time to put god on the shelf with the rest of your toys and start living like a thinking adult.Read more ›
I enjoyed the book very much. The ending of many paragraphs with pop culture references was at first annoying, but it became more comfortable as the book progressed, and the lines were well selected. (There's a site on the Internet that lists them all and where they came from.)
My only complaint is a very jarring change of voice that occurs in a paragraph on pp. 166-167 ("a friend of ours").
I recently bought Sock as to have something new to read while I traveled on a 2,600-mile road trip. I had already known that Penn Jillette was opinionated and intelligent, though I felt I might be taking a risk by reading him. I mean it was going to be a long ride and I needed something that would keep me entertained. Well, I was more than entertained by Sock; it really offered powerful insight for me to contemplate between pages.
I read constantly, modern and classic, many genres. I love books that push the proverbial envelope, whether with prose or with insight, preferably both. Moreover, while Jillette may not possess grammatical perfection, he does possess a style all his own. It's what he writes, the boldly stated truth, which makes this novel so powerful. Sock is filled with truth and emotion, and it points out the similarity and the difference between the two.
One thing I would like to mention is the Atheist air that surrounds this novel. Though I'm sure those who hold strict moralistic and religious beliefs might be appalled or even offended by some of the material, they shouldn't be. The way I see it, those very individuals could view this novel as a way to reaffirm their strength in their beliefs, not simply turn up their noses and make excuses without even reading it, or they might just learn something about themselves and learn to think for themselves. I would really love those people to read this book, whether they agree or not, just read it. However, my understanding tells me that they won't. It's their loss, really.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you're read any of Penn's other books you've heard a lot of the things you'll read in this book, but you've never read them as discussed by a sock monkey during the course of a... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Gryfter
This is one of my favorite books. I've never read anything like it. Everything Penn writes is incredible, and this is no exception.Published 9 months ago by TinJax
i tried to get into this book but after 45 pages i surrendered. i had to put it down -- it really didnt capture my interest.Published on July 18, 2014 by ellen
There's an inherent conflict when a celebrity attempts to write a novel. The reader can't help but hear the celebrity's voice. Read morePublished on October 7, 2013 by Eva Moon
Sock by Penn Jilette is a unique book. It is a murder mystery told through the eyes of a puppet monkey. Read morePublished on August 20, 2013 by Alain C.
I thought this was going to be a good story because the prose is well written and it's an original idea, but it's difficult to follow and frankly too caustic for my taste.Published on August 9, 2013 by Mary K. Severs
This novel by Penn Jillette (from Penn & Teller) is more autobiography than fiction. There is a thin plot around the hero catching a serial killer, but the book is mostly rants... Read morePublished on June 18, 2013 by Sean Murphy
My son and I LOVE Penn Jellette and his book was interesting. It was easy reading and it was fun reading it to each other. Later we saw a play that Penn wrote and got to meet him. Read morePublished on January 26, 2013 by Lauren E Ramain
I love Penn Jillette, and thought that the premise of a sock monkey narrating a murder mystery would be my cup of tea. Well, no. Read morePublished on December 23, 2011 by Rusty