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Your Religion Is False Paperback – June 6, 2009
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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If you are less than moderately literate, or moderately literate but not too widely read, you probably won't like this book. If you are an ivory tower hermit that has no idea who or what Captain Caveman, Marv Albert, or Creed are, you probably won't like this book. The humor is rather slapstick, but in order to get some of the jokes it helps if you have:
a) some background in philosophy
b) spent some time studying comparative religion
c) have a good working knowledge of popular culture from about 1985 onwards
d) an appreciation for the Three Stooges "Niagara Falls" routine, or
e) at least three of the above.
I do, and I found "Your Religion is False" hysterical.
Although the religious practices and tenets described are absurd enough in themselves, Grus slides seamlessly into deliberate silliness which, to me at least, has the effect of taking any edge of cruelty off his sarcasm. He makes a valiant effort to ridicule -everyone's- religion (Dai Dao Tam Ky Pho Do? Pastafarianism?) more or less equally, and includes a few general categories for any he may have accidentally overlooked (cults, New Age). Nor does he spare environmentalists, astrologers, Dungeons and Dragons addicts, or agnostics.
The bulk of the book is presented as humor, based on the thesis that -every- religion is a fairy tale, and absurdity is a constant across the spectrum even though specific details differ. However, beginning with chapter 80 (yes, there are 91 chapters; most are only 1-3 pages long) Grus does put forth some serious arguments for atheism, and some reasons why religion may be sometimes problematic in our culture. Nonetheless, the overall tone of the book remains whimsical, demonstrating that it is possible to have a serious point and still maintain a sense of humor in presenting it.
If you're looking for a metaphysical discourse on religion or atheism, go read Schopenhauer, Russell, or even Richard Dawkins. If you're looking for a religious joke book along the lines of "a priest, and minister, and a rabbi walk into a bar...", go read Loyal Jones. This book is neither of those things.
But if you have an appreciation for the absurd, and maybe a secret desire to find out just how Feng Shui /does/ measure up against Voodou on the wackiness scale, then I highly recommend this book.
That said, as often as not, the author's sense of humor quickly becomes formulaic by repeatedly mixing into the absurdity of each religion various annoying contemporary references. For example, in describing the three primary gods of Hinduism, Brahma "...has four heads but only four arms, which makes it impossible for him to cover his ears whenever that stupid 'Crazy Frog' song plays as someone's ringtone." Thud. And although he is obviously trying to show the contextual relationship of vestigial, atavistic religions to modern life, the references themselves are sometimes so nerdy and esoteric that they will be lost on certain readers.
In the end, it was still a satisfying, breezy read which delightfully left no religion unscathed.
An original twist in what has become a saturated market (I'm not complaining). Why this book doesn't have 1,000 reviews is beyond me. The title says what it is, and the content does what it says.
Don't buy this book if you're browsing for deep philosophical arguments, but do buy this book if you're hunting for some funny, straightforward, raw material. Well written and quick-paced. If the title didn't scare them off, I would have my Christian friends read it. Style flows well, and is retained throughout.
If I were to choose a few sentences which best encompass the "feel", they would be the following: "This story [Creation] raises more questions than it answers. How could day and night be created three days before the sun? As a college football fan, does god support the BCS system or a playoff or neither? Also, lights hanging from the firmament? Holes for the sun and moon? Really, holes? This is what's keeping people from believing in evolution? Are you sure you're not pulling my leg?"
No "belief system" remains untouched, including Twelve Step programs, Environmentalism, and Agnosticism. Several I would never have thought of such as Singularitarianism and Choprism, nor have guessed existed like Jediism and Juche.
A whole lot of fun for the whole family. Gather the kids 'round the fire, lock grandma in her room, cuddle on the sofa with Spot, and read aloud.
Most recent customer reviews
Ridiculousness we all k now that it is just false security much akin to insurance. Better believe just in case. Simple no thought required'm