As usual Penn is Funny, Touching and Thoughtful. His stories are the kind no sane person would publicly talk about..Luckily Mr Gillette is far from completly sane. The mix of very serious dicussion AND adult humor is great. I listened to this on my hidden ipod at work and it renewed my will to live at my soul crushing job. Thank you Penn for the laughs the new ideas and a reson not to hang myself from the warehouse rafters on more day.
Extraordinarily funny and touching moments overwhelmed by all-too-much incivility. I understand it's his schtick and all that--but wish he could have cut out what seemed to me massively gratuitous swearing. I expect more of fellow libertarian atheists. He'd probably say "go **** yourself" which is his right. Nonetheless, it added nothing to the stories except to get the word count up.
The title of Penn Jillette's is misleading in that one expects a humorous polemic on the adsurdity of religious belief, but instead we wind up with an autobiographical rant, at times somewhat angry, that covers a lot of territory including `political beliefs, and his views of others in the entertainment industry. He narrates the audio book himself in his stentorian high-volume style.
I like penn and many of his shows and documentaries, but I would not recommend this to someone I was trying to make any point with regarding religious fallacy. In that context, the language and sexual content are vulgar, and, if anything, would make the believer substantiate his own belief even more.
Some of this book is about Penn Jillette's atheism, but a lot of it is just rambling rants about Naked Elvis parties, time spent in a gay bath house, criticism of other magicians, more criticisms about magicians, and other stories that barely kept me awake. If it weren't for his frequent loud dropping of the F' bomb, I probably would have fallen asleep many times. I still have 45 minutes left, and I hate to criticize an audio book before it's finished, but I'm finding this book a real struggle to get through.
Even though I don't always agree with them, I usually find books by skeptics to be interesting, thoughtful, and entertaining. God No! is lazy, self righteous, and worst of all boring most of the way through. Cut the length of this book down to about 2 hours and it would probably be a pretty solid 2 hours of entertainment. At 7 hours+ most of it is a good way to fall asleep on an exercise bike.
Say something about yourself!
One needs to take this book in context. If one approaches it as an evening at your local comedy shop, it is funny. Laugh out loud funny like an explosive sneeze. If you expect an intellectual dissertation on atheism, you will be disappointed. If one were to remove the profanity, the book would be two hours shorter. Would you expect anything else from Penn? If you hated Carlin and Bruce, you will hate Jillette also. If not, you will like a good comedy act with underlying social commentary. I enjoyed it immensely and gave it 5 “in context” stars.
The passion and fervor that Penn Jillette puts into the words he writes and hearing that desire for nothing less than truth in his voice.
The various Athiest Baptisms discussed throughout the book.
It can be enjoyed bit by bit. But it is a beautiful masterpiece in one sitting.
Travel a lot for work and spend a good deal of time in the car.
This book had many funny stories as well as a few heart touching stories about his family. but very little about being an athesist, which is good since ones religion is of no consequence. There was a whole lot of name dropping in this book, almost to the extent of being over zealous. Penn really wants you to know who he knows and hopes that makes him important.
My husband is very much opposed to listening to audiobooks, and don't even get him started on ebooks. "If you can't hold it in your hands and smell the pages as you turn them, then it's not a real book." But every once in awhile I'll entice him with a book by someone he loves. Penn Jillette is one of those people.
I have been an atheist for a long time, but my husband is still on his spiritual journey. It was very funny to me when he finished this book, took out his earphones and declared, "Oh my BOB! I'm an atheist!" I've known for awhile that he was headed in that direction. He just needed Penn Jillette to push him past his fears. Humor can sometimes do the job that scientific proof can't.
The downside is that Penn Jillette is a loud, over the top entertainer and my husband is a tech nerd who works on computers. While it's just fine for PJ to go around shouting out about the glories of atheism, it's not so great for a nerd from NC to do the same. I learned a long time ago that you have to feel people out before you tell them you don't believe there is an almighty creator. But the hubs is so excited about his new self-discovery that he goes around telling random people. The car salesman for instance. Thankfully we had already signed all the papers, otherwise I think we would have been asked to leave. The man got very pale and spluttered some unintelligible words before getting up and walking away from us.
What the other reviewers have said is true. Penn Jillette is obnoxiously foul mouthed. But didn't you know that when you bought the book? Haven't you seen his show? Or worse, that movie all those comedians did about the dirtiest joke in the world, The Aristocrats? I find it interesting that the biggest objection to this book isn't that he rejects the existence of god, but rather, that he has a dirty mouth. Oh yes. And he name drops. Well, of course he does! He's a famous guy that knows other famous people. He isn't very likely to say, "I was hanging out with this guy I know that does magic, I think his name is Bob..." No. He's going to say, "When I was hanging out with Siegfried and Roy backstage..." These are the kinds of people he is surrounded by, so of course they will be part of his story.
I liked many things about this book. He speaks so lovingly of his parents and sister, and has the right idea about what being a father means. I also loved what he said about saying, 'I don't know.' As you get older, you start to realize that you aren't always the smartest person in the room. Sometimes the only answer you can give is, 'I don't know.' So, for now, I don't know if there is an elephant in my bathtub, but now that I'm thinking about it, I better go check.
There is no God. When you realize that, you will know that this life is all we got. Don't lie, don't steal, love with all your heart. And be funny too. All these things work for Penn Gillette and they will work for you.