I grew up a mainstream New England Protestant, but my study of the religion I was being asked to accept raised many questions that even the learned clergymen with whom I spoke at great length could not answer with more than "It is a mystery; you've just got to have faith." Eventually I drifted away, dabbled in Buddhism, Zen, Taoism and a number of forms of hippie woo-woo. I am now simply a freelance unbeliever. Perhaps if I had had a mentor like Dawkins a few decades back I'd have arrived at my position sooner, but the journey was a good one.
Unlike others, I rather liked the switching of narration back and forth between Professor Dawkins and his wife. Visualizing the text as they do so, I hear her readings as sidebars to the main text, indented and with a different background color.
My impression of the negative reviews of this book is that most of the writers didn't actually listen to it, as the specifics of many of their criticisms are simply untrue.
Yes, the book is one-sided; it's supposed to be. What it is not is an argument by assertion, or a collection of ad hominem attacks like many current defenses of religion. What puts off a number of the religious objectors to it is that it does not give religious beliefs the automatic respect that has been the custom heretofore; it examines the arguments for the existence of god as if they were political or scientific propositions. If you're going to enter the marketplace of ideas, don't complain if you get some stiff competition.
Be prepared to pay attention, and you'll probably want to rewind a number of passages; this book demands that you give some unused brain cells a bit of exercise. Feel the burn!
The stories in this collection attempt to go beyond the standard Tab A/Slot B clinical porn which too often gets classified as "erotic." Although not all the stories were to my taste, and indeed there were a couple I didn't finish listening to, I applaud the authors and Ms. Bright for attempting to raise the genre to the level of art.
Loaded down with exhaustive (and exhausting) extraneous details, a decent if formulaic story line is buried by the author's style. Harlequin should hire better editors. Romantic, yes. Erotic, not so much.
"The Bricklayer's Letter," which appears at 1:01:30. You may experience incontinence while listening.
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