being a friedrich nietzsche fan, i have to say this is a curious book. he's always got the hammer close when he's writing, but in this book all tricks of literary veneer are gone and he's fully bombastic, and without any trace of irony as he lays out chapter and verse why he is: clever, wise, a great writer, pure blooded, virtuous, etc. you could trot out a few of these gems without context, but the reader would find it hard to believe.
this book reads like a diary of self adulation. i find not a lot of "philosophy" happening here , although, of course, he's a rich writer and can pack an axiom into half a sentence - ie. "that which does not kill you, makes you stronger" - found herein.
unlike his other books, this one is vertiginously self referential. he's settleling scores with newspaper critics from 1870, and telling you why you'll care in 2010 - the balls on this guy!
Nietzsche is the 19th century philosophical bete noire, and he bashes his way through your head with more lacerating truth in a sentence than you'll find in a volume of his contemporaries. read twilight of the idols / how to philosophize with a hammer if you're new to Nietzsche. and read it again!
this book is interesting mostly as a (not flattering) window to his inner personality... interesting but bizarre.
If you're a person of faith, you might like this book. I finished it because I thought I would see if the plot device could carry the book, but it didn't. Mostly it just tried to carry the weak premise. The point of the parable is that atheism and agnosticism is "dry and yeastless" and that belief in god is "the better story". If you torture this analogy a bit, I guess that makes god the air in the dough - or the "nothing" between the "something" that makes bread more edible. Ok, I'll agree with that, I guess inventing a god or mythology can and do make life more palatable for some.
The author betrays his faith biased understanding atheism by conflating it with "belief" - as in atheists "believe" there is no god, just like those of who "believe" there is. This is a typical argument put forth by those who are unable to see the difference between believing or arguing for the existence of some non-provable entity, and not bothering to "prove" a negative.
So if you want another reason to believe in a great sky fairy, or unicorns, or name your favorite made up (or previously made up) deity, read this book. The fiction is marginal at best.
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