Whether you love him or hate him, Penn Jillette's latest polarizing projects are always of interest to many. In this reliably wise-cracking collection of essays, the ex-carny turned millionaire magician continues his life-long ambition to keep calling it like he sees it, and he sees no god. There are several tidbits of straightforward philosophizing and even proselytizing on atheism as the choice of reasonably doubting people, but Jillette's giant personality frequently looms larger than rational argument, heading unpredictably but continuously into the territory he knows best, which is show biz. Ultimately, the book is a compendium of anecdotes tied together by the ideas of faith, trust, and belief, concepts that Jillette better understands through work and family than he does through any religion.
Nobody else could narrate this book, as Jillette's radio-ready and television-tried nasal rasp is too well known and too much fun. He is in fine form here with some of his best rants, and listeners will immediately judge him as honest, however else they judge him. Jillette earnestly recounts the deaths of his father and sister, pirouetting seamlessly between such sad stories and the more ridiculous moments of his life in Las Vegas. These include deflowering an ex-Kosher Jew with a double bacon cheeseburger, accidentally burning his genitalia on a hair dryer at an ex-girlfriend's in the middle of the night, and tossing his cookies while in zero gravity with Billy Gibbons. True to form, fast-talking Jillette doesn't leave much room for listeners to connect the dots between these tales and godlessness, but that's actually part of what makes them so magical.
Though this book is unlikely to convert to atheism anyone who isn't halfway there already, Penn Jillette's charisma certainly shines through. Surprisingly sagacious and genuinely inquisitive, this listen is guaranteed to both enlighten and enliven. And if it doesn't accomplish either of those noble goals, at least you'll have more than met your monthly quota for gratuitous curse words. Megan Volpert
From the larger, louder half of the world-famous magic duo Penn & Teller comes a scathingly funny reinterpretation of The Ten Commandments. They are The Penn Commandments, and they reveal one outrageous and opinionated atheist’s experience in the world.
In this rollicking yet honest account of a godless existence, Penn takes readers on a roller coaster of exploration and flips conventional religious wisdom on its ear to reveal that doubt, skepticism, and wonder - all signs of a general feeling of disbelief - are to be celebrated and cherished, rather than suppressed. And he tells some pretty damn funny stories along the way.
From performing blockbuster shows on the Vegas Strip to the adventures of fatherhood, from an ongoing dialogue with proselytizers of the Christian Right to the joys of sex while scuba diving, Jillette’s self-created Decalogue invites his listeners on a journey of discovery that is equal parts wise and wisecracking.
©2011 Penn Jillette (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I would suggest that he pick a subject and stick with it. The atheism arguments are interesting, as are many of the personal anecdotes, but they just seem to be thrown together and shaken up. It's clear he didn't have enough material for the book he started to write and fluffed it up with personal stories. Don't get me wrong. If you like Penn's humor this book will probably work for you.
Yes, it was hysterical.
Who better than Penn to tell his story?
Yes, It is hard to stop.You keep wondering what he willl say next.
Always interesting stories from Penn and this is no exception.
Yes. I took every opportunity to listen to this book until I finished.
Just starting to listen
Remembering the 80's going to see Asperigus Valey.
Language a bit over the top
I would recomend this to certain people with the warning that only parts of live up to the level set by his
While I know Mr. Jillette often using harsh language his constant use in this book made it a hard read (or listen). The language often substracted from the point.
not too bad
Yes, it inspired me to read Richard Dawkins.
Audible rawks! My taste is beyond eclectic and Audible always has plenty to choose from, no matter what mood I'm in!
He's a pretty smart, funny guy and he wants you to know that. Unfortunately, like many a Rand-loving libertarian, his style leans towards ... well ... yelling. Or at least it felt like I was being yelled at when I listened to this for too long at a stretch.
Listened to in smaller doses, I'm sure this would have been more enjoyable. Still, it is worth a listen, especially if you're already a P&T fan or like fairly raunchy but funny tales of rampant hedonism. Warning: he does display a fairly schmaltzy side when writing about his own genetic pool, so be prepared.
Who knew that half of a magician duo could be this funny, raw, shocking and fun?
Penn Jillette's reading of his own book wrings out every bit of humor, pathos and irreverence from a series of essays grouped by the 10 Commandments. The essays are filled with clippings of Jillette's own life that are often heart-wrenching even though I was often laughing so hard, I had to rewind to hear some bits again. I have to say, sometimes the memories also caused me to squirm a little because his emotions are so raw and the language can be pretty harsh.
Of course this book will offend and shock many people who are not already athiest, but I am hopeful that some open-minded beleivers give it a try. It may open some minds or it may make your faith even stronger -who knows. I certainly did not agree with everything he has opinions about, but I sure enjoyed hearing his take on American life from religion to politics to child-rearing.
I was definitely did not want the book to end and now I waiting for the sequel (if there is one) to hear Penn Jillette's take on othere aspects of life.
This is vintage Penn. If you love their Showtime series, you will love this book. The story about the ultra-orthodox leaving their faith and one of them enjoying his first non-kosher meal with the P&T posse is one of many that brought a smile to my face.
How will I ever forget about the
Penn performing as the soft-hearted Penn when talking about his parents and sister was touching - because it wasn't a performance at all.
Imagining Penn's you-tube exhortation to the faithful to really live their faith being shown in fundamentalist churches. Priceless.
There is a lot more to this book than Penn making the case against God. He has strong opinions on many other topics. And a lot of great stories.
I would have listened to this in one sitting, but some of Penn's stories about people,
Great journey into the mind of an atheist.
I loved the stories from Penn's own history. The stories of the death of his mother, and sister moved me to tears.
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