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 hope to release my 1st book (about 3 friends who start asking questions and end up saving the world) on Audible before the end of 2014! :P
This book would have been 100 times better if Penn would have stopped being such a wussy and admit that he is an agnostic and not an atheist. Of course it is easier to market a book with the word atheist than it is to market a book with the word agnostic, but that is the books weakest element. An agnostic doubts a god or a Satan. An atheist says there is no god or Satan. In his extremely weak excuses as to why he claims atheist and not agnostic you can't help but think of poor Schrödinger's cat. This is nothing more than a perfect explanation of what an agnostic is. Despite this glaring hole (I would say mistake but I am pretty sure Penn is smart enough to know better), this was a very enjoyable listen. Just while listening replace the word atheist with the word agnostic and it will make way more sense.
Penn Jillette is a devout atheist. He's a bit obnoxious, very pragmatic, extremely open and sometimes quite explicit. So if you're a prude - just don't buy the book!
I really enjoyed this book. Penn Jillette's narration really made it a wonderful listening experience. He tells a lot of funny stories and opens up about his own version of morality and God (or lack thereof). I find his honesty to be very refeshing. You can tell that underneath his bravado - he is a kind and caring family man. This was a fun listen.
Not all of his stories are crazy. He opens up about loved ones and tells some very sweet and sensitive personal stories too.
I'm not sure that he'll create many new atheists with this book. But if you are looking for a laugh and a little insight into the speaking half of P&T - buy the book.
This isn't really a book about Atheism, or 'signs that you might already be an Atheist' (that could have been interesting). Instead, it's the story of a rather annoying man, who just happens to be an Atheist.
In fact, it's really just Penn Jillete's autobiography, loosely tied together with an Atheists' version of the 10 commandments. I say loosely, though the 'commandments' don't actually link in any meaningful way to the chapters that follow them, and are a bit pointlessly obvious.
If you like Penn Jillette, and want to listen to him talk about himself (at length), then you may very well enjoy this book. I don't think he's a very likable person, and I'm even more sure of that fact after listening to this audiobook. I didn't enjoy it.
This was my first book I download with my new "Audible.com" account. I watch Penn on Youtube all the time, and I figured I could do the right thing and buy his book finally. I was SOOOOO excited that it was done in Penn's voice. That made this such a great experiance. I greatly enjoyed this book. It actually isn't all about religion, but it is filled with fantastic stories from Penn's life, told from his perspective religously, politically, morally, ect... Being in his voice was a sure plus.. I am forever a fan and an atheist for life. In fact, I just told my wife our next trip is going to be at the Rio to see his show. I can't wait! Thanks Penn!
Vulgar? God NO! Come on people, have a sense of humor. Penn reminded me that laughing is really healthy. So is sex. Thank you Penn.
I saw an ad for the print version of this book and came straight to Audible-- I was thrilled to find it unabridged and performed by Penn Jillette. I love the show BS and I enjoy Jillette's comedy and showmanship as much as his free-thinking skepticism. If you're learning about atheism, go to Dawkins or Hitchens for the great modern atheist manifestos. But for a hilarious read about a great atheist, and a book that defends atheism without repeating any of the traditional academic arguments more seasoned atheists and readers are already familiar with, listen to "God, No!" The anecdotes and essays are mostly auto-biographical, and I really laughed out loud, as well as giggled and snorted out loud, through most of the book. Jillette mentions that he rambles in the book, and he does. Every rambling word is utterly fascinating, and I couldn't put it down-- I listened to the entire book yesterday.
I've always been a big fan of Penn and Teller. Unfortunately Penn's book is just a rambling mess that has almost nothing to do with being athiest. He thinks way to much of his own opinion. Penn I get it, you're a rich, libertarian, athiest. Now do a magic trick!
I have heard penn speaking on certain issues, in publics forums over the years. This man has an opinion that I find evocative to the thinking of a modern day person!
But the language he used to tell this story was too gratuitous to make sense or garner any enjoyment from the content! Expletives, in this content destroy the message, do not permit reflective thought and reduce his credibility! He may argue artistic expression or that I am a prude.....well, wharever ! This reader says that he has an interesting viewpoint on an interesting subject.....that gets lost in the 'less than intellectual' use of this meaningless and shocking prose.
Yes. Its entertaining and thought provoking.
The humor and sometimes the logic.
Only stage performances and Celebrity Apprentice. Apples and oranges.
I had a strong reaction to his tone. It almost made me think that he protests too much.
However, I do believe he just "Doesn't know." Who does? I can only draw the conclusion that the ills of organized religion, far out weigh the comfort that individuals can derive from their beliefs. "I don't know" is not a belief, atheism is a doctrine, its a certainty that there is no God, no higher power, nothing beyond the physical universe. That takes a lot of faith.
Love you Penn.
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