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 am a bilingual high school teacher. I mostly read non-fiction, especially history, but I am also a sucker for science-fiction and fantasy novels.
If you like Penn Jillette, you will enjoy this book. It gives some great stories - many funny, some touching and a little sad - and no one else could narrate it but the author. The whole "ten commandments" analogy is a little forced, but the stories were so good that I could ignore that. Penn is at times humble and at times arrogant, at times blunt and at times sensitive. Who would have thought that mouthy Penn Jillette could make you cry? Not laugh-until-you-cry (though there's that too), just cry.
This book does contain language and opinions that some people may not like. I am a Penn Jillette fan (though I don't agree with him about everything) and an atheist so I didn't find it offensive, but I don't recommend reading this if you are more of, say, a fan of Ted Haggard or the Left Behind series unless you really enjoy reading things that are 100% contrary to your worldview. But I would think the title alone would tell you that.
Overall, very enjoyable.
Very eclectic when it comes to books & music.
The mixture of humor and truth.
Penn Jillette! He is extremely funny and unwaveringly honest.
Yes, I've listened to the sequel to this audiobook. I'd say that both audiobooks are five stars across the board!
I *wanted* to, but it was too long to do that, as I ran out of amphetamines. LOL!
This is not for the faint of heart.
This is a fantastic book. It is read with spirit and enthusiasm by the writer, and it works. It is funny, saracastic, silly, offensive, rude and abrasive. But it comes together in a sensible, meaningful manner. Yes, he curses a lot, but its part of the whole flow of the book. The stories are poignant, and you realize he is a humble, honest, and kind man, trying to make it in a strange world.
I loved this book, and immediately purchased his newest on Audible, then went to Itunes and bought a season of his TV show (Penn & Teller "BS".)
Big thumbs up !
Laughed til I cryed.
I really enjoyed the various stories told by Penn throughout this book. Loved the points regarding Atheism as well as the views of Penn on the infringement to civil liberties.
Penn pulls no punches in this string of stories. At times laugh-out-loud funny and always challenging, God, No! is perfectly consistent with Penn's larger-than-Vegas persona.
Howard Stern meets Richard Dawkins, with a dash of Sam Bush.
Spoiler alert - Penn hosting a pool party with a naked Extreme Elvis on his shoulders.
Not many books made me stop and laugh out loud, but this one did.
If you''re easily offended by casual sex or blasphemy, this is a MUST READ.
If you were a fan of Penn's radio show a few years ago, you'll recognize a lot of the stories he tells in this audiobook. There is enough new here, though, to be interesting, and I was surprised at how moved I was by Penn's descriptions of his family. This is more of an autobiography than anything else, but it's a pretty darned good one.
With all the swearing (really too much of the "F" word), I cannot imagine anyone but Mr. Jillette reading this book. It is a real performance from beginning to end. And I really enjoyed it. I was not expecting so much about his life, but they was really the best parts of the book. He is a great storyteller. And has some stories to tell, many with a lesson to be learned.
I'm a big fan of Penn Jillette, love the show Bullsh-t and his work in general. I wasn't too impressed with this book, may be i had the bar set too high. Its entertaining in general some funny stories, some interesting takes such as on proselytizing. But I was already familiar with that.
It was okay overall. Nothing new as far as atheism. like i mentioned earlier he has some interesting takes and different ways of seeing things. He's very explicit and profane but that's partly why i like him. If you are not too familiar with him and go with no expectations you will enjoy it.
I loved this book. It had me laughing out loud in my car.
The book is not a treatise on Atheism. I think the author would be the first to say others are more qualified to do that. Rather, he presents various anecdotes which testify that one can live a moral, purposeful, fulfilled life without religion. Early on he mentions the frequent criticism that atheists must be sad, empty people. He refutes this with stories from his life rather than theoretical arguments.
Yes, there is a lot of swearing, but no more than an R-rated movie and I wasn't put off by it.
The stories about other magicians show how important integrity is to the author and they are entertaining and not just filler. The sex stories show that without baseless guilt you can have a very happy life (I didn't find them particularly exhibitionistic because most of them portray him performing under par).
The book is well paced, insightful, unflinching and hysterical.
First I want to say that I love Penn Jillette...I agree with him on several issues (though not all) and as a fellow atheist I respect his dedication..That said I did not enjoy this book very much...I was expecting more explanation and a lot less naked chicks...I went in to this book completely aware of Penns free love tendencies..I just really thought this book was going to be about his being an atheist not an exhibitionist....I wasnt offended so much as really disappointed...I think he does himself and other atheists a disservice by throwing in random stories about sex in space and underwater. I guess those are suppose to be the magical tales..Not so much....
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