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Letting Go of God | [Julia Sweeney]

Letting Go of God

Julia Sweeney says she was a "happy Catholic girl" when, one day, she walked into church and signed up for a Bible-study course. "What an eye opener that was!" she says. Equally comedic and insightful, Letting Go of God is Sweeney's brilliant one-woman show about her struggle with her faith.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Anyone who thinks that Julia Sweeney is just the comedian who played "Pat" on Saturday Night Live, doesn't know Julia Sweeney. Letting Go of God, an elegantly written and beautifully performed monologue about her loss of faith, made me laugh - a lot - and think even more. Far from being an angry atheistic screed, it is an uplifting journey of the heart. —Steve Feldberg

Publisher's Summary

Julia Sweeney says she was a "happy Catholic girl" when, one day, she walked into church and signed up for a Bible-study course. "What an eye opener that was!" she says. "Next thing you know, I was on a quest for something I could really believe in. I traveled to places like Bhutan, Ecuador, and my local Starbucks looking for answers. Would I embrace Buddhism? New Age pseudo-science? Was I a freak for feeling the way I did, or were there other people out there just like me? I was grappling with serious questions. But, somehow, a lot of the things that were happening to me seemed, well, funny."

Equally comedic and insightful, Letting Go of God is Sweeney's brilliant one-woman show about her struggle with her faith. Grappling with the seeming contradictions in Adam and Eve, Noah, the Ten Commandments, and even the teachings of Jesus - and trying to understand the Bible's messages about morality, family values, and human suffering while faced with door-knocking Mormons and wise-cracking priests - Sweeney takes listeners on her very personal journey from God to "not-God".

This performance was recorded on November 19, 2005, at the Ars Nova Theatre in New York City.

Julia Sweeney was a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1989-94, and is best known for the mysteriously androgynous character, "It's Pat!". She has also served as a consulting producer on Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives. Letting Go of God is her third monologue. She performed her first, God Said, "Ha!", in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and on Broadway, as well as in a film produced by Quentin Tarantino. The CD version was nominated for a Grammy.

There's lots more Julia Sweeney available at Audible®! Just click here to download In the Family Way, her appearances on This American Life, her Un-Cabaret performances, and other great programs.

©2006 Julia Sweeney; (P)2006 Julia Sweeney

What the Critics Say

"Searing and bracingly funny....Letting Go of God is refreshingly unrancorous, lucid and, yes, inspirational." (The New York Times)
"Letting Go of God is a gale-force breath of fresh air into the mostly political dialogue about religion in our time." (Los Angeles Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Lesli 10-03-12
    Lesli 10-03-12 Member Since 2014

    avid bookworm

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "captivating, thought provoking and hilarious"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Letting Go of God to be better than the print version?

    yes - her comedic timing and delivery really enhance the experience. much of the comedy comes from hearing her tell her own story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    absolutely


    Any additional comments?

    i first discovered this presentation on ted.com - just a 20 minute condensation of it. when i learned there was a full book i was eager to enjoy her full discourse and i'm so glad i opted for the audio version. i've listened through twice now - sharing with friends on a road trip. they, too, really enjoyed it.
    julia sweeney has a brilliant mind and i love the way her thought processes work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Aurora, CO, United States 09-25-12
    Amazon Customer Aurora, CO, United States 09-25-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is a comedy routine!"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No, not for me. I assumed wrongly in buying this.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Julia Sweeney? Why or why not?

    I had bought two..I think they are miss represented. If I was looking for this type of thing It was OK. BUT I WAS NOT.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Funny, good performance.


    Do you think Letting Go of God needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    It is not a book...and I bought her other when I purchased this one : (


    Any additional comments?

    I was looking for real answers. Seeking real help. So was extremely disappointed when I discovered it was a comedy routine. I had a very real need to search for answers to a REAL problem.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    elvira soto-hoffmann d.f., mexico Mexico 09-07-12
    elvira soto-hoffmann d.f., mexico Mexico 09-07-12 Member Since 2014
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    "I just loved it made me laugh so much!"

    It felt as if she was reading my life! helped me get to a conclusion! loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Hargis 08-25-12
    ratings
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    6
    2
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    "Funny, sad, and deeply moving"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I applaud Julia for seeking meaning to her family and personal tragedies. Questions are hard to ask, and the answers usually take us in an unexpected direction.

    I found this book sometimes wrenching to listen to because of the emotions expressed through Julia's performance.


    Would you recommend Letting Go of God to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would recommend this book to a friend who was not emotionally fragile.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary INGLESIDE, ILLINOIS, United States 08-14-12
    Mary INGLESIDE, ILLINOIS, United States 08-14-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not sure I will go there"
    What did you love best about Letting Go of God?

    Insightful observations from childhood through adulthood


    What about Julia Sweeney’s performance did you like?

    Her penchant for reminiscence with extreme detail and humorous conclusions


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Trying Hard at Letting Go


    Any additional comments?

    Though I find the final conclusion suprising the path getting there was honest and very funny.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dajmang Phoenix, Az USA 07-16-12
    Dajmang Phoenix, Az USA 07-16-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Very accessible"
    If you could sum up Letting Go of God in three words, what would they be?

    Honest, relevant, and poignant


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Letting Go of God?

    When she finally decided


    What about Julia Sweeney’s performance did you like?

    When she finally decided to let go and try to live like god doesn’t exist. It was a powerful image of god sitting by the door waiting to leave and Julia telling him to take his time.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Sometimes you just have to say goodbye


    Any additional comments?

    I've enjoyed several pieces by Julia Sweeny. This one is my favorite.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KEVIN United States 06-30-12
    KEVIN United States 06-30-12
    ratings
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    5
    5
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    "Comedy Club"

    This wasn't so much an audiobook as it was the audio of a one-person show. Not that it really mattered. Short, and yet a little long in parts, this was an enjoyable listen of her spiritual journey. Julia tells the story of her ambitious, loyal effort to retain a belief in the God she grew up with. I was interested to listen as my study of Judaism had led me to the surprising discovery that many ritual-following, synagogue-going Jews are actually atheists and I am still struggling to understand why. Julia's upbringing was Catholic but I thought her story might shed more light on how it is people "lose" their religion, or keep their religion but subtract the belief in God. I can't say I gained any insights that I didn't already have but it was an enjoyable journey to take with her for a little less than 3 hours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jes Hobart, IN, United States 04-30-12
    Jes Hobart, IN, United States 04-30-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Never look under the hood"

    A few years back someone challenged me to take a look at religion again because I wasn't declaring a faith or lack of one. They didn't like some of the things I was pointing out in the bible. It also led me to look into the Koran. Julia goes through the points throughout her life that led her to let go of God. This is a very similar journey many others have taken. If you want to learn about some of the hidden facts of religion this is for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ralph Newberry, SC, United States 11-09-11
    Ralph Newberry, SC, United States 11-09-11 Member Since 2013

    Guy with Weird Interests

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Listen"

    Not as hard core as Dawkins, a nice fun listen for anyone who would enjoy a heartfelt, emotional speech from a woman who decideds to let go of her faith in God.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Yountville, California 10-21-11
    Sharon Yountville, California 10-21-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Was a perfect book, for an imperfect time..."

    Sitting, on the freeway, for over 90 minutes waiting for an accident to clear. I had just finished listening to a book, and while scrolling through my library, this caught my eye. I was laughing, nodding my head, enjoying every moment of Julia's book. She takes a very complex and personal conversation and shares, for which I will always be thankful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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