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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

4.5 (1598 )
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4.6 (495 )
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 (83)
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 (24)
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 (11)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
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  •  
    Jes Hobart, IN, United States 04-30-12
    Jes Hobart, IN, United States 04-30-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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

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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
  •  
    melanie Rochester, NY, United States 03-02-11
    melanie Rochester, NY, United States 03-02-11
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    "Thought provoking."

    Very funny and thought provoking. Made me think and evaluate my own beliefs and why I belive. Great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Graeme Sydney, Australia 12-31-10
    Graeme Sydney, Australia 12-31-10 Member Since 2011
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    "Humble, touching and smart"

    Letting Go Of God is a refreshing change from the usual smug arrogance of atheistic literature. It takes us on a believers journey to unbelief, addressing the fears, feelings and confusion this process stirs up while also humorously spotlighting in hindsight the absurdity of some of the pillars of religion that so many either are ignorant of or sweep under the carpet. It is never an exercise in religion bashing, but rather a wistful, sometimes even nostalgic account of Julia's sincere search for truth.
    I listened to this in its entirety in one sitting, and can see myself coming back for another listen.
    My only very minor gripe would be in regard to the listening experience - because this seems to be a set of live performances stitched together, sometimes one section ends abruptly, followed by a gap of silence where I usually went grasping for my iphone to see if my headphones has come loose or if the battery had gone dead!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip Kapelle, Netherlands 08-05-10
    Philip Kapelle, Netherlands 08-05-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Humourous account of a great journey"

    Julia Sweeney shares the account of her search for meaning, religion and spirituality. She puts into words what many of us must have been thinking about for a long time. Humourous and well researched. She shares some very personal and profound thoughts. Highly recommended, a good companion recording to Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion", though Dawkins does a better job at explaning Darwin's insights, however that is only a minor point in the grand scheme of things.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Hamilton 07-22-10 Listener Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ""Scathing brilliant""

    Wonderfully cerebral, incredibly humorous. Julia Sweeney takes you on her intrepid journey to find God. Through the Catholic Church, Buddhism, transcendental meditation, each time learning something new about God, and more importantly, about herself. "The Kingdom of God is within you". "Scathing brilliant". I've had this audio book for just over a week, and have listened to four times already. It's one short coming is that it is too short. This one is a must listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steve kearny, NJ, United States 05-17-10
    steve kearny, NJ, United States 05-17-10 Member Since 2010

    Addicted to Audible since 2009

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Funny and educational"

    A fun listen and I learned something from it as well... Two thumbs up!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zena Las Vegas, NV, USA 04-08-10
    Zena Las Vegas, NV, USA 04-08-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    5
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    "Funny and entertaining!"

    I just loved how Julia narrates this! Very funny and very personable. I have listened to this over again many times now and share it with others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dann Los Angeles, CA, United States 04-01-10
    Dann Los Angeles, CA, United States 04-01-10 Member Since 2009

    My preference for a good story is something totally unusual and not run of the mill stuff. Give me something I haven't heard before.

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    "This is educated humor of importance"

    Comedic, witty and educational, believe it or not. What a great realization path she leads one through and it's not without educating herself on all the probable scenarios along the way. This isn't preachy but a story of her deep search to find the meaning of God ... who really wasn't there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Nigel
    Swadlincote, United Kingdom
    9/13/12
    Overall
    "Thoroughly Uplifting"

    For anyone who has a doubt over their religious viewpoint please download this audiobook. It is highly entertaining and clearly cuts through the absurdity of organised religion of any denomination. Julias style is light hearted but with a bite when needed. Thoroughly uplifting and highly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • D. C. Telfer
    Scotland, UK
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "What a joy!"

    I downloaded this recording after seeing Julia Sweeney recommended by Phil Plait (aka Bad Astronomer) and I would strongly echo his recommendation. This is intelligent, moving and frequently laugh-out-loud funny, all in a short space of time. Julia describes her personal journey of discovery from the Catholicism of her early life, through other types of spirituality and finally to atheism. With both humour and humility, she is able to convey the joy and increased sense of wonder, awe and mystery that can be delivered by a deeper understanding of science and freedom from religion.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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