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Editorial Reviews

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

Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall

Not what I expected...

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....

16 of 23 people found this review helpful

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God, No!

This is not the greatest piece of literature ever penned. So if you are expecting some version of an autobiographical tour de force.. You will be disappointed.

Instead, this is a vulgar cry for someone to please care for me, but fuck you if you don't. Throughout Penn attempts to be edgy and a rebel while telling anecdotes and stories that show how bad ass it is to be Penn Jillette.

This sounds like a desperate cry for attention and recognition. It reads like the brash talk on school yard playgrounds by the boys with the big imaginations but no real experience.

If these are truly tales from Penn's life and not a poor attempt at pulp fiction, then Penn paints a pathetic character. Listening to this is like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

At least the work they do as Penn and Teller is successful. This book is not that memorable, so the harm is minimal.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Carolyn
  • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • 12-14-14

Entertaining as Always

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Funny & Unwaveringly Honest

What did you love best about God, No!?

The mixture of humor and truth.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Penn Jillette! He is extremely funny and unwaveringly honest.

Have you listened to any of Penn Jillette’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, I've listened to the sequel to this audiobook. I'd say that both audiobooks are five stars across the board!

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

I *wanted* to, but it was too long to do that, as I ran out of amphetamines. LOL!

Any additional comments?

This is not for the faint of heart.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Couldn't finish it.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I think that anyone looking to confirm a belief that atheists are arrogant elitists will enjoy this book.

What was most disappointing about Penn Jillette’s story?

The repetitive nature and general intolerance that some people (okay, a lot of people) find comfort in irrational beliefs.

What didn’t you like about Penn Jillette’s performance?

I found it angry sounding.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Read.

What did you love best about God, No!?

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. <br/><br/>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".) <br/><br/>Big thumbs up !

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephen
  • Western United States
  • 10-05-12

A Must Read

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laughed til I cryed.

Any additional comments?

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.<br/>

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Outrageous in every aspect

What made the experience of listening to God, No! the most enjoyable?

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.

What other book might you compare God, No! to and why?

Howard Stern meets Richard Dawkins, with a dash of Sam Bush.

Which scene was your favorite?

Spoiler alert - Penn hosting a pool party with a naked Extreme Elvis on his shoulders.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not many books made me stop and laugh out loud, but this one did.

Any additional comments?

If you''re easily offended by casual sex or blasphemy, this is a MUST READ.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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It's Penn Jillette, Plain & Simple

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • DARRELL
  • Washington, DC, United States
  • 10-10-11

Like going to the Penn Show in your home

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful