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Editorial 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

Critic Reviews

"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

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Micah
  • 06-05-07

Faith Wanted - Evidence Required

Julia is a crack up. Seeing the world thru her eyes, I can see why she does not believe in God. Faith requires convincing evidence. (Hebrews 11:1) I hope she keeps on looking. The truth is out there Julia.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brad
  • Los Altos Hills, CA, USA
  • 02-13-09


I like learning many views on this subject.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mathew
  • Oak Park, IL, USA
  • 01-10-08


This is a heartfelt, thoughtful, and really funny monologue about the author's search for truth. Highly recommended. I just wish it were longer.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting theatricalization of The Search

I'd wish my usage of the term "theatricalization" to be taken, not in a negative way, at all, but, rather, in a "neutral" one. Actually, I began considering the word "novelization", but, as the reading is delivered on the stage, and as it works so well in that setting, I consider it to be a better way of describing it.
That notwithstanding, the concept is also useful for expressing my impression that Sweeney did a lot of "adapting" to her, let's say, "spiritual" experiences, in order to drive her message home more effectively. Regarding this, the well-timed aparition of both couples of mormons looks rather suspicious.
But I hardly think this is something to make much of, as it's a well known fact that most writing is "subjective" (i.e., a fiction), in some measure, and rhetoric ought to be expected. In any case, I'd have preferred that Sweeney had avoided over-dramatizing her lecture: it gets too pathetic on occasions, and too teary from time to time -in a noticeable forced way-.
Also, perhaps, I'd have liked the author to comment more about the "imprint" phenomenon, that is, the lasting effects of religion being instilled in young minds. Sweeney refers to it in passing: "once a Catholic, alwasys a Catholic".
Apart from that, I think this is a work worth listening to: it explores the experiential aspect of the free-thinker mind, which is a matter rarely considered on more "technical" atheist books.

2 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nancy
  • Clarendon Hills, IL, USA
  • 10-23-08

Finding Spirituality

This was entertaining and easy to listen to. It it made me laugh and question. I was intrigued by her catholic upbringing and wonder how much of the catholic teachings led her to Let Go. I hope she continues on her spiritual quest and finds we don not have to believe in a judgmental god, but to look within ourselves first. I would recommend this audio book to anyone exercising their spiritual muscle and attempting to awaken to the spiritual magnificence within us all.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    out of 5 stars

Terrifically funny!

Buy this. She's hilarious!

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Funny and not so funny

This is a funny book on a serious matter. You can see why so many are still in the closet. It's good to see some humor on the subject.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Donald
  • Yorktown, VA, USA
  • 09-21-08

Two hours of my life that I will not get back

While there are some funny parts to the book I downloaded it based on the rating it had received. I listened to the entire book hoping to find some redeeming value but my overall impression was that it was two hours of my life that I will never get back. It is simply her version of life (mixed with humor) and concluding that there is no Creator. I feel sorry for her adopted child.

7 of 58 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Basim
  • JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia
  • 03-14-07


it's a sad book. In her search for God she looked in every religion, except in the one right place. I am an average Muslim, and i was able to answer all of her questions.

she then questions the truth of the bible and its accuracy. She discovers that it has been edited so many times in so many ways. Everybody knows that. (That is why God sent the Quran.)

3 of 57 people found this review helpful