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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
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
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  • United States
  • 06-30-12

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.

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  • Ralph
  • Newberry, SC, United States
  • 11-09-11

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.

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  • Sharon
  • Yountville, California
  • 10-21-11

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.

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  • melanie
  • Rochester, NY, United States
  • 03-02-11

Thought provoking.

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

  • Overall
  • Philip
  • Kapelle, Netherlands
  • 08-05-10

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.

  • Overall

"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.

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  • steve
  • kearny, NJ, United States
  • 05-17-10

Funny and educational

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

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  • George
  • bristol, CT, USA
  • 04-13-10

Julia is amazing!

Excellent audio book. Julia nailed the narration on this book and had me at the edge of my seat!

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  • Zena
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
  • 04-08-10

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.