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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
  • Dann
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 04-01-10

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.

  • Overall
  • Lorrie
  • Powell, TN, USA
  • 03-30-10

A Familiar Journey

Since I found so many parallels in Julia Sweeney's journey, to my own, I imagine many of us have traveled a similar path. From a child with unwavering faith to that which we were raised in, to thinking, "this is not quite right, but there must be a "right" answer in all of those religions", to the realization that "they might all just be wrong." What I most appreciated was the sympathetic way she describes the journey of letting go. That it's not just a journey of logic, but of the emotions involved. Giving up on Santa is just as hard at 45 as it is at 5. We want to believe...but no longer can. There is a quietness that accompanies this insight. But in the stillness, a new awareness of what IS, takes the place of wishful thinking.
Absolutely enjoyed it....and it was FUNNY too!

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  • Performance
  • Story

Still Funny After Multiple Listens

This was my "Free book" (this or Dawkins "God Delusion") and I've listened to it dozens of times previously but never in a fashion that Audible would notice it and mark it read, apparently. So I just gave it another listen in the app. Laughed and cried all over again. This humorous look at the well-trodden path to atheism is probably the best way to answer the questions asked of atheists universally. Save yourself some time and gift it to that relative who thinks you eat babies. They might even thank you for it.

  • Overall
  • Rajesh
  • Ahmedabad Gujarat India
  • 02-09-08

A Must

Hilarious! There are many other things in this book which you can choose, but having a good laugh is not a choice while listening to it. Do not be afraid. Download it!

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  • David
  • KEENE, NH, United States
  • 07-09-07

Touching, Compelling

I highly recommend this presentation. It'll make you cry and it will make you laugh. Very touching.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Helle
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 04-17-07


extremely intelligent and witty and true. An unfolding of a free mind. Very very worth the time and money.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Carol
  • HAMILTON, New Zealand
  • 11-28-11


This book came as part of my search for "Christian" books.
Although Julia is probably a well renowned comedian I do not feel that it is not appropriate to have a book which is categorised in your library as "Christian" when indeed there is so much bad language and insulting messages about Jesus.

3 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • 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

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  • 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