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Publisher's Summary

Penn Jillette explains his absolute atheism and why it makes him hopeful and optimistic.

This essay comes from the NPR series This I Believe, which features brief personal reflections from both famous and unknown Americans. The pieces that make up the series compel listeners to rethink not only what and how they have arrived at their beliefs, but also the extent to which they share them with others.

©2006 This I Believe Inc.; (P)2006 This I Believe Inc., Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC

Critic Reviews

"The essays, each read by the author, surprise, inspire, and touch the heart." (AudioFile)
"National Public Radio listeners have been moved to tears by the personal essays that constitute the series This I Believe." (Booklist)

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  • Overall

Too Much Intro

I love Penn Jillette. I was hoping to get more of his thoughts from this 12 minute audio. Unfortunately, Penn spoke for about 2 minutes after a boring 10 minute introduction about the "This I believe" series. I was very disappointed. Download Penn's free podcasted radio shows instead of purchasing this audio.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Dave
  • Smyrna, GA, United States
  • 11-30-11

Not so much about atheism as Jillette's neuroses

"There is No God" by Penn Jillette's is ostensibly about being an atheist in America. But it's lack of focus makes this title somewhat misleading. This book is also not for the squeamish. He is brutally honest, and he takes no prisoners. This is terrific when he takes aim at televangelists, the Catholic church and politicians. But he also seems to have some sort of penis fixation, whereby many of his jokes and sidebars have the flavor of a 7th grade boy.

If Jillette would stick to his premise, which I thought was to shed light on hypocrites of all walks, especially Christians, he might have held my attention a little longer. Instead the book is a meandering journey through Jillette's life, covering everything from his middle class upbringing (with a smallish penis) to the start of his show business career (despite having a smallish penis), to his all night romp through a San Francisco gay bath house (with a penis so average he seems dismayed that he wasn't approached to participate in his first gay experience).

I was first annoyed when it became evident that I was unable to access the second part of this book (which, as is the case with many Audible books, downloads in two pieces which are often troublesome to download, difficult to find once they're downloaded, and a real challenge to keep together and manage in order).

However, in hindsight, I think I got his point, and I decided fighting for part 2 wasn't really worth the effort. Jillette is an incredibly intelligent philosopher and pundit, and I enjoy his bare-knuckle approach to organized religion and politics -- two topics with incredible hypocrisy in common. I just wish he'd stick to what he knows best.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Erika
  • Colton, NY, USA
  • 01-12-09

yay penn!

i was a real fan of the penn jillette radio show, adn pretty much anything penn and teller related. i heard this air on npr and think it is such an elegant statement of his beliefs.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

He is the man

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

definitely well spend... penn has very strong views and is not afraid of telling them out loud, he is VERY smart, very funny and this combines into a very powerful way of delivering a message

If you’ve listened to books by Penn Jillette before, how does this one compare?

this is a short essay in my opinion, i prefer his god, no!