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A scathingly funny reinterpretation of the Ten Commandments from the larger, louder half of world-famous magic duo Penn and Teller reveals an atheist's experience in the world: from performing on the Vegas strip with Siegfried and Roy to children and fatherhood to his ongoing dialogue with proselytizers of the Christian Right and the joys of sex while scuba-diving, Penn ha A scathingly funny reinterpretation of the Ten Commandments from the larger, louder half of world-famous magic duo Penn and Teller reveals an atheist's experience in the world: from performing on the Vegas strip with Siegfried and Roy to children and fatherhood to his ongoing dialogue with proselytizers of the Christian Right and the joys of sex while scuba-diving, Penn has an outrageous sense of humor and a brilliantly entertaining opinion on, well, anything you care to think of.


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A scathingly funny reinterpretation of the Ten Commandments from the larger, louder half of world-famous magic duo Penn and Teller reveals an atheist's experience in the world: from performing on the Vegas strip with Siegfried and Roy to children and fatherhood to his ongoing dialogue with proselytizers of the Christian Right and the joys of sex while scuba-diving, Penn ha A scathingly funny reinterpretation of the Ten Commandments from the larger, louder half of world-famous magic duo Penn and Teller reveals an atheist's experience in the world: from performing on the Vegas strip with Siegfried and Roy to children and fatherhood to his ongoing dialogue with proselytizers of the Christian Right and the joys of sex while scuba-diving, Penn has an outrageous sense of humor and a brilliantly entertaining opinion on, well, anything you care to think of.

30 review for God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ricardo Lane

    I wasn't expecting the pure reason of Richard Dawkins or the elegant, staggeringly beautiful prose of Christopher Hitchens when I picked up this book. That was kind of the initial attraction, actually. I was hoping for a discussion of atheism and religion that was a bit more earthy and geared toward the layman than either of those two gentlemen are known for, and Penn Jillette seemed to fit the bill. God, No! is not an imposing book as it comes in a a modest 230 pages, so I figured it for some f I wasn't expecting the pure reason of Richard Dawkins or the elegant, staggeringly beautiful prose of Christopher Hitchens when I picked up this book. That was kind of the initial attraction, actually. I was hoping for a discussion of atheism and religion that was a bit more earthy and geared toward the layman than either of those two gentlemen are known for, and Penn Jillette seemed to fit the bill. God, No! is not an imposing book as it comes in a a modest 230 pages, so I figured it for some fluff reading. If it wasn't great, no big deal. Yep, it was no big deal. The first half of the book is okay. Jillette rambles from anecdote to anecdote, many of which either only touch marginally on religion or not at all. Though being pedaled directly toward that atheist and skeptically curious crowd, the subtitle *does* say it also contains "Other Magical Tales," so the case for bait-and-switch would be difficult to pin on him. My biggest complaint is how the back half of the book is so loaded with his libertarian drivel. Now, anyone who knows enough about Jillette to want to pick up a book by him will also know he's a rabid libertarian, and I would have had to be stupid to have assumed he'd be able to make it through the book without it cropping up in a number of places. I was prepared for his incessant use of the phrase "The Free Market of Ideas" throughout, and I breezed right by those, and some of his comments made me laugh out loud (He states "Now, I love Ayn Rand as much as the next guy..." and I snorted as I thought that if the "next guy" is me, I can guarantee he loves her a HELL of a lot more), but I guess I was naive enough to think he might be able to get through the book without good chunks or the entirety of whole chapters espousing his hatred of government, public schooling, and liberals in general. He uses some choice profanities to describe the Far Right as well, but his contempt for the left is far more lovingly nurtured in his words here. Even that I could breeze through if it weren't for the fact he is so terrible inconsistent in his view, even in the sparse 230 pages of the book. In the first part of the book, he gives an anecdote on how he proudly lied to his parents to get them to take money from him so they wouldn't have to go to a nursing home. He supposedly threatened a nurse with physical violence if she didn't tell his parents that they were allowed to stay in their home because of state moneys. They accepted this because they were too proud to take money from their rich son. Wait, doesn't Penn say throughout the book that he got his rigid self-reliant attitude from his folks? Yet, they'll take tax dollars to stay at home rather than from him? And he's cool with that? Later in the book he states that the ends never justify the means. Never. How does he reconcile both the lie and the threat to the nurse, then? Even when I agree with him on an initial point, he takes it over the line to a place I just can't follow. I agree with him that security at airports is a joke, and the inconvenience it causes is pointless because no one is made more secure. I agree that it is a serious infringement on civil rights. We're good to that point. But the solutions he comes up with range from being just as infringing to being simple, outright lunacy. One might argue that he's a comedian, and he's simply trying to be funny in the manner of Jonathan Swift. If so, he fails utterly. Swift brought a white hot focus on the problems he was mocking with his words. He could take an existing concern and stretch and enlarge it until its flaws are evident from outer space. Penn simply comes up with alternatives that sound like they were thought up by two stoners in the back of a van. Nothing in this book even approaches what I would call satire. It's just dumb. There are points, however, that I really, really enjoyed in the book. Penn comes across as a completely honest asshole, and I think he'd be happy to read me use that description. He's a snake and a cheat, but only when he feels the rules allow it. He cheats fairly. He's also crass, rude, and fairly disgusting, but he comes across as possessing a child's joy of life in his vulgarity. Others may disagree, and I'd completely understand if they did, but I find his repulsiveness kind of life-affirming. Without a doubt my favorite part of the book is his story of the orthodox Jew who'd become an atheist in part because of Penn's influence and came to Vegas to ask him to witness his first bacon cheeseburger. There's a couple more really good stories in here, a lot of filler, and some frothing at the mouth bat-shittery. Whittled down, this would make for a very entertaining booklet.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn

    I picked this up because I love Penn and Tellers Bullshit, and feel very strongly about skepticism and atheism. Penn Jillette gets high praise from artists and skeptic bloggers alike, and doesn't hide his skeptical agenda. I was very excited to read this. That's what makes this book such a shame. While there are parts that are genuinely hilarious or poignant, the vast, vast majority is Penn bragging about all his money or all the pussy he gets (understandable, I suppose, but uninteresting and gr I picked this up because I love Penn and Tellers Bullshit, and feel very strongly about skepticism and atheism. Penn Jillette gets high praise from artists and skeptic bloggers alike, and doesn't hide his skeptical agenda. I was very excited to read this. That's what makes this book such a shame. While there are parts that are genuinely hilarious or poignant, the vast, vast majority is Penn bragging about all his money or all the pussy he gets (understandable, I suppose, but uninteresting and grating), or show what a reprehensible human being he is. One chapter is devoted to objectifying women, discussing how tits are awesome and detailing having sex while scuba diving (with copious use of the C-word, btw). It just came off as mysogynistic and empty. He later brags about threatening a female social worker. He asked her to lie. She refused. As a health care worker I sympathize with her: often you are forced to make hard choices, and people will often ask you to do things that will cost your job and/or freedom. Penn threatens her with physical violence and beams over the outcome. These specific examples are meatballs, layered over a plate of generic bigoted, hateful spaghetti. For someone who relishes pointing out logical fallacies, he certainly clings to fallacies and stereotypes heavily himself. I wish I never picked up this book, because I think I'm done with P&T now.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    I laughed so hard my sides hurt, but I still think Penn Jillette is a pig. I agree with a lot, and disagree with less, but he is still a pig. This was one of the most offensive and obscene books I have ever read. My sides still hurt.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    Let me start by saying I was a more of a fan then hater before the book, now I'm about even. Did you know Penn is friends with Joe Rogan? You'd think this book would be about atheism and penn's thought on it along with some stories from penn. I hope you realize that Penn and Howard Stern have a good background together, they have sleepovers! It's mostly outlandish and questionable stories about his sexual life that you have to challenge (he makes himself seem like an '80 tommy lee), his non-stop Let me start by saying I was a more of a fan then hater before the book, now I'm about even. Did you know Penn is friends with Joe Rogan? You'd think this book would be about atheism and penn's thought on it along with some stories from penn. I hope you realize that Penn and Howard Stern have a good background together, they have sleepovers! It's mostly outlandish and questionable stories about his sexual life that you have to challenge (he makes himself seem like an '80 tommy lee), his non-stop namedropping (briefly he states how he doesn't like namedroppers ironically), and his weekend events. Penn and one of the guys from ZZ Top are best buds, just fyi. The book is about 90% story and 10% true atheist talk (aka, atheism as a backdrop or sidenote not counted, only when he talks about atheism and his thoughts and views). Penn and Glenn Beck talk often, Glenn is such a sweet guy. This is not a book about atheism, but rather a sort of snip and paste of stories penn likes to boast about. It's 24 dollars of toilet paper to me. I like penn, but this book 250+ pages of him telling you how rich he is and how many famous friends he has. Oh, and he mentions something about atheism, but thats not the point here. Did you know Penn dated a supermodel who is amazing looking and is a freak in the sack? Now that's something to put in a book! Oh, wait, what do we have here!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    It's hard to see and hear Penn Jillette without forming some sort of opinion. Jillette, the large (nearly 6 foot, 7 inches tall and approximately 300 pounds) half of the illusionist-magician-comic duo Penn & Teller, is talented, brash and unabashed. He's never been loath to express his views. And his new book, God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales , is likely to reinforce that what you see is what you get. One of Jillette's core principles is that there is no Go It's hard to see and hear Penn Jillette without forming some sort of opinion. Jillette, the large (nearly 6 foot, 7 inches tall and approximately 300 pounds) half of the illusionist-magician-comic duo Penn & Teller, is talented, brash and unabashed. He's never been loath to express his views. And his new book, God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales , is likely to reinforce that what you see is what you get. One of Jillette's core principles is that there is no God. Not only is atheism an increasingly common subject on his Penn Point video blog, he has frequently been interviewed about it. Likewise, he's not shy about it. Jillette even says in the book's introduction that he's "a loud, aggressive, strident, outspoken atheist, and I'm an asshole." (He also admits in it that "there's a lot of rambling" in the book.) Jillette says God, No! resulted from Glenn Beck having asked him to entertain the idea of an atheist Ten Commandments. As a result, each chapter here consists of stories, some personal and some not, on the theme of Jillette's suggestion for each of the Ten Commandments. Many are actually broader in scope than the original. For example, his version of the Fifth Commandment ("Honor thy father and mother") is "Be there for your family. Love your parents, your partner, and your children." Likewise, the Seventh Commandment's proscription on adultery becomes "Keep your promises. (If you can't be sexually exclusive to your spouse, don't make that deal.)" It would be unfair to classify God, No! as simply an attack on Christians. Still, Jillette isn't afraid to call it as he sees it. "I haven't found Christ," he writes. "I'm not even looking for him. I don't need or want salvation." Jillette's main focus is simply that he doesn't believe it God. He holds his lack of belief so firmly that even agnostics irritate him. One essay is titled, "Agnostics: No One Can Know for Sure but I Believe They're Full of Shit." In it, he argues, among other things, that most agnostics "are really just cowardly and manipulative atheists." As noted, several of the essays center on personal anecdotes that don't deal directly with religion or atheism. Thus, we hear of his adventures with ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons on a so-called "vomit comet," an aircraft flight that provides weightlessness for approximately 30 second periods, or his trip to a gay bathhouse in San Francisco. Yet even these stories tend to shed light on or illustrate the thesis of the particular suggested Penn Commandment. Some might question how unrestrained he is in his language or his discussion of sex. There's no doubt Jillette's intentionally blasphemous line about what he would do to Christ's hand wounds and on his crown of thorns would cause conniption fits in even semi-devout Christians. But Jillette has always been brash and unrestrained. At least we know he isn't sacrificing any of his style, thoughts or opinions to the god of marketing. His at times scathing humor is also at work in much of the book. One of the core elements of God, No! is urging atheists to speak out and step forward. This is where the book becomes a manifesto, a call to action. Jillette even takes a page from some proponents of religion, urging atheists to preach and proselytize. Truth doesn't live in the closet. You have to make it clear to everyone, including your children, that there is no god. If you're not doing that every chance you get, then the other side will win. They'll win only in the short term; but we only get to live in the short term. You don't have to fight, but you have to do your part -- you have to tell the truth. You have to be honest. You don't have to force schools to say there's no god, but you have to say it yourself. You have to say it all the time. No one can relax in a closet. Passages like this and the passion for ideas Jillette displays throughout the book mean he likely will be tagged by many as a "militant atheist," using the term pejoratively. Yet Jillette probably wouldn't take offense. He's equally outspoken about being a Libertarian and, in the eyes of some, militant when it comes to personal and civil liberties. From his perspective, he is simply placing his opinions in the marketplace of ideas, a right that belongs to everyone, asshole or otherwise. And just as God, No! leaves no question about his ideas, it is equally clear that Jillette doesn't care if you think he's an asshole, an atheist or an asshole atheist. He just wants you to think. (Originally posted at A Progressive on the Prairie.)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa Fox

    This really isn't a book about atheism. Which is fine, but it's really more of a memoir and I sort of came away not liking him very much, while at the same time appreciating his occasional frailty. I found it interesting that he gave no empirical reasons for atheism (other than the standard he can't see God with his own eyes) yet was SO ADAMANTLY AND FORECEFULLY for it, while at the same time commenting often that the louder he protests something, the more he's hoping for someone to prove him wro This really isn't a book about atheism. Which is fine, but it's really more of a memoir and I sort of came away not liking him very much, while at the same time appreciating his occasional frailty. I found it interesting that he gave no empirical reasons for atheism (other than the standard he can't see God with his own eyes) yet was SO ADAMANTLY AND FORECEFULLY for it, while at the same time commenting often that the louder he protests something, the more he's hoping for someone to prove him wrong. Quotes I liked: On talking about how the magic he and Teller do are mostly just dumb things they practice for much much longer than they are worth to get right: "Our deep secret is simply misplaced priorities." Why he hates the Frosty the Snowman song: "'There must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found, for when they placed it on his head, he began to dance around.' Correlation is not causation, you stupid Gene Autry and the Cass County Boys Song-composing motherfucker!" On securityedition.com: "It's a website that sells little playing-card-sized metal copies of the Bill of Rights, with the Fourth Amendmenet (search and seizure) highlighted... The Security Edition Bill of Rights sets off the metal detector and you say to the guard, "Oh, here -- take my rights."

  7. 5 out of 5

    J.K. Grice

    I enjoyed this rumination on atheism and other topics by Penn Jillette.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    I really wanted to love this book. I agree with many of Penn's opinions, but I just don't dig his literary 'voice'. I don't think I've ever been as annoyed by, while completely agreeing with, anything else I've ever read. If you enjoy Penn's style (and I kinda' thought I did prior to reading this book), then you may enjoy this book. Unfortunately, I grew less amused by it with every page. I wish I could run it through Babelfish or something to filter out his imagined cleverness and insecure self I really wanted to love this book. I agree with many of Penn's opinions, but I just don't dig his literary 'voice'. I don't think I've ever been as annoyed by, while completely agreeing with, anything else I've ever read. If you enjoy Penn's style (and I kinda' thought I did prior to reading this book), then you may enjoy this book. Unfortunately, I grew less amused by it with every page. I wish I could run it through Babelfish or something to filter out his imagined cleverness and insecure self-congratulatory crap. I spent way too much time rolling my eyes at this book. Here's a brief glimpse of one of my frequent, in-my-head arguments with this book: "Oh, for fuck's sake, I get it! You don't drink/drug but you're the craziest, edgiest, most free-spirited boy of all. Ever! You're like Rimbaud and Bukowski and Lenny Bruce, but without hangovers. I fucking GET IT already! Can we move on? To the rather excellent point you were almost starting to make? No? We have to do this again? You're going to regale us once more with another illustrative tale of your drug-free Bohemianism? Alright, fuck this, I'm skimming. I NEVER skim! Look what you're making me do! You're making me skim! And you're making me hate yooooooou!" In summation: This would have been an awesome book if it were written by George Carlin.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Book

    God, No! By Penn Jillette "God, No!" is the irreverent, unfiltered reinterpretation of the Ten Commandments. The "Penn" Commandments takes you through Penn's personal life's experiences through the eyes of an atheist. This 256 page-book is composed of an introduction, the Ten Commandments and an afterword. Positives: 1. Be ready to be entertained. Penn's irreverent unfiltered humor is exposed for all to see. 2. Well written, fascinating and even uncomfortable to read at times, but Penn is never God, No! By Penn Jillette "God, No!" is the irreverent, unfiltered reinterpretation of the Ten Commandments. The "Penn" Commandments takes you through Penn's personal life's experiences through the eyes of an atheist. This 256 page-book is composed of an introduction, the Ten Commandments and an afterword. Positives: 1. Be ready to be entertained. Penn's irreverent unfiltered humor is exposed for all to see. 2. Well written, fascinating and even uncomfortable to read at times, but Penn is never boring. 3. A biography of sorts. Interesting, page-turner of a book. The stories are hilarious, crude yet never malicious. 4. Some of the funniest stories I've ever read. 5. Through some of the nutty antics, there is wisdom to be found. "Being proud of yourself, your beliefs, your taste, your accomplishments, and your immediate family and friends seems sensible and right. Being proud of some imaginary group you were born into seems insane and wrong". 6. Some very interesting insight about Penn Jillette. 7. His track to atheism. 8. The love of family is palpable and admirable. 9. The secret to his success. 10. Some celebrity insight. 11. The meaning of tattoos... 12. Interesting insight. "Atheists are also morally obligated to tell the truth as we see it. We should preach and proselytize too". 13. Agnosticism versus atheism. 14. Nutty and amusing behavior..."There was a sex dungeon off the bedroom that has since been turned into a nursery (the wonderful story of my life)". 15. The truths according to Penn. 16. Political insight, "Democracy without respect for individual rights sucks. 17. Social criticism as only Penn can deliver. 18. James Randi. 19. Interesting insight about Nixon and I mean interesting. 20. His views about the Tea Party. 21. Love for Springsteen. 22. Perhaps the funniest story I've ever read and I will not spoil here. 23. And the problem with faith. Negatives: 1. The crude humor and use of offensive language will put some people off. 2. Sometime rambles too much in a given story for his own good. 3. Some stories and one in particular was too uncomfortable even for an open-minded person like me. 4. Penn was on the wrong side of the global warming debate, so he wasn't on top of the science...it happens. 5. If you are expecting an intellectual book about atheism this is not the book. This book is about the life stories of a nutty, hearty, larger than life entertainer who happens to be an atheist and a libertarian...and that's not necessarily a bad thing. 6. It's not as intellectually stimulating as I had hoped for. In summary, this is an irreverent book at its heart and it doesn't apologize for it. Penn Jillette has lived and continues to live an interesting life and has interesting viewpoints. He's like that one intellectual nutty friend that everyone has or should have. This book is crude, gritty, but at its essence it has heart and love of life. If you can put up with some crudeness this book is an entertaining treat. Further recommendations, of course the author's previous book, "The Atheist Camel Chronicles", "God Hates You, Hate Him Back" and “Jesus Lied" by CJ Werleman, "Your Religion Is False" by Joel Grus, and "What Do You Do with a Chocolate Jesus?" by Thomas Quinn. All these books have an irreverent tone that is similar to the book reviewed.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brian Sammons

    I found this book very funny, but Penn somewhat full of s***. He starts it off trying to soft sell atheism, saying that it’s ok, don’t be afraid, if you have any doubt about the existence of god at all then you’re an atheist and that’s ok. And it is ok. But towards the end of the book he falls back on speaking in absolutes, as the vast majority of atheists I know always do. They KNOW for sure that there is no god. Anyone who believes otherwise, or has that doubt that Penn was so slavishly appeal I found this book very funny, but Penn somewhat full of s***. He starts it off trying to soft sell atheism, saying that it’s ok, don’t be afraid, if you have any doubt about the existence of god at all then you’re an atheist and that’s ok. And it is ok. But towards the end of the book he falls back on speaking in absolutes, as the vast majority of atheists I know always do. They KNOW for sure that there is no god. Anyone who believes otherwise, or has that doubt that Penn was so slavishly appealing to at the start of this book, is just plain old wrong. And that ‘we are so obviously right and they are so obviously wrong’ mentality is why I call Atheism a religion. Because to me, that’s the biggest problem with all religions. And boy, do atheists hate when you call their belief a religion. But what else can you call that sort of blind certainty other than faith? And for the record, I’m agnostic. I think mankind is so small and insignificant that we will never know one way or the other. NEVER. Anything else, to me at least, is just human arrogance. But hey, that's just what I think, what do I know? I mean, I never wrote a funny book about the subject, so obviously I'm speaking out of ignorance... Still, I thought it was a funny and enjoyable book, when the atheist who wrote it wasn’t preaching at me.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I really don't know what to say about this book! I'm going to go see Penn & Teller next week (I hope) and I find Penn very entertaining, even though we don't see eye-to-eye on everything. I was definitely entertained by reading this book. As a warning, every other word is the *F* word and there is a lot of sex in this book. Just sayin'. I knew that when I picked it up. I think this book would offend some readers. Not much offends me, although I personally couldn't write a book like this. Apparentl I really don't know what to say about this book! I'm going to go see Penn & Teller next week (I hope) and I find Penn very entertaining, even though we don't see eye-to-eye on everything. I was definitely entertained by reading this book. As a warning, every other word is the *F* word and there is a lot of sex in this book. Just sayin'. I knew that when I picked it up. I think this book would offend some readers. Not much offends me, although I personally couldn't write a book like this. Apparently I can READ a book like this, though. I was still entertained. I think it's supposed to have a theme. I think the theme is atheism; however, it's mostly just a hodgepodge of stories of Penn's life, some funny, some not, some pertaining to atheism, some not. Let's just say it's more "magical tales" than "signs you may already be an atheist". It is what it is. I'm still looking forward to Vegas!!!! ******* Afterword - Went to Vegas. Shook Penn's hand and told him my husband and I read his book! Haven't done that to very many authors. Then I put a $20 in a penny slot machine, hit max bet, and instantly won $100.00. Ordered a drink. Yes, it was Vegas. (And as you can tell, I'm a high roller!)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melody

    I'm already an atheist, so I knew Jillette would be preaching to the choir in my case. I agree with a lot of what he says here. He made me laugh and nod on every page. There were parts I read out loud, they were that good. I totally buy his arguments. The chapter on climate change (and more importantly, about how saying "I don't know" can be misinterpreted) was wonderful. The memoir-ish bits were interesting, and I really enjoyed his transparent, epic love for his family. The chapter about his s I'm already an atheist, so I knew Jillette would be preaching to the choir in my case. I agree with a lot of what he says here. He made me laugh and nod on every page. There were parts I read out loud, they were that good. I totally buy his arguments. The chapter on climate change (and more importantly, about how saying "I don't know" can be misinterpreted) was wonderful. The memoir-ish bits were interesting, and I really enjoyed his transparent, epic love for his family. The chapter about his sister is breathtakingly great. But Jillette goes out of his way to be a jerk, he uses the most emphatic curse words in ways designed to alienate- so much so that I was often taken out of the narrative flow to examine why, exactly, I was feeling so repelled. It's hard for me to rate a book I agree with, that's frequently funny, but that leaves me feeling like someone's prudish grandmother (did he have to call that perfectly nice woman those words? In THAT order?). 4 stars for content, 2 stars for ick factor (serious ick factor, involving a white hot blowdryer and... oh, nevermind), 4 stars for being utterly fearless.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Aidan Fortner

    If you like Penn Jillette, you'll probably enjoy this book. If you dislike Penn Jillette, then this book is not going to do anything to endear you to him. He's a self-admitted asshole who is vulgar with gleeful, often very creative, abandon. I dig Penn a great deal, even though he doesn't strike me as someone I'd enjoy spending any alone time with. But I find his opinions and intellect challenging, and I enjoy it when he says something I disagree with because the way he presents his viewpoints u If you like Penn Jillette, you'll probably enjoy this book. If you dislike Penn Jillette, then this book is not going to do anything to endear you to him. He's a self-admitted asshole who is vulgar with gleeful, often very creative, abandon. I dig Penn a great deal, even though he doesn't strike me as someone I'd enjoy spending any alone time with. But I find his opinions and intellect challenging, and I enjoy it when he says something I disagree with because the way he presents his viewpoints usually make me take pause and really consider why MY viewpoints are what they are. A lot of people don't like that sort of challenge, especially when it's put forth by a crude in-your-face loud libertarian asshole. My personal politics fall somewhere between liberal and libertarian and I'm a confirmed atheist, so again, reading Penn's rants (which don't really lay out reasons for being an atheist libertarian so much as provide funny anecdotes and some behind-the-scenes glimpses of Penn & Teller) didn't change my mind in any major way; mostly I was just amused, and that is always worth my time.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    There were a few parts of this book I really enjoyed, but there was a lot more of the book that I didn't like. I'm certainly not a big fan of Penn's crude sense of humor. There were parts of this book that had nothing to do with where the book was going, but he included them because they were funny, or just extremely vulgar. Meh. Just not my cup of tea. There were a few parts of this book I really enjoyed, but there was a lot more of the book that I didn't like. I'm certainly not a big fan of Penn's crude sense of humor. There were parts of this book that had nothing to do with where the book was going, but he included them because they were funny, or just extremely vulgar. Meh. Just not my cup of tea.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

    I first started out not liking this book at all. However, I just liked it more and more as it went on. At parts I even laughed out loud, literally, which is rare for me in a book. On one hand it is clear that this man respects women and respects them sexually (I'm not just talking about family, here). But he uses very crass language a lot of the time and says very inappropriate things a lot of the time. I think a big part of it is living and working in Vegas and show business for so long. But it I first started out not liking this book at all. However, I just liked it more and more as it went on. At parts I even laughed out loud, literally, which is rare for me in a book. On one hand it is clear that this man respects women and respects them sexually (I'm not just talking about family, here). But he uses very crass language a lot of the time and says very inappropriate things a lot of the time. I think a big part of it is living and working in Vegas and show business for so long. But it is off-putting to me. One thing I really like is that it is very clear he respects people, loves his family, his wife, his kids and is a faithful, respectful man. But he has a very crazy past. Porn stars, strippers, showgirls, etc. He talks about sex and his penis a lot. Again, Vegas. But he makes it clear he has never had alcohol or recreational drugs, which I think is very impressive. He is also a fan of safe sex. Now he is happily married and has two children. He is very intelligent. About 20 percent (or more) of this book has nothing to do with atheism or religion, they are just funny stories from his past. Entertaining, but not really on point. Overall, I really enjoyed this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Denny

    I posted this review simultaneously to Goodreads and my blog. I loved approximately 60% of God, No!, so I need to explain my low star rating. Jillette writes with humor, wit, and compassion when sharing stories about his relationships with family and friends. He handles that part so well that I often found myself either chuckling at or getting choked up over his biographical anecdotes. He also has a flair for the dramatic when narrating the often hilarious adventures, misdeeds, and peccadilloes I posted this review simultaneously to Goodreads and my blog. I loved approximately 60% of God, No!, so I need to explain my low star rating. Jillette writes with humor, wit, and compassion when sharing stories about his relationships with family and friends. He handles that part so well that I often found myself either chuckling at or getting choked up over his biographical anecdotes. He also has a flair for the dramatic when narrating the often hilarious adventures, misdeeds, and peccadilloes of his unconventional, some might say alternative, lifestyle. If this book had been only that, a funny and poignant memoir, I would’ve rated it 4 stars. In the book, Jillette defines himself as an atheist libertarian, and I sharply disagree with his political views and opinions about faith and spirituality. Even so, that has no bearing on my rating. I disagree with his opinions on those matters, but I respect his right to hold and propagate them. There are 2 criteria that caused me to rate God, No! 2 stars instead of 4. 1) Jillette’s opinions, foul language, and serious verbal abuse of several different groups and individuals would be extremely offensive to large segments of the population, severely limiting the book’s audience and appeal. 2) Like many other popular and published atheists, Jillette mocks and excoriates agnostics, denying them, just as he denies religious believers, the same right to their opinion that he demands for himself and fellow atheists. I have little respect for those who deny others their right to believe or not to believe as they see fit. If you are already a fan of Penn Jillette’s or of Penn & Teller’s show Bullshit!, I highly recommend this book; I think you'll love it. If you are not easily offended by foul language and consider yourself to be open-minded, nonjudgmental, and tolerant, you will probably find a lot to like here. If none of the above applies to you, however, it may be a good idea to avoid God, No!.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Len

    Penn Jillette is a funny fucker! I ripped through this hysterical book in just a day or so mostly because I couldn't put it down. Admittedly, I just had a heart attack so I'm home with lots of time on my hands, but I probably would have burned through it regardless. The book is going to be pigeon-holed as the rantings of an atheist, but it is so much more than that. It is full of some of the funniest damn stories I've ever heard. There's one about a bet he made about whether or not he could ejacu Penn Jillette is a funny fucker! I ripped through this hysterical book in just a day or so mostly because I couldn't put it down. Admittedly, I just had a heart attack so I'm home with lots of time on my hands, but I probably would have burned through it regardless. The book is going to be pigeon-holed as the rantings of an atheist, but it is so much more than that. It is full of some of the funniest damn stories I've ever heard. There's one about a bet he made about whether or not he could ejaculate inside his girlfriend while they were both scuba diving. There's one about him burning his dick on a blow dryer. My favorite is the one about how he and his heterosexual buddy couldn't get laid in a gay bath house despite trying. In between these raunchy and hilarious stories Penn weaves in atheist wisdom, anti-religious brilliance and plenty of his libertarian politics. It's 230 pages of fabulous entertainment. It is, however, not for those easily offended. Good thing I'm not. We saw Penn & Teller this summer in Las Vegas and their show is great. Afterward they hang out in the lobby and chat with fans, but we didn't stick around. Had the book come out earlier this year I would definitely have shook his hand and thanked him for this book. I also loved how it ended: "The only real argument against religious terrorism is to try to share the reality of the world. The world is plenty. We have each other. We have love. We have family. We have art. We have time. We have an infinite number of questions we can work on. We have all the glory that is real and is us. We must stop glorifying faith. Fuck faith."

  18. 5 out of 5

    Travis

    There are three things Penn Jillette really likes talking about: Atheism, libertarianism and Penn Jillette. He has some interesting ideas and is such an attention whore, that he has collected a 1,000 stories, mostly involving other famous people. Unfortunately, he also has the attention span of a puppy with a Red Bull and a fake 'but, I may just be full of shit', humble attitude, that he uses to try and hide the fact that he thinks he is really very funny, smart and radical. This means you are cons There are three things Penn Jillette really likes talking about: Atheism, libertarianism and Penn Jillette. He has some interesting ideas and is such an attention whore, that he has collected a 1,000 stories, mostly involving other famous people. Unfortunately, he also has the attention span of a puppy with a Red Bull and a fake 'but, I may just be full of shit', humble attitude, that he uses to try and hide the fact that he thinks he is really very funny, smart and radical. This means you are constantly see-sawing between fascination and wanting to slap that little rubbish beard off his face. I fully believe that the formula of an interesting person is equal measures smart, funny and full of shit. Replacing 'crazy' with 'full of shit', also works. With Penn the formula is out of whack. On stage, he has Teller to rein him in, with this book, nobody was willing to step up and go 'Penn, if you happen to see the point of this story, could you try and grab it and stay with it for a page?' To get to the truly interesting ideas and funny stories, you have to slog through a swamp of self-important, trying too hard to be cool BS. Being a New England boy myself and agreeing with Penn's take on Atheism, I am willing to cut him some slack, but by Chapter three, while I knew I would enjoy the book, I also knew I would also be selling it once I was done reading it. a good read, that is it's own worst enemy in keeping it from being a great book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    James

    As funny as this Penn & Teller fan expected, and more thoughtful. Penn Jillette certainly doesn't take himself seriously, and he has no problem with telling embarrassing (and hilarious) stories on himself; sometimes it's touching, too, as when he talks about his family. I only have one real beef with this book, and that's the author's riff on agnosticism. He sees it as pusillanimous, and says that if a person is unwilling to form a judgment on the existence or non-existence of a God without tangi As funny as this Penn & Teller fan expected, and more thoughtful. Penn Jillette certainly doesn't take himself seriously, and he has no problem with telling embarrassing (and hilarious) stories on himself; sometimes it's touching, too, as when he talks about his family. I only have one real beef with this book, and that's the author's riff on agnosticism. He sees it as pusillanimous, and says that if a person is unwilling to form a judgment on the existence or non-existence of a God without tangible evidence, that person is an atheist and is wrong to self-identify as an agnostic. He's mistaken. Atheism is the definite belief that there is no God. Agnosticism is saying, "I don't know." That's what the word means - 'a' as in 'non', and 'gnostic' as in 'knowing.' It seems like gratuitous abrasiveness to attack a whole group of people that actually agree with most of what the author says, and that have clearly thought about the question a great deal and presumably chosen their stance with care. Still well worth reading, and I enjoyed it even more than I have the books Penn wrote with Teller about various aspects of illusion and stage magic. This was more personal and showed more of the person behind the act, and he seems to be a person it would be a lot of fun to hang around with, even if that did occasionally involve telling him he was being a jerk.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kym Robinson

    I came across this book after watching every episode of Penn and Teller's 'Bull Shit.' I would have watched each episode at least twice or even thrice. In any case I had high expectations for this book. I was looking forward to reading about Penn's journey into atheism and learn more about how his skeptical mind worked. Instead I was met with an at times ugly mastubatory celebration of some of Penn's nastier traits. Traits which I was unaware of as he had always been self packaged quite well. He I came across this book after watching every episode of Penn and Teller's 'Bull Shit.' I would have watched each episode at least twice or even thrice. In any case I had high expectations for this book. I was looking forward to reading about Penn's journey into atheism and learn more about how his skeptical mind worked. Instead I was met with an at times ugly mastubatory celebration of some of Penn's nastier traits. Traits which I was unaware of as he had always been self packaged quite well. He had often proudly touted himself as the Religious or Statist's 'favorite' Atheist Libertarian. Penn instead comes across as a bully. In some of his anecdotes he shares he seems more egotistical and self serving. This is not a book on atheism, scepticism, libertarianism or anything which the title would suggest. Instead it is all about Penn...and the less than pleasant elements of his character. I still enjoy Penn's work and find the man to be quite talented and engaging in his work as a sceptic and libertarian but I just could not help to feel some what disappointed by this book. It does have some funny parts and the Penn which we all find entertaining does often shine through. The trouble is the books theme is more about vanity than anything else. 40 %

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I'm going to leave this unrated... First, I feel I should express my opinion of Penn Jillette. He's a brilliant thinker, a gifted speaker, and a touching storyteller. I love listening to him talk because he is captivating, entertaining, intelligent, and hilarious. Unfortunately, this book didn't give me any of that. I first heard about this book from a YouTube interview Reason.tv (my go-to libertarian news source) did with Penn. His interview made it sound like it would be just that - a touching, I'm going to leave this unrated... First, I feel I should express my opinion of Penn Jillette. He's a brilliant thinker, a gifted speaker, and a touching storyteller. I love listening to him talk because he is captivating, entertaining, intelligent, and hilarious. Unfortunately, this book didn't give me any of that. I first heard about this book from a YouTube interview Reason.tv (my go-to libertarian news source) did with Penn. His interview made it sound like it would be just that - a touching, entertaining, intelligent account of why theism is a fallacy. Instead, it seemed more like a nonsensical series of anecdotes within anecdotes within rants that failed to hit the point of theism as a fallacy, but I nonetheless would have enjoyed hearing on the radio. I enjoyed the introduction, but quit halfway through Part 1 of the book, because it was just too hard to follow and was too here-are-things-I-have done to enjoy. Since I didn't finish it, it wouldn't be fair of me to rate it. I'm an adult; if I'm not enjoying a book, I'm going to move on. My to-read list is too big not to.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mark Smith

    PJ reveals himself as much more thoughtful than I would have expected, given his blowhard persona. He writes very well, and he can be funny, but he seems to be prone to exaggeration. Many of his personal anecdotes sound more like excerpts from a novel, and are tough to accept at face value. I feel like I know more about him now, but I don't feel like I know him better, if you see what I mean. The chapters are arranged in no particular order, but they seem to roughly alternate between articulate e PJ reveals himself as much more thoughtful than I would have expected, given his blowhard persona. He writes very well, and he can be funny, but he seems to be prone to exaggeration. Many of his personal anecdotes sound more like excerpts from a novel, and are tough to accept at face value. I feel like I know more about him now, but I don't feel like I know him better, if you see what I mean. The chapters are arranged in no particular order, but they seem to roughly alternate between articulate expressions of a personal world view and wacky episodes where he somehow ends up naked at some point. Readers who are easily offended, or more importantly who do not enjoy being offended, may find it rough going. PJ can't be accused of slanting the book to make himself look better, since he comes across mostly as obnoxious and only marginally likeable. My own strongest reaction to the book was a desire to read more about (and preferably by) his partner Teller.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I enjoy the premise of this book. I think it could have been an important work to show theists that religion is not the be-all and end-all of morality. One could make Jillette's Ten Suggestions into a moral code (or write your own) and live a happy, generous, good life. However, Jillette's incessant verbal diarrhea almost ruined the book, and certainly destroyed any possibility that I would suggest it to any theists. I think the premises would make a great book club discussion, particularly in m I enjoy the premise of this book. I think it could have been an important work to show theists that religion is not the be-all and end-all of morality. One could make Jillette's Ten Suggestions into a moral code (or write your own) and live a happy, generous, good life. However, Jillette's incessant verbal diarrhea almost ruined the book, and certainly destroyed any possibility that I would suggest it to any theists. I think the premises would make a great book club discussion, particularly in my own club of believers, non-believers, and "I have no clue" members. But I know most would hate the book simply because of the constant vulgarity. There were moments that were thoughtful and inspiring. And moments that were laugh-out-loud funny. But most of the moments just made me cringe.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elyse

    First off, disclaimer. This book is NOT for the easily offended or the faint of heart. Penn Jillette is extremely vulgar in this book. Loads of expletives and graphic sex. For nooooo reason. Also, the section about ex-Hasidic Jews was very long and boring. That aside, he had some very good points on a few items about atheism, 9/11, and how Americans treat Muslims. But those were swept away and mired in all of the F-words, C-words, etc. Some parts were vile. Some were hilarious. It's quite the co First off, disclaimer. This book is NOT for the easily offended or the faint of heart. Penn Jillette is extremely vulgar in this book. Loads of expletives and graphic sex. For nooooo reason. Also, the section about ex-Hasidic Jews was very long and boring. That aside, he had some very good points on a few items about atheism, 9/11, and how Americans treat Muslims. But those were swept away and mired in all of the F-words, C-words, etc. Some parts were vile. Some were hilarious. It's quite the coin flip. I enjoyed most of it but cringed at other bits. Listening in my kitchen while cooking and my husband was at the table, out came Penn's anecdote of having sex while scuba diving. I was so embarrassed! It was very graphic. Disgustingly so. The more I write this review, the lower my rating is getting. Haha. We saw Penn and Teller in Las Vegas last year and it was a great show. But I don't think I'll be reading/listening to anymore of his books.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Loya

    An enjoyable read, assuming you aren’t too easily offended and don’t need the author to share your exact worldview in all of its myriad of manifestations. Penn makes some really solid points in argument of atheism. When I read this, I was in a period of reflection and profoundly disgusted with most religious institutions. I still would not describe myself as an atheist. I would posit this. When faith flies directly in the face of all existing evidence, maybe your faith is misplaced. Better be su An enjoyable read, assuming you aren’t too easily offended and don’t need the author to share your exact worldview in all of its myriad of manifestations. Penn makes some really solid points in argument of atheism. When I read this, I was in a period of reflection and profoundly disgusted with most religious institutions. I still would not describe myself as an atheist. I would posit this. When faith flies directly in the face of all existing evidence, maybe your faith is misplaced. Better be sure. Question everything. If you don’t care at all about atheism or God or religion in any form, you still might find the anecdotes of an underrated performer worth your attention. I was properly entertained.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    Filled with crass language and misogyny and devoid of substantive support for atheism.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    Great, assuming Penn is your type. Some quotes: Reading the Bible is the fast track to atheism. When someone says that Jesus loves them, it’s always so sad and desperate. If your Christ lives outside of time, then the time he takes to love you means nothing, and anyway, why did he make your football team lose? Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.” There is no god, and that’s the simple truth. If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, i Great, assuming Penn is your type. Some quotes: Reading the Bible is the fast track to atheism. When someone says that Jesus loves them, it’s always so sad and desperate. If your Christ lives outside of time, then the time he takes to love you means nothing, and anyway, why did he make your football team lose? Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.” There is no god, and that’s the simple truth. If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again. People try to argue that government isn’t really force. You believe that? Try not paying your taxes. When you take something easy and safe and make it look difficult and death-defying, you are a cheesy circus act. When you take something impossible and make it look easy, you’re an artist. . (Yup, there’s such a thing as a Christian skeptic—ESP is too weird for them, but they’re fine with zombie saviors.) Typing “eighteen-wheeler” makes me feel really butch. It’s so purely American. In England they call trucks “fully articulated lorries,” which is another reason we kicked their asses in the Revolutionary War. Democracy without respect for individual rights sucks. It’s just ganging up on the weird kid, and I’m always the weird kid. “Knock-knock.” “Who’s there?” “Atheist.” “Atheist who?” “Oh, I’m sorry, we don’t go around knocking on your door when you’re trying to relax.” If god (however you perceive him/her/it) told you to kill your child—would you do it? If your answer is no, in my booklet you’re an atheist. There is doubt in your mind. Love and morality are more important to you than your faith. If your answer is yes, please reconsider. We all think crazy shit all the time. All our heads are full of crazy fucking whack-job shit, so before we say something, we just have to think to ourselves, ‘If a character in a movie said what I’m about to say, would I think that character was supposed to be crazy?’ And if the answer is yes, you just say something else. Without science, Earth still goes around the sun, and someday someone would find a way to discover that again. Science is so important because it’s a way to find truth, but the truth doesn’t depend on it. Reality exists outside of humans. Religion does not. How come it’s rare to see people on TV saying that god made them lose the stupid ball game or killed that baby in the house fire? How come every time someone says that god told them to kill their whole family, the religious people say right away that the faithful murderer was crazy? You never see religious people saying “I wonder if that murder was a miracle. I wonder if god is speaking to us directly again.” Tattoos used to mean you lived outside the law; now tattoos mean you’ve been to a mall. How come every time someone says that god told them to kill their whole family, the religious people say right away that the faithful murderer was crazy? You never see religious people saying “I wonder if that murder was a miracle. I wonder if god is speaking to us directly the atheist communion wafer, the pure symbol of free thought: the bacon cheeseburger. And just for the record, the government doesn’t stop you from paying more than you owe in taxes. If you really believe you should be paying more . . . just skip the deductions. I’m sure you can find a way to give 100 percent of your earnings to the government and not be arrested for anything . . . except vagrancy. The deal religious folks make with each other is: we’ll argue about the specifics of our separate bugnutty crazy, but the general idea of being bugnutty crazy is good. Once you’ve condoned faith in general, you’ve condoned any crazy shit done because of faith. Imagine trying that weasel agnostic answer in any other important discussion. The conversation would have to go like this: “Do you believe the Velvet Underground was the best rock musical ensemble that ever made noise on planet Earth?” “Well, I’m not sure we can ever know for sure who the best musicians are, or even what rock music is. I’m not sure anyone can know that.” “I didn’t ask you that, you Grateful Dead–loving piece of dope-damaged wishy-wash, I asked you what you believed. But don’t even bother. I no longer care. Go listen to Lady Antebellum.” Anything is possible, but there’s no reason to believe it until there’s some evidence.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    The only positive comment I can make about this book is that Penn Jillette has definite opinions and isn't afraid to state them. Before reading this book, I had a fairly positive view of Jillette. I've seen a season or two of Bullshit! before my free Showtime ran out and although I didn't always agree with him (them), at least I had something to think about. I've never seen Penn & Teller on stage (although the last time I was in Vegas I wanted too but damn the tickets are ridiculously expens The only positive comment I can make about this book is that Penn Jillette has definite opinions and isn't afraid to state them. Before reading this book, I had a fairly positive view of Jillette. I've seen a season or two of Bullshit! before my free Showtime ran out and although I didn't always agree with him (them), at least I had something to think about. I've never seen Penn & Teller on stage (although the last time I was in Vegas I wanted too but damn the tickets are ridiculously expensive) so I came to this book fairly uninformed about Penn Jillette. My opinion of him after reading the book: he's kind of an asshole. Well, he's all the way asshole. He's the kind of atheist who makes other atheists cringe. He's nasty, contemptuous and scornful. Okay, fine, sometimes I feel that way too (usually when confronted with hypocritical holier-than-thou jerkoffs)but he applies his hateful attitude to everyone with a religious faith. Can I understand what makes someone believe in imaginary supreme creators and want to worship them? No, no I can't. But I can recognize that everyone needs something to get them through life and if that works for them, then whatever. My problem is when one religion tries to tell me how to live my life based on their faith. Nope, not happening. If you need to pray and light candles and carry around little beads, knock yourself out. Just keep it to yourself. What's funny (well, not ha ha funny) is that he rants about liberals being egotistical and thinking they know what's right for everyone, but he's the same way with religion--as an atheist, he knows what's right for everyone too, and it's being an atheist. Wrong. Reading this hodgepodge of essays (? essays may be too grand of a word for what Jillette has assembled in this book), I am struck by his egotism. He makes a big deal about it's okay to say "I don't know" when you don't really know something, but boy he doesn't like to be proven wrong. He is right and if you don't agree you can just go fuck yourself in your fucking neck (as he expresses that sentiment several times in the book). There are ten chapters and each chapter is one of the Old Testament's "Ten Commandments." He has the commandment printed as is (from the Bible)then below it the atheist suggestion. I like this and wish he had actually carried out the theme to have each chapter deal with something relating to that commandment. A good many of them don't and after reading it I'm like, huh? I didn't find his personal stories all that compelling, interesting or even funny (the only time I laughed was when reading "Things Like This Don't Happen to Normal People"). A lot of it has nothing to do with atheism (and even the atheist stuff was uninspiring). However, if you want to read about his relatively large penis, all the strippers/models he dated before getting married, and a kind of creepy/gross/not-all-sexy letter he wrote to Penthouse, then this is your book. Jillette mentions his dick and its state of limp/hardness in almost every chapter. I'm about the last person in the world to be offended by this, but his dick is everywhere in this book and it was a case of over-exposure. I wasn't offended; I was bored and annoyed. The next time I'm in Vegas (which unfortunately may be this October) I'd still like to see Penn & Teller if I have the cash. I'd still like to see more episodes of Bullshit! . But I have no intention of ever reading a book written by him again.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    Disclaimer: Penn Jillette has been a hero of mine for years. He's an atheist libertarian peace-loving hippy who is a boisterous, obnoxious asshole and isn't afraid to tell you when he thinks you're wrong, no matter what it's about. At the same time, he's so profoundly optimistic it borders on naivete. Even with his strong convictions being the minority, he remains a strangely optimistic and humble person about them, in a frequently self-depreciating way. He's quick to acknowledge when he's wrong Disclaimer: Penn Jillette has been a hero of mine for years. He's an atheist libertarian peace-loving hippy who is a boisterous, obnoxious asshole and isn't afraid to tell you when he thinks you're wrong, no matter what it's about. At the same time, he's so profoundly optimistic it borders on naivete. Even with his strong convictions being the minority, he remains a strangely optimistic and humble person about them, in a frequently self-depreciating way. He's quick to acknowledge when he's wrong or when he doesn't know something. He's a fascinating and unique nutjob, and I love him for it. You won't be surprised to know I loved the book. It's essentially a collection of anecdotes and experiences, most of which are hilarious or outrageous, a few of which are heartwarming and sappy. It feels like he's just sitting with you spewing stories off the top of his head, indeed if you watch his video blog Penn Point it feels very much as if he had simply written down some monologues intended for that blog. Which is okay. Great, even, because he's great at it. For me, there's nothing eye-opening here. There are revelations to be had surely, but I'm not the audience for them; sadly I'm not sure the audience which would need or want to find them could do so, given Penn's abrasive manner. I want to believe otherwise, because I can't imagine reading this book and believing anything other than Penn being an extraordinarily heartfelt, honest, loving person. In the few areas I disagree with Penn, it's because I don't think he's 'gone far enough' with his beliefs, and the book made me yearn for an opportunity to give him a push. His arguments against government are equally valid for the few areas he professes to believe it has a role, I think he just needs someone to show him. He's still trapped in the notion that 'Intellectual Property' is equally as legitimate as physical property, although if you examine the function of property among humans, you must come to the conclusion that IP is illegitimate. Property is scarce. Ideas are not; at least not in the same way. Sharing my recipe for pie with you does not require me to give up the recipe, as physical property does. I also sense that he's not that familiar with Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Lew Rockwell and Tom Woods, or the Austrian School of Economics in general. Sadly, this is likely due to his affection for Reason and CATO, who severely downplay their significance, and generally prefer to ignore that LvMI exists. They are utilitarian libertarians, and while they do some great work, Penn Jillette strikes me as a principled libertarian. For a principled libertarian, mises.org is a much better fit than Reason or CATO. Regardless, Penn is inspiring. His odd combination of humble yet forceful beliefs make me try to be a better, more optimistic person.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Efe Karabulat

    I've always loved P&T as magicians (sadly never had a chance to cherish P&T:Bullshit) and wanted to give it a shot to this book. While having immensely funny parts, it's mostly boring, personal and/or domestic. Interestingly there isn't much about atheism or religious debates in this book, even in a tongue-in-cheek manner, it's just a bunch of (mostly) fun stories with Ten Commandments/Ten Atheist Suggestions as a tenuous binder. I've always loved P&T as magicians (sadly never had a chance to cherish P&T:Bullshit) and wanted to give it a shot to this book. While having immensely funny parts, it's mostly boring, personal and/or domestic. Interestingly there isn't much about atheism or religious debates in this book, even in a tongue-in-cheek manner, it's just a bunch of (mostly) fun stories with Ten Commandments/Ten Atheist Suggestions as a tenuous binder.

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