God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales
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God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  5,070 ratings  ·  612 reviews
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...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published August 16th 2011 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2011)
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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...more
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.
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 G...more
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...more
Kaitlynn
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...more
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...more
Wagszilla

"God, No!" really isn't as much a book about atheism or religion as it is a compilation of short stories from Penn Jillette's life.

The stories range in tone and content but they are always engaging and never uninteresting. I mean, what else would you expect from a magician who worked the Vegas strip? The two standout stories was the profoundly moving story about his parents' deaths and contrarily, the hilarious and insightful tale about sharing cheeseburgers with a Hasidic Jew.

While Penn's per...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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.
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,...more
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 t...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Mark
May 22, 2013 Mark rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Libertarians
I've always enjoyed Penn and Teller's shows, and I am a fan of their "Bullshit!" program on Showtime, so I expected to be entertained by Penn Jillette, a self-described atheist.

As I got into the book I realized that atheism was just a loosely tied thread through the essays, but the book was more of a collection of entertainment tales (Sigfried & Roy, David Copperfield, etc.), which were only mildly funny.

Penn also describes himself as an "asshole," and I have no argument with him there. By...more
George
UNCOMFORTABLY ADOLESCENT.

"You don't have to be very smart, fast, or funny to be an atheist. You don't have to be well educated. Being an atheist is simply saying, 'I don't know'."—Loc 80

GOD NO! is god awful. Especially the first half, or so, where Jillette seems hell-bent to out 'Howard-Stern' Howard Stern with juvenile raunch. Way too much information.

The second half is better—the 'Afterword' is very much worth reading—but still there's far too much recourse to too vulgar imagery.

Penn Jillette...more
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. Appar...more
Theresa
I don't think of myself as that defensive of a Christian. If anything, I identify more as a Catholic than as a Christian, and I'm more likely to defend that than Christianity or a general belief in God. But reading this book makes me defensive, and it's a weird feeling. So- things that crab me out so far, and I'm only on Chapter 2-
1) Almost every smart person he mentions or looks up to is a man. The only woman was/happened to be married to a man he mentioned.
2) His premise that atheists are hu...more
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...more
Z.
Penn Jillette represents the best and worst of the contemporary atheist/skeptic community. At his highest points he is engaging, realistic, hilariously straightforward and earnest. At his lowest he's simply self-indulgent for its own sake. But at both the extremes and all points in-between he is an utter asshole and a brilliant showman unafraid to cop to either.

God, No! is less a book about atheism than a book about atheists. Or more specifically atheist. One: Penn himself. There are some stori...more
Ray Campbell
Apparently Penn Jillette is an atheist and has read Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and others. His feeling is that religious faith is evil and that we should celebrate life and love each other. The rest of the book is funny stories from the life and career of this wonderfully funny magician and entertainer. This is a comic ranting about the world and reflecting on everything from the virtues of getting his weeny stuck in a blow dryer to sex while scuba-diving. Pen Jillette is funny and clearly very...more
Nata
God, No! - Penn Jillette I enjoyed this book. I pretty much knew that I would as soon as I picked this one up. I’ve been a Penn Jillette fan for almost ten years thanks to P&T: Bullsh*t! Like other reviewers have stated before, this book isn’t totally about atheism. It’s mentioned throughout, but it isn’t what the title would have you believe. It’s more like a collection of stories from Penn’s life. Some of them are funny, some of them are sad, some of them are touching, and some of them lea...more
Kerrie
If you know anything about Penn Jillette, you know what you're letting yourself in for. If you're offended by swearing and really obscene humor, forget about it. This book had that in spades and then some.

I picked this one up mainly for the atheism factor, but most of it was rambling anecdotes from his life. It was very haphazardly put together - he'd start a story, veer off on a long tangent for 2 pages to provide backstory, then come back to the story that he originally started. Very conversat...more
Timothy
This book was amazing. The stories, were all great stories that were worth telling and hearing about. The book was consistently hilarious.
I didn't have to agree with all of the ideas and thoughts in this book to come out with a lot of my ideas and thoughts challenged giving me the chance to look at a lot of my idea and re-evaluate a lot of things. Penn does a good job justifying his positions and views on various comments which allows a good long think about reasons to agree or disagree with eac...more
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...more
Amanda
I love Penn Jillette, I think he's one of the smartest and most honest entertainers performing today. That being said, this book was OK. Its more of a general overview of Penn's philosophy of life rather than an Atheist manifesto. And he talks about sex so much that I pictured him naked way too many times for my liking. Overall Penn seems to know he's preaching to the choir so to speak, and probably the people most likely to buy his book are already Atheists. He tells some funny stories, has som...more
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Penn Fraser Jillette is an American comedian, illusionist, juggler and writer known for his work with fellow illusionist Teller in the team Penn & Teller.
More about Penn Jillette...
Every Day is an Atheist Holiday Sock Penn and Teller's How to Play with Your Food Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends Penn & Teller's How to Play in Traffic

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“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.” 138 likes
“You don’t have to be brave or a saint, a martyr, or even very smart to be an atheist. All you have to be able to say is “I don’t know”.” 34 likes
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