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Letting Go of God

4.32  ·  Rating Details ·  1,590 Ratings  ·  115 Reviews
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 Bud
Audible Audio
Published December 4th 2006 by Indefatigable Inc. (first published 2006)
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Jan 22, 2013 Jack rated it it was amazing
It should be common knowledge that nobody becomes a great comic without a very incisive intellect. They use it to pierce the veil of the obvious to get at hidden truths, or sometimes to stop looking at non-existent depths to see what's right there on the surface.

Julia Sweeney is a great comic, and this is her very funny, very poignant story of how her belief in god gave way to her persistent need to exercise her intellect, curiosity and intuition.

What makes this book unique among atheist polemic
Sep 08, 2011 Beth rated it really liked it
Shelves: listened

I really thought this was going to be a one woman stand up act. It wasn't and it was. It was a serious and light hearted discussion on how Sweeney came to terms with how she was raised and her current views on God. Not being raised in the church or organized religion the subject has been difficult for me to come to terms with. After listening to this I realize I've already come to terms. My parents raised me to respect nature, to be kind, and always remember the golden rule. I'll be
Oct 26, 2009 Lesley rated it it was amazing
Julia Sweeney gave me the best two hours of audiobook listening that I have ever experienced... this is her story of growing up Catholic and then needing to discover her own belief in god and universe. If any of my family wants to hear this hilarious true story of one woman's journey from Catholic to Atheist... let me know I would love to share this!
Lamski Kikita
Dec 14, 2011 Lamski Kikita rated it liked it
Funny and interesting. My husband and I listened to this on a road trip and it was very entertaining. I guess sometimes you set out there to start a journey to find God, and you just, well, don't.
Nov 27, 2007 Eric rated it it was amazing
i had heard sweeney's other performance, god said ha!, about her experience with cancer (her brother's and her own), and was completely blown away by that piece. when i had heard that sweeney had another piece about her struggles with faith and her ultimate decision to give up on the idea of a personal god, i knew she would approach the subject with the grace, honesty, humor, and intelligence that she brought to the previous performance.

i was always aware of julia sweeney as an actress, from snl
May 01, 2009 Suzanne rated it really liked it
I listened to this as an audio book (essentially a taped stage production of her one-woman show) and it was brilliant.

I kept saying "Yes! Exactly" I had a lot in common with her background (Catholic, also tried to become an altar boy), searching for other religions that maybe would work better, and then finally accepting that there is no god. And that's okay. Better, in fact, than the alternative.

Even if you're religious, you'll appreciate and relate to Julia's crisis of faith (who hasn't read
Matthew Wilson
May 30, 2009 Matthew Wilson rated it really liked it
When I was a freshman in college and a professor said he was an atheist, I was shocked. He might just as well have proclaimed himself a pederast. I'd somehow come to believe atheist were evil, amoral freaks. This book puts a human and funny face on non-belief. Julia Sweeney makes non-belief sound so normal and reasonable. If you ever thought it was strange, scary, or hopeless to not believe in God, try this book for a different perspective.
Barbara Kluver
Sep 11, 2011 Barbara Kluver rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Julia Sweeney is one of the funniest people on earth, and going with her down the path to non-spirituality is a hoot. I would say it wouldn't be agreeable to staunch Catholics, but I think most people would find something in this to enjoy.
Feb 20, 2013 Latie rated it it was amazing
Julia Sweeney writes in brevity and wit to match her insightfulness. She shares her thoughts without pushing her opinion onto anyone who cares to listen to her words. Her thoughts are based on experience, research, and careful consideration. I did not listen to the audio book looking for answers, but to discard my ignorance and look at how a world without God can still be meaningful. I’ve always had a respect for Julia because she has the gift of teaching through humour.

Julia likely subscribes
Sep 15, 2014 Armin rated it it was amazing
This is a one-woman monologue of her journey from Catholicism to Atheism. The two-hours long performance is thoroughly entertaining and very funny. I laughed and smiled the whole way through. Dawkins mentioned some quotes from this in the God delusion.

I consider this work to be a part of the great atheist revival of the late 2006, when some classic new atheism books arrived more or less about the same time. Most notable among them were God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christ
Mar 24, 2012 Jillian rated it it was amazing
Just finished this audiobook a couple of days ago, Julia Sweeney is amazing. She recounts her journey from Catholicism to atheism (spurred perhaps not so ironically after attending a bible study group and actually reading and questioning the thing cover to cover). She takes quite the winding journey before reaching Reason, trying out everything from pseudoscience to Buddhism to pantheism - but finds that each has fatal flaws. What I love about Sweeney is that she approaches the subject in such a ...more
Feb 09, 2013 Rhys rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This was absolutely brilliant.

I had seen Julia Sweeney's TED talk in the past, maybe a year or so ago. But had never thought to listen to the entire book.

It's just a tad over two hours long but you could probably read the whole thing in much less if you found the transcript, although, having followed the transcript at some points, there were some minor differences.

I suggest listening, however, as Julia Sweeney is a magnificent orator. There was one stage about halfway through when she stuttere
Mar 13, 2016 Onionboy rated it it was amazing
This was amazing. I would give it 10 stars if I could. I was hoping to find it in book form, but could only find it as a recorded live performance. I'm glad I did. To hear it from the author makes it far better.

I have to admit that a long time ago when I was deeply religious, I heard about Julia leaving her faith because of her brother's illness and completely judged her, knowing nothing more than that. Now that I have changed my views on religion, I tracked this down and listened in awe. She w
Feb 09, 2016 Jeff rated it it was amazing
I thought this was fantastic! Julia Sweeney's journey from religion to non-belief mirrored mine in many ways. She was brought up in a strict Catholic family and gradually began questioning the supernatural content of Bible and the "mysterious ways" of god as she became more educated. I could relate to everything she talked about.

I only knew her as a former SNL cast member before she showed up as the host at the Rochester, MN stop of Richard Dawkins' tour in 2015. I admit that I don't remember m
Sep 29, 2011 Judith rated it liked it
I never heard of this author until I got the audio version of this book. Apparently she was an SNL character, acted in a couple of the Beethoven movies and is a somewhat famous comedian. i found her to be a kindred spirit in her search for and final release from the myth of God. She went through so many of the same steps that I did, with the same thoughts that I had. It made me begin to wonder if there isn't a whole generation of converted atheists out there.

The book is serious and humorous at
Jan 05, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
Just re-listening to this one and I loved it again. I would recommend the audio version and perhaps the video is even better. Hearing her performance style is important for capturing the humor.

This is Julia Sweeney's memoir about how she became an atheist. She grew up Catholic, but in adulthood questions her faith and discusses the spiritual journey that led her to atheism. Her telling of the story is comedic and the information and questions she presents are fascinating. I personally liked lear
Nov 25, 2008 Mirm rated it really liked it
I listened to this one and really enjoyed Julia Sweeney. She makes it very clear that there were big steps between Catholicism and where she ended up. All of them funny AND sad. I can see how this book could help a lot of people realize what they have believed all along. I have also started listening to Darwin's On the Origin of Species because of her description of reading it herself for the first time.
Jan 30, 2009 Elaine rated it it was amazing
This audio book is terrific but not everyone will be comfortable with it. Julia Sweeney was raised Catholic and she tells her true story of how she went from Catholic to atheist. Its insightful, funny, emotional and really entertaining. If you don't consider yourself religious, or have some doubts about religion, or just struggle with some of the bizarre parts of religious you will likely really enjoy this. Hearing Julia's delivery is terrific so definitely go audio on this one.
Mar 01, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kate by: Shannon
There was some good stuff in here about appreciating the wonder that is creation IN ABSENCE of a miraculous / divine creator.

The actual process of "letting go of God" has never been an issue for me but one that I feel I have heard almost too much about over the course of my Unitarian upbringing.

I (surprisingly) almost cried at the dramatic weight loss of her cat (wtf), and then at her attempt to remember her last hug with her father.
Feb 15, 2012 Mikebliv rated it it was amazing
I'm already an atheist but having come from a Catholic background (but not strict), I loved hearing Julia's stories, and found it very funny and entertaining too. Always very interesting to hear about the similarities and differences in others' experiences when they realised that there was no god. I watched the video version of this book.
Mar 28, 2013 Ursula rated it it was amazing
I loved this short audiobook. Not only was Julia's story engaging but she narrates it too and her voice made it come to life.
I was raised Catholic just like Ms. Sweeney and felt right at home in her religious musings and humorous recollections.
As a fellow searcher, I came to the same conclusions as she did. I will listen to this again.
Oct 20, 2010 Gina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This isn't a book but sure is a great dvd or audio tape! Julia Sweeney has an incredible gift of being able to insert humor at exactly the right moment. The topic is controversial and quite serious but I laughed throughout. She also did her 'homework' and research before creating "Letting Go of God".
Oct 04, 2008 Roxanna rated it it was amazing
Get the audio version of this so you can hear Julia Sweeney's own narration. This is the personal story of her quest to make sense of religion when she was unsettled by what she read during a Bible study class. This two-hour tour of religion compresses a lot of research and personal trial into a humorous but thoughtful essay/comedy routine.
May 12, 2008 Audrey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: open minded soul searchers
Downloaded from itunes. LOVED this book. Julia Sweeney reads on the audio book and her delivery is excellent. I laughed a lot and enjoyed experiencing her religious journey. An inspiration for those of us who have given up on religion.
Jun 17, 2008 Eileen rated it it was amazing
She cracks me up. I listened to her audiobook and am not sure it would be as enjoyable to read since she's so much fun to listen to. I'm sure I will listen to this again someday.
Feb 20, 2017 Guro rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, religion, atheism
Amusing and interesting.
Jul 26, 2014 Aimee rated it it was amazing
Not really a book. But hell (and I say "hell" with no guilt, lawl), it's on Goodreads so I'm gonna rate and review it.

I'm glad Julia Sweeney exists. She's an incredibly intelligent, hilarious woman whom so many atheists can relate to. For one thing, she's a woman. WHAAT? Not all new-atheists are slightly misogynist men like Dawkins and Harris? For another, she's not a scientist or a philosopher with any particular agenda. She was an SNL comedian, and now she's a great mom, writer, and activist.
Lynn Brown
Jul 15, 2013 Lynn Brown rated it it was amazing
This book is EXACTLY how I feel. I could have written it~ except without her wonderful humor! If people can honestly evaluate what they believe or 'think' they believe in, they will come to the same conclusion. This has been a very difficult journey for me and it is sad.... as her Mother says, "but aren't you sad all the time?!"
Julia's 'awakenings' really hit home with me~~ "but how can a person know how to behave without God?"! Her struggles to find some kind of an answer... something to belie
May 13, 2012 Maaz rated it liked it
Shelves: atheism, audiobooks
I have to admit that she is a good speaker, entertaining as well, I agree on most of what she had to say, about how the bible is contradicting and how the religious institute tend to cover it up with lame excuses such as "metaphors" and "poetic verses" and to not be taken seriously, which then resulted in people not taking the WHOLE BIBLE seriously. I condemn also the society intake of her declaration of Atheism, which happens also here in my country where the family is worried only about their ...more
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Julia Sweeney is an American actress, comedian and author best known for her Saturday Night Live career and autobiographical solo shows.
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