Travis_J_Smith’s #CBR5 Review #172: God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales by Penn Jillette

CA-penn-jilletteBilled as a re-interpretation of The Ten Commandments, God, No! is in reality a collection of stories with the loosest of associations to said commandments. Even the title (and subtitle) are misleading. It’s not all about his (and your possible) atheism. God, No! is Jillette using his creation of “The Penn Commandments” as an excuse to rattle off stories about his own life, some of which are more related to his atheism than others.

There’s one about his repeated attempts to have sex, and more importantly finish said sex, underwater in scuba gear. Another discusses the positives and negatives of Sigfried & Roy. And in nearly all of them, Jillette is more juvenile than I expected; I should’ve known, given I don’t think there’s an episode ofPenn & Teller’s: Bullshit! (he loves his exclamation points, apparently) without naked tits, but I took that as just a sign of his having a healthy obsession with that particular body part, not unlike most men.

With that in mind, it’s almost like an atheism-tinged Tough Shit. Kevin Smith and Penn Jillette are both fat, loud, and a teeny bit immature. Both of their memoirs have a unifying “theme” that’s just there in a weak effort to tie together a smattering of dissimilar stories. And both are precisely what you’d expect from the person writing them; if you find them funny, rather than grating, in real life, you’ll enjoy their books. It’s exactly as simple as that.

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