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Every Day is an Atheist Holiday!: More Magical Tales from the Author of God, No! Hardcover – November 13, 2012

4 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Rider Press; First Edition edition (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399161562
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399161568
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #639,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you read God, No!, you know what you're in for with Penn Jillette's new book. Penn rambles. Digression should be Penn's middle name. He can't talk about Christmas songs without launching into an analysis of the lyrics to the "Theme from Shaft." The books are nonetheless noticeably different. Where God, No! has an organizing theme (not that the book is in the least bit organized), this one aspires to be nothing more than a collection of stories. In a strange way, however, that makes Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday a better book. If Penn is just sitting back and telling story after story without aiming for a broader point, it doesn't matter so much that he rambles. And on the whole, the tone of Every Day is an Atheist Holiday is less angry than the last book, seemingly written by a kinder, gentler Penn, although one who is still acerbic when the mood strikes. The stories are funnier, or at least more consistently funny. Some are brash, some are sweet, some are both at the same time.

The title notwithstanding, Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday is even less about atheism than God, No! One of Penn's longest and best riffs on religion examines Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, pointing out that King reached out to all Americans, not just religious Americans, and included relatively little religious language in the speech. Penn suggests that the concept of inclusion has been lost in the rhetoric of those who incorrectly proclaim America to be a "Christian nation," a phrase that deliberately excludes every American who isn't a Christian.
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Format: Hardcover
Penn Jillette is back with more hilarious stories and more atheistic musings in his new book, Every Day is an Atheist Holiday! As was the case in God, No!, Jillette continues to be thoughtful, funny, and honest, as well as profane and offensive. The chapters use various holidays as a springboard for some of Jillette's stories. And he does tell a good story.

Some of my favorites: A reflection on Father's Day, in which he laments that he "will never experience sending and receiving a Father's Day card on the same day." He speaks lovingly of his parents, causing me to pause and be thankful for my own, as well as to reflect on my role as a father. For Groundhog Day, he compares Bill Murray's experience in the movie Groundhog Day, in which he lives the day over and over, to the life of a performer, doing the same routine over and over, relishing in the fact that he gets to say and do something over and over, and for the audience they see and hear it for the first time.

I love Jillette's humility about show business. At several places he acknowledges that show business is nothing compared to "real" jobs. He would much rather spend hours and hours working on a movie set or perfecting a routine for his live show, than sit at a desk, answering to a boss he can't stand. He tells the story of meeting Jonas Salk, developer of the polio vaccine. "I just kept looking him in the eyes and trying to imagine what it felt like to help save that many lives. . . . Doing card tricks for a living is stupid no matter who you're talking to, but look Jonas Salk in the eyes, and it seems everyone else is doing stupid card tricks for a living."

Every Day is mostly about telling stories.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read God No! and was waiting with bated breath for this book, and Penn does not disappoint. I dabbled with Atheism for a long time, but was always struggling with the part of life that religion seems to have the market on, joy and happiness. Penn does a good job of showing how being a non-believer makes you cherish life, family, and every day we have on earth.

Though this book does talk about non-belief, this book is mostly about stories. Stories about show business, stories about life, and stories about joy. Penn does a great job at all of that, and reaches the audience. You genuinely feel the joy he has in life, for his family, for his parents, and for his children.

His stories, though sometimes meandering, are wonderful to read and leave you in stitches. I laughed right out of the box when he told his story of dressing up as a racist ghost (really just a bed sheet, but it resembled a KKK outfit). It made me want to go and give my son a hug when he told of his daughter recognizing him at the school, "that's my daddy!" despite being dressed up in costume. It truly showed the human side of Penn and of the love he has for life and family.

A wonderful read for fans of Penn and Teller, for hardcore atheists, and for those who don't want to admit it yet. You'll find your own joy reading it, just as sure as I did.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Penn Gillette is one gentle giant, and a mensch in the truest sense of that word. His books tend to be on the slight side--I expected more about atheism from the title, for example--but he is an engaging writer and a great soul.

He's also the real thing. He sheds hype and shuns mystery. Pretty strange things for a magician to do, no? But that's how he is. I had the good fortune to see Penn & Teller live, and by a fluke of chance got selected from the crowd to participate in one of the tricks. Afterwards, as my 10-year-old son and I were leaving the theater, Penn and Teller were both out in the lobby mixing with the audience. There were crowds around each of them and I thought we would just sneak out. But then I heard Penn's big, booming voice calling me by name--he actually remembered it--insisting that I come over and say hi. He shook my hand and told me what a great job I'd done (seriously, a chimp could have stood there and been taken in by the magic as well as I had), and he really appeared grateful for my help.

Back to the book: If you've read other books he's written, you know he rambles on in a very entertaining way about things that happen in his life, how he feels about his life and the people in it, and the odd, outrageous circumstances he finds himself in. This book is not much different, and that's a good thing. His take on Donald Trump from Penn's stint on *The Celebrity Apprentice* is worth the book price alone. A good, quick read. Penn doesn't bang you over the head with his depth, but he does let it sneak up on you. As a magician should.
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