God No!has a range of stories--funny, tender, sad, and nearly all autobiographical--from a writer, who has been inside the showbiz whale for more than thirty years, travelled the globe performing magic, and lived for a decade in the dark heart of American greed, commercialism and filth: Las Vegas. Some of the essays illuminating Penn's First Commandment (The highest ideal is human intelligence, creativity, and love. Respect those above all.) includeSiegfried, Roy, Montecore, Penn, and Leather Pants,and You Can Be Bruce Springsteen Too!As he says of Commandment #4 (Put aside some time to rest and think): If you're religious, that might be the Sabbath; if you're a Vegas magician, that'll be the day with the lowest grosses. Commandment #5 (Be there for your family. Love your parents, your partner, and your children),includes an astoundingly funny and heartfelt essay about Penn's mother, a late-in-life Atheist herself, and Shirley, the local lesbian pastor. And of #8 (Don't steal): This includes magic tricks and jokes--you know who you are! Penn's hard-earned and worldly experience combined with self-taught wisdom and plain common sense make this absurdly funny collection a heartfelt and hysterical read.
Penn Jillette is a 21st-century Lordof Misrule: big, boisterously anarchic, funny, Rabelaisian, impossible-andunique. There isn't-couldn't be-better not be-anybody like him. -Richard Dawkins, bestselling author ofThe Greatest Show on Earth and The God Delusion There are few people in the country who question more boldly, brashly and bravely than my friend Penn Jillette. This book is funny, provocative and profane. But is it right? God, no! -Glenn Beck This planet has yielded exactly one mutual friend for Glenn Beck and me and that friend has written a brilliant book called God, No!. Penn reveals 'the big secret of magic,' tells you why tattoos are perfect expressions of atheism and exactly what to eat when you know you're going to vomit later. -Lawrence O' Donnell People who say that libertarians have no heart or atheists have no soul need to read this book. Because Penn Jillette has a lot of both. -Matt Stone and Trey Parker, creators of South Park and award-winning Broadway musical The Book of Mormon Jillette has made a career as a provocateur, and it is tempting to dismiss this book as another piece of carny shtick, but there is a forceful intelligence at work here that demands to be taken seriously. He has shaped his argument with care. -Daniel Stashower, Washington Post Book World