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God Collar [Paperback]

Marcus Brigstocke
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.99
Price: 10.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

23 Jun 2011

'There's probably no God ... but I wish there was. I've got some things I need to ask him.'

Based on Marcus Brigstocke's award-winning Edinburgh and West End show, God Collar focuses on the 'God-shaped hole' that opened up in Marcus's life following the death of his best friend. Exploring his own issues surrounding faith - his lack of it, his need for it, some people's waste of it and what good purposes it might serve if he could get hold of it - he rails against the holy trinity of Abrahamic religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) while atheists, agnostics and believers of all faiths get it in the neck too. God Collar is a scathing look at modern faith that will leave you laughing out loud and examining your own beliefs in equal measure.

'As luck would have it, my relationship with God is as dysfunctional and peppered with resentment and recrimination as ever, so this should make for a good book.'

Frequently Bought Together

God Collar + Marcus Brigstocke: Planet Corduroy [DVD] [2007]
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (23 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593067363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593067369
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 279,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Perfectly structured and packed with passion, intelligence and the right kind of false-footing scepticism" (Dominic Cavendish The Telegraph)

"Religion has always been a tempting punchbag for stand-ups but agnostic Marcus Brigstocke smacks it with intelligence, cheek and a discernible degree of grace" (London is Funny)

Book Description

Join Marcus Brigstocke on his hilarious, touching and futile search for faith.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Companion Book for Lapsed Believers 21 Jun 2011
By Scritty
Marcus Brigstocke has commented on religion before. A few years back his stand-up routine on "The Now Show" asking the followers of the three Abrahamic faiths "Not to kill us all...please" was as funny as it was thought provoking, and was one of a number of catalysts for me personally to become an Atheist (we don't have a special name for the conversion process, maybe we should)
It's hard for none -believers to form "groups" or "committees" because nothing unites us other than our lack of faith. But for me personally, Marcus is about as close as it comes.
This book (which is loosely based on his Edingurgh Festival show of the same name - but with much more content)explains why he has no faith in terms that would feel probably familiar to many who claim to have faith.
He explains why God (I'll use a capital "G" - though I may stop doing so in the future..it's habit) is not for him, and how terrifying a literal biblical (or quran based, or tora based) god would be.
He explains why, if the Bible were to be taken literally, he would not know of one person who would qualify for eternal life at God's side. Certainly not Mother Teresa et al. Brigstocke rails at the hypocracy of "revisionism" and "believing the bits you like and ignoring the bits you don't" of each holy book - and altering those bits around as the social zeitgeist demands it. It was less than 100 years ago in most of the world when the Bible was used as a solid argument that god was FOR slavery, even now hundreds of thousands of African children are born condemned to a life (mostly without parents) and an early AIDS stricken death because the Bible condemns barrier contraception.
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Delusional Brigstocke 6 July 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I really like Marcus Brigstocke. So many times, listening to The Now Show has been made bearable by Brigstocke's five minutes of comedic rantings.

However, this book was a chore to get through. It's unclear what Brigstocke was really aiming for with this meandering set of thoughts. There's no clearly discernible theme to each chapter, and the tone lurches from light whimsy to dry thoughts.

For example, one chapter, titled "Where to look for God...", discusses Brigstocke's efforts to hunt for God. No, not in any metaphorical sense, he's actually physically looking for God. On eBay, amongst other places. This allows him to shoehorn a clumsy couple of pages about the operation of the Royal Mail - amusing material, but otherwise irrelevant to a book ostensibly about religion and faith. There's another couple of pages about how Brigstocke likes to imagine iPhone users are "pleasuring gerbils" - a surreal image that pleases him sufficiently that we are presented with it on several occasions through the rest of the book.

By contrast, another chapter, "God Delusion - the modern atheist" is almost devoid of humour altogether. This section deals with Brigstocke's disappointment with the atheist movement - a group that he is often lumped in with, seemingly much to his frustration. All of which seems odd, given how many of his own observations about the unjustness and seeming irrationality of the Abrahamic God in the Koran, Torah and Bible, are remarkably familiar from other works by contemporary atheists. In an almost astonishing piece of irony, Brigstocke states that he finds Dawkins's 'The God Delusion' to be incredibly smug, an effect "enhanced by the fact that...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars God Collar - Marcus Brigstocke 4 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very, very funny and surprisingly reverent! How to personify the "god-shaped hole". . Good luck to you Marcus in your search.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny, but not for too long 28 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although I agree with the atheist sentiments in the book, it's "A joke in every sentence", which is just fine for a while, but it soon starts to feel like a LIFE sentence. It's bang bang bang..... interminable, endless, unceasing, joke joke joke...... and although I've now got 3/4 of the way through it, I'm beginning to lose the will to live. The words "5th form smart-arse" are beginning to form in my mind. I'm not about to abandon the book, but the words "I must abandon this book" are also beginning to form in my mind. This review is actually written in the style of the book, just to demonstrate to you how interminably, endlessly unceasingly..... Well, you get the picture.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking 24 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I found this book thought provoking, well considered, funny but not particularly gripping. It made me angry and let down, in between the belly laughs, but its message could be delivered in half as many words.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking read 25 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thought I was agnostic but now i'm not so sure thanks to Marcus and his musings (or should that be amusings?). Loved this book, kept annoying my husband by reading him quotes every now and then but I wanted to share the book with him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars funny, moving but verbose 21 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having said that Christopher Hitchens was verbose, the author then spends over four pages telling us he hasn't been abused as a child, but I suppose that is how stand-ups talk. There is much serious material in this book, dealt with humorously.

The author is clearly an intelligent man, though he has some odd ideas, e.g. that the pope can talk directly to God or the urban myths about the chair in the Vatican used to check masculinity of a newly elected pope and that orthodox Jews have sex through a hole in a sheet. However, he has some pertinent things to say about gay marriage, structural sin and the radical nature of Jesus's message that the churches have sanitised.

He is also one who has been through the mill, having coped with teenage obesity, drink and drugs and he writes endearingly about parenting his son and movingly about the premature death of his best friend.

My favourite quotation seems to me very similar to Jesus's views: Life's for living. You wouldn't spend your life dressed in black tie and remaining still and spotless in your living room just in case someone was preparing a formal dinner in the other room, would you? There simply isn't time. ..... We are busy living. Bugger pleasing God, let us learn how to please each other and live well. If there's a God to be found anywhere and He had anything to do with making us, then the aim of cherishing life, learning, loving and sucking the marrow out of experience surely would please Him somewhat. Wouldn't it? (cf. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10;10)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
think it went on too long
Published 11 days ago by J. A. Welsman
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it
Made me laugh, made me sad.
don't agree with him in lots of places but I didn't read this as theology
Just someone being funny in areas of religion, which is generally... Read more
Published 23 days ago by D. Power
2.0 out of 5 stars Struggle for me
Had to give up on this one after not too long. I might give it another go but there are a few things ahead on the list at the moment.
Published 4 months ago by jcom
5.0 out of 5 stars making me think with laughter
really enjoyed the fun and frolics in this book. made me laugh but also think. i have lent it to 3 people as i found it such a good read! some lovely thoughts. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jo C
1.0 out of 5 stars Not as clever as he thinks he is.
Brigstocke may be the master of the acidic put-down but when it comes to exploring the questions of faith and belief he'd be better off staying at home. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Theodore
5.0 out of 5 stars The Good Book.
Marcus is a genius...that is all. I have nothing further to add but Amazon insist I write more words, rhubarb.
Published 5 months ago by DALee
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint hearted
Brigstocke is merciless in his scathing derision for all forms of religious belief, but exposes us to his personal struggle to find a meaning to life in the hope that there might... Read more
Published 10 months ago by John Lamb
5.0 out of 5 stars God Collar, a must for free thinking people.
I loved reading this book, because as well as highlighting the hypocrisy and absurdness of all religions (particularly Christian), it was very funny and entertaining. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jolech
5.0 out of 5 stars looks good
Well I have not read it all yet but from what I have read it looks a very good read.
Published 11 months ago by Geoff
5.0 out of 5 stars Avoid women popes
Funniest book ever!
His investigation of all the major religions homing in on their weaknesses seems penetratingly accurate and his sending up of their frailties is... Read more
Published 11 months ago by cuddy
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