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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Alternative Bible
A. C. Grayling is one of the present day's great philosophers. He is also an atheist. His "Good Book" is the result of 30 years of gathering together from over one thousand texts by several hundred of the great thinkers of the past. From these Grayling has selected, redacted, paraphrased,interpolated and arranged into a book that provides inspiration, wisdom, consolation,...
Published on 30 Jun 2011 by Charles

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
No doubt it's an excellent collection, but I was disappointed that sources are not provided.
I am not smart enough to know which text comes from where or whom.
Published 11 months ago by David Rosenberg


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24 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The comparison with the Bible is an apt one..., 17 April 2011
This review is from: The Good Book: A Secular Bible (Hardcover)
I thought the concept was a stroke of genius and I was really prepared to like this book. Unfortunately, I really don't. The comparison with the Bible is an apt one: I found both books very boring, and written in a rather annoying style. And so, as it happened with the Bible when I tried to read it a couple of decades ago, I just couldn't bring myself to read Grayling's book from cover to cover. I begun earnestly with the Genesis, but then started skipping pages, trying - and failing - to find something that would hook me.

Now, I realise that in the same way that millions of people find the Bible inspiring and a literary masterpiece, there is likely to be a readership that will enjoy this book. But I won't be among them.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Good Book: A Secular Bible, 6 Jun 2011
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Mrs. Sheila Burcul (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Good Book: A Secular Bible (Hardcover)
What a lovely book!! So sensible, logical, interesting. Wish I had the time to sit and read it from beginning to end in one sitting; as it is, I am "treating" myself to a few pages each day. No home should be without this book.
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58 of 114 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No clear references - very disappointing, 4 April 2011
This review is from: The Good Book (Kindle Edition)
I was really looking forward to this book, expecting a scholarly guidebook by a humanist to a range of great ideas. I was deeply disappointed to find no direct footnotes or clear references at all to the great thinkers whose ideas and insights are allegedly the foundations of the work. There is only a mashed-up list of referenced authors names at the end. Very disappointing approach from someone who presents himself as a scholar and an academic.

An opportunity sadly missed, in my opinion.

Scott Downs, London
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 6 May 2011
This review is from: The Good Book: A Secular Bible (Hardcover)
I was so looking forward to reading this 500 page book from Professor Grayling.Someone I greatly admire. I know I'm not intellectually in his league but I'd say I was of above average intelligence and yet I struggled to understand half what was said.Although the book is compiled from many sources the purpose of word is to communicate to readers - this the book in large part fails to do satisfactorily for me. I read sections of it several times to attempt to understand the meaning but usually to no avail.That doesn't mean ,of course, that it isn't a great work necessarily - its just that I found that so many parts of it seem capable of different interpretations .I like to read brilliant persons thoughts and observations conveyed clearly and unambiguously to me as the reader - and not have to put my own interpretation on their words. Mind you I have a similar problem with parts of the Bible, and people often interpret that in various ways.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars HEAVY GOING, 3 Jun 2013
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B. R. Barton (Dorset, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Good Book (Kindle Edition)
Perhaps the hardest read I've ever tackled. I've had it over a month and have only managed to conquer two pages. You'll see why if you feel like reading it. I'm not saying it's not good........... I like to be challenged when I grapple with a book, but there are limits even to MY patience. But It remains in my Kindle and I'll keep at it....... small nibbles might be the way to go.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars PREFER HIS OTHER BOOKS, 21 Feb 2013
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S. A. Jones "BOOKAHOLIC" (HAMPSHIRE, ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Good Book: A Secular Bible (Hardcover)
THIS TOO MUCH RESEMBLES THE BIBLE IN FORMAT SO THERE ARE MOMENTS OF INERTIA AND RATHER DEADLY PROSE WHICH I HAVE TO SAY IS NOTHING LIKE AS FASCINATING, THOUGHT PROVOKING OR CHALLENGING AS HIS OTHER BOOKS WHICH I LOVE
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars average at best, 19 Aug 2011
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This review is from: The Good Book: A Secular Bible (Hardcover)
Some parts of this book are quite good. Unfortunately much of it is dull or seems irrelevant. I can't help feeling that quite a lot of the content is there simply to mirror the content of The Bible, without any thought as to whether or not it can actually enlighten. I wouldn't really recommend trawling through the dross to get to the good bits.
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15 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just Awful! Set's Rationalists and Non-Believers Back to a Pre-Enlightenment Era., 30 April 2011
This review is from: The Good Book: A Secular Bible (Hardcover)
The LAST thing non-believers needed when defending their corner and holding off the recent criticism that Atheism is a religion was scripture. Not to mention this book is just awful.
It makes very little sense for the most part and it is really just a rip-off of what Thomas Jefferson did Centuries ago removing the miracles of the Bible and keeping the moral teachings. This book was unnecessary and is not even useful.

I would not buy this book if I could turn the clocks back and I most certainly will not read it again.
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18 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars vanitas vanitatis, 20 April 2011
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twolf - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Good Book: A Secular Bible (Hardcover)
I used to have faith in Dr Grayling's judgement and wisdom. This is why I am so sad to see him having succumbed to his vanity, i.e. the temptation of styling himself NOT as compiler, adaptor and co-author but - of all things - MAKER of this King James Bible pastiche. How could he believe for a moment that even his friends - let alone his critics - would or could take his endeavour seriously if he linked it so prominently with his own brand rather than putting himself behind or at least just in line with the many sages and philosophers he indirectly quotes?
The editors of the real bible were anxious to substantiate their authority with countless annotations and references. How could he not reference the many indirect quotations in this text? Has he forgotten his sources, was it too much work or did he hope that we will take his words as gospel?
I have given back my copy and I recommend you do the same. His authority with me - even on Radio4 - has suffered greatly with this revelation but I will consider picking up the good book again if he should bring to humble himself a little in future editions.
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5 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The most pretentious book ever written?, 29 Oct 2012
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This review is from: The Good Book (Kindle Edition)
This was a great opportunity to curate an anthology of secular writing, drawing on centuries of knowledge to create a comparative reader of wisdom, knowledge and opinon. Grayling begins well by identifying key human concerns but rather overplays his hand right from the start by co-opting faux biblical headings (Genesis, Lamentations etc.) which pitches him straight into the arena of taking on the Judeo / Christian bible head on. This reduces his initial claim of collating the best of histories secular thought and learning and reduces it to a silly "bible alternative for atheists". However, his worst literary crime is writing the whole thing in a terrible cod-King James versification. He simply does not have the writing skills to begin to remotely pull this conceit off. All it delivers is an unreadable, deeply, deeply tedious and clunky childish sneer of a parody. I'm sure he is so much more capable than this but you have to wonder at his skills of self editing; this silly attempt at lampooning the Bible is a wasted opportunity and waste of time.
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The Good Book: A Secular Bible
The Good Book: A Secular Bible by Professor A.C. Grayling (Hardcover - 4 April 2011)
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