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This review is from: God is Not Great: The Case Against Religion (Hardcover)
If I were Christopher Hitchens, and on the whole I'm glad I'm not, I'd be pretty annoyed with my publishers, who have given this book a cover that resembles the original edition of Richard Dawkins' 'The God Delusion'. However, this is not a cash-in on the runaway success of the Dawkins book, which was written with comparative reasonableness and sympathy. Dawkins wants religious people to see that they don't need to believe, and in the spirit of being helpful, offers them the mental tools to rid them of their blind faith in bizarre fairy stories. Hitchens is more like a really well-informed guy sounding off after a damn fine lunch. This book is rational, but it's not even trying to be fair-minded or sympathetic, and it's none the worse for that.
Hitchens really has it in for religion, and there's something very bracing about seeing him turn his still formidable guns on it. He's always at his funniest when he's writing about something he hates. One of my favourite cracks is his reply to religious people who point out that the two great evil regimes of the 20th century, the Third Reich and Stalin's Russia, were secular in nature; as Hitchens remarks, if the best that religion can say for itself is that it's not as bad as Nazism, well...
I'm not sure why he seems to have gone a bit off the wall about the war in Iraq, but his recent support of investigation into voting irregularities in the 2004 election suggests that the Hitch his old fans knew and loved is not dead. This is not a book to read if your faith is wavering and you want to be introduced to the pleasure of rational thinking and good old honest-to-goodness atheism - if that's what you want, read Dawkins. Then read this, to confirm for yourself that believing in God really was a colossal waste of your time and energy.
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Initial post: 16 Dec 2011 20:22:27 GMT
The Atlantean says:
Actually, he wanted such a cover. That was the rfeason the book was published when it was - to cash in on the success of Dawkins. What, you think he wrote this book as a necessary element to the canon of anti-religious text we have, rather than a money-spinner?
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