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God Paperback – 3 Mar 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review; New Ed edition (3 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747266506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747266501
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.6 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,725,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Alexander Waugh, the grandson of Evelyn Waugh and son of Auberon, has produced a book about God which manages to be both shallow and erudite at the same time. In other words, Waugh has done his homework and learned a lot about God in the various religions, but he maintains a salacious and flippant tone throughout which is neither amusing nor thought provoking. On the good side, the book is packed full of interesting facts about God and religion. The structure of the book is more scattergram than logical outline, but the information is tersely presented in short readable chunks so the reader can dip into the book and read as much or as little as he wants. There's also a good index and bibliography for serious God hunters.

While this is an interesting grab bag overview of the Deity, it's too bad that Waugh has to maintain his insouciant public-schoolboy style throughout. It's a pity he couldn't manage just a little bit of personal wonder or reverence for his subject. Readers who would prefer something with a rather broader vision might try Professor Keith Ward's God--a guide for the perplexed. --Dwight Longenecker --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

Immensely entertaining, and a sovereign remedy against the absurdities and dangers of religious belief ... funny and whimsical ... clever and perceptive (A C Grayling, Literary Review)

a highly readable book (Newcastle Journal)

[a] sprightly exercise in comparative religion. Mr Waugh is intelligent and his breadth of reading is admirable (Sunday Telegraph)

Peculiar and delightful... I loved it. Waugh's light-hearted approach is deceptive: some formidable research has gone into this book (Douglas Kennedy, Mail on Sunday)

A deeply felt and genuine exploration... Waugh's biography is a search for love - and strangely, the god he leaves us with, however impossible, remains attractive. (Jeanette Winterson, The Times)

This is a learned guide to theology in a jokey guise (Independent)

It should really be God: Unauthorized... Waugh draws on such a broad gamut of respected, accepted and worshipped sources, this is probably as close as we'll ever get to finding out what God is actually like (Scotsman)

Ten out of ten for the idea, the approach, the style, the writing - above all, the writing - and the sublime audacity of it all ... Waugh writes like an impious angel; wittily and rivetingly (Michael Brown, Yorkshire Post)

A testimony to human ingenuity and imagination...Waugh's GOD combines philosophical wrangling with the delightfully insolent tone of 1066 AND ALL THAT (Christopher Silvester, Financial Times)

[Waugh's] sardonic, urbane tone is in the tradition of Gibbon or Hume...very funny. Pleasingly original...wherever you stand - or think you do - on the God question, this is a good read (Susan Elkin, Independent)

With mischievous wit and erudition...Waugh's tremendously funny book has, however, a serious purpose (S.B.Kelly, Scotland on Sunday)

[An] erudite, scholarly, irreverent and impeccably researched biography of the supreme being... daringly brilliant and witty treatise (George Osgerby, Tribune)

Colourful, funny, deep and perceptive (A.C.Grayling, Independent on Sunday)

An idiosyncratic, intriguing and often charming book about God (Brendan Walsh, The Tablet)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 18 May 2002
Format: Hardcover
Oh dear! The Bible and religion are having such a pasting these days! Alexander Waugh's book "God" is a book (like Paine's Age of Reason) that, by its style can easily cause offence to those who have very gentlemanly ideas as to how criticism should be carried out, if at all. For years, most books written on Biblical criticism, whether textual or archaeological, though taking the Bible to pieces, are usually careful to end up supporting the establishment (and not hurting the feelings of academic friends, or indeed one's own reputation) in reasserting the greatness and richness of the Bible etc.
Waugh's book is not like that. Whereas The Age of Reason was a deliberately abrasive and powerful attack on the Bible and 'revealed' religion, "God" is a light-hearted and flippant treatment of the same subject. I found it entertaining, informative, and I am glad I bought it.
It is essential for any freethinking student of the world's religions to bypass the received opinions of theology and put the cards on the table face-up so to speak, as Tom Paine did. It is only then that you can see plainly the glaring problems of superstition and human invention which abound in all the sacred texts which are supposed to be communicated from God to man.
It is not 'how' an author presents his subject that leads to the truth, but the 'facts' he produces in support of his case that really matters for our enlightenment. So, like Tom Paine, Alexander Waugh has presented us with a mixed bag of possibly unwelcome facts (to some people) in an easily readable format taken from various ancient religious texts. These extracts further help the modern thinker to assess the relevance today (with our far more general education) of the puny and demeaning concepts of God in the Bible etc. "God" is a good book and worth having in your collection. Howell Thomas.
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By A Customer on 8 Nov. 2005
Format: Paperback
Alexander Waugh, in GOD has tried to explain the personality of God. He has taken, for his sources the bible, the Qu'arn, as well as the books of Enoch, the and occassionally Joseph Smith, and other texts.
The book is comprised of 7 chapters divided into short sections, thus it is easily digestable, though some may find this style erratic, and not linear enough.
Personally, I feel this is part of the charm of the book. Waugh has a very dry sense of humour, and I laughed out loud on several occasions (this may cause a problem for the deeply religious.)
There are many interesting things that Waugh puts forward: the polytheistic origins of the Bible, the Egyptian origins of Moses, the needing by Christians of the Old Testament, for the sake of origional sin. (some of these well known, others not so).
Is this an atheistic book? No, I don't think so, but it is certainly not a Christian book. (And will definately appeal to atheists - myself included). I believe that Waughs main point is that the Christian God - an all loving, all knowing God can not coexist with the God of Israel - a Genocidal maniac, with a penchant for the smell of burning flesh. But, herein lies the weekness. I say I think this is Waughs point, but I really do not know. The last chapter doesn't really seem to have an aim, and reluctantly ambles to it's conclusion. I think is mainly because of Waugh's reluctance to share his religious beliefs, or lack thereof - rather like his father, as described in the forward. Still, this is the only real weakness, in an otherwise funny, and thought provoking book. The main lesson I took from it is that an atheists biggest weapon is scripture, itself. I'm off to read the Bible, now...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Discussions about God were not encouraged in the Waugh household (Alexander Waugh is the son of Auberon and the grandson of Evelyn Waugh), and the school's chaplain thought him perverse for asking too many awkward questions about the Divine Being. What is dismissed as "presumptuous arrogance" by anxious believers is to be welcomed by the rest of us who are interested in the biography (as distinct from the hagiography) of one of the most peculiar characters ever to have existed (in fiction, if you're an atheist, in fact, if a theist). When it comes to God, there's never been any shortage of people telling us precisely what we should - and shouldn't - believe about him. So, thank goodness for the author's scholarly diligence and determination to think for himself as he picks his way through a minefield of mythical proportions. What's more, Waugh has produced a genuinely refreshing and entertaining book, a real page-turner. After reading about God sending hornets to sting the Hittite and putting haemorrhoids up the Philistines' backsides, after learning how God helped wipe the Jebusites off the face of the earth, and the Moabites and the Amalekites too, I couldn't wait to find out what he was going to do next, and somewhat relieved this particular tyrant appears to have lost his edge, and is probably entirely fictional.

The book is organized into bite-size sections, some as short as a paragraph, grouped within seven major parts, the first "Mewling and Puking" and the last "Sans Everything" (from the famous "All the world's a stage" speech). Early on, Waugh asks: "Has anyone actually seen God?" It's the kind of question that might have earned the young Waugh a clip round the ear from the chaplain.
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