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God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything Paperback – Large Print, 6 Apr 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 673 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 527 pages
  • Publisher: Twelve; Lrg edition (6 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446552291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446552295
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (673 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,192,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Hitchens adopts a calm, mannered reading style - as if intent on exuding rationality and reason and avoiding the unabashed zeal of the religious fanatics he is so scathing about. But Hitchens' fury radiates through his words. For him, all religion is violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry. This discrepancy between narration style and content creates a peculiar tension. A fascinating listen. (FINANCIAL TIMES)

Who'd have thought that a book on atheism could be so entertaining? (Sue Arnold GUARDIAN) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Christopher Hitchens, hailed as 'one of the most brilliant journalists of our time' (London Observer), takes on his biggest subject yet - the dangerous role of religion in the world. Abridged edition, read by the author. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Christopher Hitchens died last year and until he died I had never heard of him. I read eulogies from his fellow journalists and then heard no more until last week when, by chance, I came across some video clips of Hitchens speaking about his views on religion and I found them fascinating.

I then found that Hitchens had written a book, God is not Great: how religion poisons everything. I bought the book and have now read it.

Firstly, I have only read a couple of chapters of Richard Dawkins The God Delusion and I have to say that Hitchens did a far better job than Dawkins.

Religious people do not like God is not Great. Not because it tests their faith but because of what it reveals about what goes on in the name of religion. Hitchens tells us, almost in passing, that he has received death threats, nasty phone calls and threats of violence for holding his view that he believes that religions poison everything.

Having been born and brought up in a country where freedom of speech is taken for granted, I wonder at who it could be that would so object to someone's views that they threaten murder. That's for their conscience!

As for the book, it is entertainingly written and full of stories aimed at the three main monotheisms: Christianity, Jewry, Islam. He regales us with story after story of the things that clerics hiding under these three banners get up to and have got up to for millennia. Hitchens reveals a great number of sources too: he's not just letting off steam.

I have to say that I read this book for the overview it provided and not to learn the deep and detailed information that Hitchens sometimes goes into: it's there if you want it, of course.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill.... " Morpheus, The Matrix 1999.

Hitchens does not set out to disprove the existence of God. During the book he does point out some of the glaring inconsistencies and sickening immoralities contained in the main religious texts. But this is not its main focus. What he does is attack in devastating and visceral terms the last real defence upon which religions fall back - that we need them to make us behave better. Hitchens exposes the murder; needless death; restriction of free thought and scientific progress; child abuse (both physical and mental); and repression that are not just incidental to, but an essential part of all major religions.

The book is articulately argued by someone whose command of English is outstanding, without becoming inaccessible (with the minor exception of chapter 18) or verbose. The arguement in chapter 17 is a little weak, but apart from that the main point of the book is relentlessly driven home in an often witty way.

For believers - you may want to stick with the blue pill and not read the book.
For me this book burned away any semblence of doubt that religion is a good thing. This book is the red pill. It will free your mind.
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Format: Paperback
This book is EXTREMELY well written. Witty, informative, and determined.

Many one-star-ers have noted that this book is one of two things:

1. The Atheist Camp claim that this book is not as 'good' as the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins - the arguments are difficult to follow, it's not as scientific or academic as it might be.

Well, Christopher is not a scientist. The book is a fantastic diatribe against the parties of God - it doesn't claim to be anything more. It's a wonderful contribution to atheistic literature. It's funny, clever and well-researched. It's not supposed to be an academic thesis.

2. The God Camp claim that Hitchens succeed in attacking religion, but doesn't manage to prove that God himself does not exist.

While he outlines his reasons for not believing in God, Hitchens does not set out to prove that God does not exist. He sets out to do what it says underneath his main title - to demonstrate how religion poisons everything - and he does a fantastic job.

This book is highly recommended to those who want to laugh and cry at the same time.
26 Comments 416 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Firstly - I've read the US version of this book, "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything", this is why I can write a review.

If you just want to comment on Hitchens/Atheism in general (either for or against) then please do it somewhere else!

I wasn't the greatest Hitchens fan but I have to admit that this book is something special. It's well written with lots of entertaining anecdotes and is easily more readable than Dawkins "The God Delusion". The pages fly by and his points are interesting and well made.

Obviously I was expecting a rabid attack on all things godly yet Hitchens turns out to be cleverer than that. He insists that people should be free to believe what they want - they just shouldn't try to force their beliefs on others. There's the expected examination of the Abrahamic religions here (yes, including Islam) but also critiques of other faiths too. Intelligent and inventive, this was far far better than the book that I was expecting.

Overall it's a great read with a convincing message that has convinced me to look at Hitchens back catalogue to see what other gems are hidden there...

I dare you to read this!
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