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The Happy Atheist Paperback – 6 May 2014

2.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books; Reprint edition (6 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307739805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307739803
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 550,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for PZ Myers' "The Happy Atheist
"
"Brilliantly designed and executed to entertain and enlighten. . . . This is a very entertaining and thought-provoking book."
--"Booklist"
"Punchy. . . . Written in accessible, informal style, [Myers] lashes out at the Catholic Church for its sexual-abuse scandals, at the faulty science employed by anti-abortion activists, and at proponents of intelligent design. . . . Myers is able to deftly present serious scientific and philosophical counterarguments to belief in God, but he also acknowledges the necessity of humor--of fighting fire with fire: after all, 'religions sure to promote some goofy stuff.' Effectively kick[s] the legs out from beneath the wobbly logic that undergirds religious thought."
--"Publishers Weekly"
"PZ Myers sets himself apart from the rest of the New Atheist authors by talking, not just about the bigger picture of God, but about religion as all of us experience it on a daily basis. Yes, he tackles the philosophers and theologians, but he also reserves energy to take on casual believers and the myths we come across every day. Nothing--not Communion, not the Holy Spirit, not even death--is too sacred to dissect. And that's what he does, dismantling religious cliches with ease, making you reconsider all those ideas you grew up with (and may still hold). If you're still religious after reading this book, you didn't read it carefully enough."
--Hemant Mehta, author of "The Young Atheist's Survival Guide" and blogger at FriendlyAtheist.com
"With a style that blends confrontation, humor, irreverence, and common sense, PZ Myers has become an important voice for America's growing nonreligious demographic. "The Happy Atheist" is quintessential Myers--ridiculing absurdities, exposing contradictions, rejecting claims of authority, and reminding readers that religious dogmatism too often obstructs reason and critical thinking."
--David Niose, Author of "Nonbeliever Nation: b

"Presents plenty of interesting ideas and arguments . . . a punchy and provocative read."
--"Washington Independent Review of Books"
"Brilliantly designed and executed to entertain and enlighten. . . . This is a very entertaining and thought-provoking book."
--"Booklist"
"Punchy. . . . Written in accessible, informal style, [Myers] lashes out at the Catholic Church for its sexual-abuse scandals, at the faulty science employed by anti-abortion activists, and at proponents of intelligent design. . . . Myers is able to deftly present serious scientific and philosophical counterarguments to belief in God, but he also acknowledges the necessity of humor--of fighting fire with fire: after all, 'religions sure do promote some goofy stuff.' Effectively kick[s] the legs out from beneath the wobbly logic that undergirds religious thought."
--"Publishers Weekly"
"PZ Myers sets himself apart from the rest of the New Atheist authors by talking, not just about the bigger picture of God, but about religion as all of us experience it on a daily basis. Yes, he tackles the philosophers and theologians, but he also reserves energy to take on casual believers and the myths we come across every day. Nothing--not Communion, not the Holy Spirit, not even death--is too sacred to dissect. And that's what he does, dismantling religious clichEs with ease, making you reconsider all those ideas you grew up with (and may still hold). If you're still religious after reading this book, you didn't read it carefully enough."
--Hemant Mehta, author of "The Young Atheist's Survival Guide" and blogger at FriendlyAtheist.com
"With a style that blends confrontation, humor, irreverence, and common sense, PZ Myers has become an important voice for America's growing nonreligious demographic. "The Happy Atheist" is quintessential Myers--ridiculing absurdities, exposing contradictions, rejecting claims of authority, and reminding readers that religious dogmatism too often obstructs reason and critical thinking."
--David Niose, Author of "Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans" and President of the Secular Coalition for America
"PZ Myers is well known as an angry man in the land of 140-characters and blogs where he made his name. That anger is also here in this book, and it's always a righteous anger. But PZ Myers is also a happy man, amused as well as bemused by religious follies."
--Andrew Copson, Chief Executive, British Humanist Association

Presents plenty of interesting ideas and arguments . . . a punchy and provocative read.
"Washington Independent Review of Books"
Brilliantly designed and executed to entertain and enlighten. . . . This is a very entertaining and thought-provoking book.
"Booklist"
Punchy. . . . Written in accessible, informal style, [Myers] lashes out at the Catholic Church for its sexual-abuse scandals, at the faulty science employed by anti-abortion activists, and at proponents of intelligent design. . . . Myers is able to deftly present serious scientific and philosophical counterarguments to belief in God, but he also acknowledges the necessity of humor of fighting fire with fire: after all, religions sure do promote some goofy stuff. Effectively kick[s] the legs out from beneath the wobbly logic that undergirds religious thought.
"Publishers Weekly"
PZ Myers sets himself apart from the rest of the New Atheist authors by talking, not just about the bigger picture of God, but about religion as all of us experience it on a daily basis. Yes, he tackles the philosophers and theologians, but he also reserves energy to take on casual believers and the myths we come across every day. Nothing not Communion, not the Holy Spirit, not even death is too sacred to dissect. And that s what he does, dismantling religious cliches with ease, making you reconsider all those ideas you grew up with (and may still hold). If you re still religious after reading this book, you didn t read it carefully enough."
Hemant Mehta, author of "The Young Atheist s Survival Guide" and blogger at FriendlyAtheist.com
With a style that blends confrontation, humor, irreverence, and common sense, PZ Myers has become an important voice for America s growing nonreligious demographic. "The Happy Atheist" is quintessential Myers ridiculing absurdities, exposing contradictions, rejecting claims of authority, and reminding readers that religious dogmatism too often obstructs reason and critical thinking.
David Niose, Author of "Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans" and President of the Secular Coalition for America
PZ Myers is well known as an angry man in the land of 140-characters and blogs where he made his name. That anger is also here in this book, and it's always a righteous anger. But PZ Myers is also a happy man, amused as well as bemused by religious follies.
Andrew Copson, Chief Executive, British Humanist Association"

About the Author

PZ Myers is a professor of biology at the University of Minnesota, Morris. He was named Humanist of the Year in 2009 by the American Humanist Association and received the International Humanist Award in 2011 from the International Humanist and Ethical Union. He has lectured throughout the world on biology, evolution, atheism, and skepticism. His blog, "Pharyngula," was named the Best Expert Blog by the Koufax Awards in 2005 and the Best Science Blog by the Weblog Awards in 2006. In 2006, the journal "Nature" listed "Pharyngula" as the top-ranked blog by a scientist."

Customer Reviews

2.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've followed PZ Myers's blog, Pharyngula, for about four years, and I had looked forward to reading this book. What I like about the things Myers writes is that he is often witty, always knowledgeable about his specialities (embryology and evolutionary biology) and he writes impeccably refined English with erudition. Myers blogs prolifically, and while most of his posts are not of lasting significance, from time to time he writes pieces that have clearly enjoyed careful thought. They are first-class essays that deserve wider reading. The Happy Atheist is a collection of those best essays that focus on the topic of religion(s).

Across the Atlantic, the book has been heavily criticized on Amazon.com because it is no more than a collection of some of the Pharyngula blog posts, with no original material. As one who, over the years, has bought -- among many others -- collections of Clive James's TV reviews, Steve Bell's cartoons and Jeremy Clarkson's rants, I am obviously unfazed to have bought a collection of blog posts, printed and bound. However, the Myers book nowhere acknowledges that it IS a selected collection of blog posts. They appear undated and without any introductory comments. This results in a set of "take-it-or-leave-it" essays that risk being described as disjointed. There IS a flow to the order in which the posts appear, but I feel they'd have benefitted greatly from some sort of annotation. Apart from 7 pages of introduction (surely this was the place to explain that the book is a compilation of blog posts) there is no new material. There are no preludes to the posts/essays and no follow-ups (Myers' website is awash with comments from its readers, many of which would have made entertaining addenda to each item).
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Format: Paperback
Simply horrible, there's no other way to describe it. Right from the off Myers sets about bolstering himself using the worst methods at his disposal. It irked me when Dawkins and Hitchens manipulated the readers thoughts and feelings regarding the subject yet their rhetorical acumen is far more impressive and tactfully deployed (especially for the latter) Another factor is the aforementioned authors are far more enjoyable to read whilst educating. It's a wonderful process that occurs when one reads almost anything, from simple signposts and pamphlets right up to encyclopaedias and manuals. Everyone enjoys a good read and even if you are not then at least you are leaning aren't you.

This book is incredible as it has none of that. It's almost as if someone took Dawkins most mean-spirited segments, somehow combined them with the DNA of some disgusting blogger creating some abomination then forced it at gunpoint to copulate with a rather ugly gerbil. Paul Myers is the fruit of that fateful gerbil insemination experiment it seems and with his little blogging pals he has managed somehow to produce a handy collection of his favourite blogs. They're handy if you want waste your time and money that is.

My advice is if you are going to study a subject you like is, perhaps don't get drunk and order books on said subject because you may not be making the best decisions. If I were to summarise my thoughts on The Happy Atheist I'd say this, I'd rather read a gas bill written in my cats entrails on the burned out wreckage of my car while oompa loompas jab my balls with ice picks.
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By Paul on 11 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is an absolutely awful 'book' and I use that term loosely as it's merely a collection of poorly written blogposts.
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