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on 9 November 2014
The author of this book takes us on a very personal journey to his progression to atheism. He details influences his parents, siblings, religious leaders and friends had on his world view, and the process which enabled him to reject the faith his Bangladeshi community wholeheartedly bought into. It was a process that many atheists, either brought up within a faith or not, can instantly identify with, myself included.

Around the very personal details are the authors arguments which strengthens his assertion of there being no God. He cites scientific and philosophical evidence to explain issues such as love, death, racism, and mental health issues.

I struggle with Hitchens et al, because I find their writing to be very repetitive. I found this book startling, maybe to revealing and honest, and so familiar to my own story. A very good book.
One person found this helpful
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on 3 August 2018
This was written for young people but as an thirty seven year old woman I couldn't put it down. The author talks with such honesty but also sensitivity about those who are still believers. Don't dismiss it as just for teenagers. It's a really interesting read for everyone.
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on 30 October 2014
This is a very autobiographical book by a young man born into a Muslim family and being brought up in London. As soon as he finishes his A levels and gets a job in a smart London hotel reality strikes. I found the book very honest, well written and quite amusing. I loved the early chapter about eating bacon.

The length is perfect and the footnotes very comprehensive so that if the reader wants to go further into the subject its easy to do.
I would recommend this book as a present not just for a young lad but for anyone with an open mind.
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on 16 September 2014
The author confesses that the title of his book is misleading, in that it is more of an autobiography than a Handbook. However, I would defend Mr Shaha's decision to name his book as he did as it does contain important lessons on how to live a good life when surrounded by believers as an atheist.

My only criticism would be that the author fell into the trap of contemporary academic leftism. He criticizes opponents of Islam and brands them 'racists'. I felt this was an extremely dishonest take on how people perceive and criticize Islam. He mentions some groups - who are undoubtedly racist - criticize Islam but then dismisses the criticism as a whole because of where it came from.
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on 27 June 2014
This was an instant winner in simplicity honesty and humanity...meaning, it was from the heart an actual human experience of truth without myth and magic a thoughtful and creative piece of narrative. I liked the reality of it as it was about real people
I will keep this for my youngsters so they first have to know what they think and believe is true then confront the historical and social construction of mythology coupled with the male monopoly on history and facts.
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on 30 November 2012
Alom Shaha writes a lucid and intelligent account of his journey from the imposed faith and culture of his birth to his own independent view of his relationships with his family, his friends and the wider world. As the book title implies, his journey, intellectually courageous and still in progress, takes him to the realisation that there is no place for God in a rational person's view of the world. His writing is a delight and he does not preach but gently explains how he came to think and behave the way he now does. One senses very strongly that journey has been immensely liberating for him.

Alom Shaha's book is not so much a handbook as a map or template for a journey that anyone can take who finds the courage to assess and assert what they really think and believe.

The book is suitable for people of all ages!
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on 16 December 2012
This is a brilliant book. Easy to read and enjoyable too. Very informative and helpful for those who are trying to make up their minds about their values and what they believe. Would be particularly helpful for those who are doubting their religious upbringing. Great addition to any book shelf for young or old. There is now also a campaign being run by the Humanist association that is seeking to get a copy of this book into ever school library. I think this is a great idea as all people should have the right to make up their own minds about what they believe or do not belive in, no child should be labeled with their families religion. Link to campaign is [...]
6 people found this helpful
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on 19 August 2012
This book is a must-read for anyone interested in why we believe what we do.

Compassionate and yet opinionated, the YAH explores the cultural sensitivities around declaring yourself an atheist - but this book is as much about religion as the denouncement of it. Rather than join the ranks of angry atheist publications, Shaha focuses more on the personal journey to an open mind, with a huge emphasis on the circumstances under which people form their beliefs and faith.

Immensely readable, this is one of those books that you put down feeling wiser, satisfied and more enlightened than when you started it.
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on 23 June 2014
I think this was sent to all UK (or England &Wales) schools and that was an excellent thing. I was a tiny bit disappointed that he seems never to have really believed (so far as he could for his age) in Islam. But other than that I felt it was a book worth reading and one that might assist others in escaping from their religion if that is their wish.
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on 13 February 2018
Both my sons read this, and so did I. Then my son bought it for his teenage friend. So, yes, we would all recommend.
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