God, No! is a collection rants, some of which are about being an atheist, and many of which appear to be random blog posts about nothing in particular. Being a rich and famous guy, he talks a lot about hanging out with other rich and famous folks, and mentions many times that one of the benefits of being rich and famous is having a lot of naked women wander in and out of his life. He’s also very fond of repeating himself, which kind of works in standup comedy, but gets old pretty fast on the printed page.
Penn Jillette is a magician/comedian who has been preforming with his mostly silent partner Teller for the past 35 years or so. Like all performers Penn has a split personality, there is the Performer Penn who does magic tricks and entertains people for a living, and there is the Actor Penn who is a know-it-all asshole-to use Penn’s own words.
I read a computer mag one time that had an article in the back by Penn Jillette, clearly someone at the magazine thought it would be fun to have him write about the latest gadgets and computer trends. Penn wanted to talk about how hot Uma Thurman was and in the only article I recall reading he talked about how much he hated small gadgets-this in a magazine that was filled with ads for, wait for it, small gadgets.
I’m reminded of actress Alexis Bledel who played the hyper caffeinated and super smart Rory Gilmore, but who is, herself, a bit on the dim side. It was always a bit disappointing to see Alexis in interviews, not Rory. It’s much the same with Penn, his stage persona is not the real Penn Jillette. Yeah, it’s called acting. But when you act under your own name, people have the right to expect that the Actor and the Performer might be a little more alike. Maybe this is why I have never really liked Penn&Teller’s Bullshit, it’s a little too much of the Actor Penn and not enough of the Performer Penn-which I where we are with God, No! Signs You May Already Be An Atheist.
God, No! opens up with Penn telling us that he is an atheist and that he thinks everyone is secretly an atheist, because no sane person can really belief all that bullshit is the Truth. He’s also an evangelist, he wants everyone to be an atheist and embrace his point of view and then maybe people will no longer be inspired to fly planes into buildings or forgo the joys of eating bacon cheeseburgers. He mentions other famous atheists and talks about what a bunch of pussys agnostics are for not having the balls to take a stand.
Easily the most impressive part of God, No! are the positive reviews on the back cover-he gets a thumbs up from Matt Stone&Trey Parker, Glenn Back, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Richard Dawkins. I found it a bit tough to get through at times myself, Penn is so proud of his writing prowess that much of what he has written is almost unreadable.
But hey, I did think the Blow Dyer Story was pretty damned funny.