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Editorial Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Anyone who thinks that Julia Sweeney is just the comedian who played "Pat" on Saturday Night Live, doesn't know Julia Sweeney. Letting Go of God, an elegantly written and beautifully performed monologue about her loss of faith, made me laugh - a lot - and think even more. Far from being an angry atheistic screed, it is an uplifting journey of the heart. — Steve Feldberg
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Publisher's Summary

Julia Sweeney says she was a "happy Catholic girl" when, one day, she walked into church and signed up for a Bible-study course. "What an eye opener that was!" she says. "Next thing you know, I was on a quest for something I could really believe in. I traveled to places like Bhutan, Ecuador, and my local Starbucks looking for answers. Would I embrace Buddhism? New Age pseudo-science? Was I a freak for feeling the way I did, or were there other people out there just like me? I was grappling with serious questions. But, somehow, a lot of the things that were happening to me seemed, well, funny." Equally comedic and insightful, Letting Go of God is Sweeney's brilliant one-woman show about her struggle with her faith. Grappling with the seeming contradictions in Adam and Eve, Noah, the Ten Commandments, and even the teachings of Jesus - and trying to understand the Bible's messages about morality, family values, and human suffering while faced with door-knocking Mormons and wise-cracking priests - Sweeney takes listeners on her very personal journey from God to "not-God".
This performance was recorded on November 19, 2005, at the Ars Nova Theatre in New York City.
Julia Sweeney was a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1989-94, and is best known for the mysteriously androgynous character, "It's Pat!". She has also served as a consulting producer on Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives. Letting Go of God is her third monologue. She performed her first, God Said, "Ha!", in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and on Broadway, as well as in a film produced by Quentin Tarantino. The CD version was nominated for a Grammy.
There's lots more Julia Sweeney available at Audible®! Just click here to download In the Family Way, her appearances on This American Life, her Un-Cabaret performances, and other great programs.
©2006 Julia Sweeney (P)2006 Julia Sweeney
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Critic Reviews

"Searing and bracingly funny....Letting Go of God is refreshingly unrancorous, lucid and, yes, inspirational." (The New York Times)
"Letting Go of God is a gale-force breath of fresh air into the mostly political dialogue about religion in our time." (Los Angeles Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mark on 12-09-06

A Brilliant Personal Journey of Discovery

You can read Dawkins, Harris, or Dennett and find yourself informed, inflamed, or even affirmed, but none of them is as "humanly" insightful as Julia Sweeney. This is not juat another comic "rant" about the foibles of religion. Sweeney's deep personal journey was not just about her reactions but also about her explorations. She speaks profoundly as someone who both feels the emotional implications of her journey and the knows the intellectual basis for it. If you've ever been anywhere near the route she's traveled, you'll recognize the terrain as if it's being described by an old friend. If you've been afraid to take the journey, Sweeney's caring and poignant account will urge you forward. And if you're threatened by such journeys of discovery, you might just discover there's less to be afraid of that you thought. All of this is delivered in Julia Sweeney's impecable comic timing - she's speaking from the heart but she's also speaking as someone who knows how to get her message across in a way it can be heard and enjoyed. At 2 hours, this audiobook is just the right length to engage you but not overwhelm you. Buy, listen, enjoy, and think.

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39 of 41 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By JJ Johnson on 07-11-07

Entertaining and Thought Provoking

As a former believing Mormon, I could not stop listening to Julia's story. I went through the SAME journey and came to her same conclusions. She is surprisingly well read and has a genuine quest for truth. I really admire her intellectual honesty with herself. I can tell you first hand that her telling of the story from her visit with the Mormon missionaries is spot-on what you would hear from any Mormon missionary, other than the part about Joseph Smith putting his face in a hat to translate the Golden Plates. The church hides that little nugget and 95% of missionaries are not aware of that being in the historical record. She keeps your attention throughout the journey. She often will discuss something deeply thought provoking and then say something extremely funny right after so as to not get too serious. She has truly mastered story-telling skills. I have heard this type of story many times before, but never so entertaining and thought provoking. I listen to this over and over again. It does not get old.

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16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Nigel on 09-13-12

Thoroughly Uplifting

For anyone who has a doubt over their religious viewpoint please download this audiobook. It is highly entertaining and clearly cuts through the absurdity of organised religion of any denomination. Julias style is light hearted but with a bite when needed. Thoroughly uplifting and highly recommended.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By D. C. Telfer on 04-13-13

What a joy!

I downloaded this recording after seeing Julia Sweeney recommended by Phil Plait (aka Bad Astronomer) and I would strongly echo his recommendation. This is intelligent, moving and frequently laugh-out-loud funny, all in a short space of time. Julia describes her personal journey of discovery from the Catholicism of her early life, through other types of spirituality and finally to atheism. With both humour and humility, she is able to convey the joy and increased sense of wonder, awe and mystery that can be delivered by a deeper understanding of science and freedom from religion.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By bds2 on 05-11-17

For heavens sake

What made the experience of listening to Letting Go of God the most enjoyable?

The houmour, presented by Julia, is great. A good laugh at her belief,and personal history

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5 out of 5 stars
By Stuart Steel on 03-22-15

My repeat listening favorite

Of all the books in my relatively large collection this is the one I find myself re-listening to the most often. A well structured story arc and the perfect balance of humor and thoughtfulness.

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