I adore Penn Jillette, and I am a huge fan of his book God, No! I initially was drawn to his book because I love Penn and Teller and I was looking to be entertained. I found what I was looking for, but I was surprised to also find a well-supported argument in support of atheism. Every Day is an Atheist Holiday is more of the same, but not in a bad way. Jillette’s authorial voice is distinctive and sarcastic, yet he manages to sneak in these nuggets of wisdom that force the reader to consider his opinions.
There are countless anecdotes throughout Every Day is an Atheist Holiday that caused me to laugh out loud, but my favorite involves Penn reading a story at his daughter’s school. Apparently, this school requested that each week a parent come and read a book to the class (I think it was kindergarten). The only stipulation was that the parent come in costume, so that it would be a surprise even to the child exactly who’s parent was reading until the big reveal at the end of the story. Penn dressed up like a half-assed ghost. However, as he is well over six feet tall, he more closely resembled a giant member of the KKK.
While the book is full of stories of that nature, Jillette’s discussions of his atheist beliefs are often touching and rational. His persona from his magic act and television performances seems so larger-than-life and raucous that his genuine emotion is disarming. He speaks of his children and wife with such pure love that it becomes impossible not to like this guy at least on some level.
Witty, filthy, and heartfelt, Every Day is an Atheist Holiday is pure entertainment. Even those turned off by the idea of atheism may find that they have something to learn from Jillette’s ramblings.