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The Portable Atheist

Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever
Lu par : Nicholas Ball
Durée : 10 h et 44 min
5,0 out of 5 stars (1 notation)

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Description

From the number-one New York Times best-selling author of God Is Not Great, a provocative and entertaining guided tour of atheist and agnostic thought through the ages with never-before-published pieces by Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Christopher Hitchens continues to make the case for a splendidly godless universe in this first-ever gathering of the influential voices past and present that have shaped his side of the current (and raging) God/no-god debate. With Hitchens as your erudite and witty guide, you'll be led through a wealth of philosophy, literature, and scientific inquiry, including generous portions of the words of Lucretius, Benedict de Spinoza, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Mark Twain, George Eliot, Bertrand Russell, Emma Goldman, H. L. Mencken, Albert Einstein, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and many others well-known and lesser known. And they're all set in context and commented upon as only Christopher Hitchens, "political and literary journalist extraordinaire" (Los Angeles Times), can.

Atheist? Believer? Uncertain? No matter: The Portable Atheist will speak to you and engage you every step of the way.

©2007 Christopher Hitchens (P)2007 Phoenix Books, Inc.

Commentaires

"A fascinating collection of readings from some of the West's greatest thinkers." ( Publishers Weekly)

Ce que les auditeurs disent de The Portable Atheist

Notations
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Interprétation
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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Interested in religion or philosophy? Start here.

Hitchens has put together an impressive anthology in support of atheism. Each extract is fascinating in itself and it's historical context. You will listen to this and certainly be motivated to dig deeper into some key texts from the worlds great philosophers. If I have a criticsm it is that there should be more clarity over when the comments or preamble start or stop and the reading of the texts themselves. Two voices would have been ideal. One for Hitchens and one for the texts being read. Highly recommended.

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Eugenio
  • 30/12/2010

Unabridged is not so

After finishing listening to the two part unabridged version as advertised, I was able to compare my Kindle PC text version and my printed book version. I was very disappointed to find out that more than half of the essays were left out. I can understand that it would have made it extremely long to listen to or that some of the essays are extracts of bestselling books. But I think Audible.com should make it clear that it is not an unabridged version as I consider this false advertising. Nevertheless, it is fabulous and eye opening information. It is well read with a clear professional voice. That is my only complaint.

50 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • David Wolf
  • 05/06/2008

This is ABRIDGED

I would love to give it 5 stars, and would for the actual book, but the Audible recording is not unabridged as advertised. Get the book instead!

69 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour German
  • German
  • 03/08/2011

Valuable ABRIDGED Anthology, Worth the effort

I must warn you that some texts are complex and very difficult to follow in audio format. This is not an excuse to give up. There’s an important distinction between reading for relaxation and entertainment, or reading just for information, on the one hand, and reading for understanding, for deepening your mind, and for acquiring insight, on the other. (Please take a look at Adler’s “How to Read a Book”, also available on Audible.)

This book is well read with a clear professional voice. As one of the reviews said: the main difficulty in listening to this as an audiobook is that it is very difficult to tell when the narration from Hitchens ends and the excerpts from other authors begin and vice versa.

There are many, many excerpts that are a please to listen to. Here are the three I enjoyed the must:

(Due to the space limitation and since I cannot include URLs, please Google it. The three essays are in public domain.)

- George Eliot, Evangelical Teaching: Dr. Cumming (ch.3 of The Essays of George Eliot);

- Anatole France, Miracle (p. 175 of The Garden of Epicurus);

- Bertrand Russell, An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish.

Thanks to Nicholas Ball’s reading, they became even more powerful.


14 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Oskar LB
  • 29/01/2008

Hitchens' Heroes

It is not very hard to accept the reasoning behind Christopher Hitchens' own ideas on religion after you've gone through the parade of fascinating works in this book. Intertwined with very subdued--perhaps an understatement, having his latest works in recent memory--commentaries from Hitchens, you are transported through the ages of reason and unreason, starting with the fascinating thoughts of the Roman philosopher Lucretius (highly influenced by the then "heretically" denounced Epicureans of Greece) around the, said, birth of Jesus of Nazareth, and ending in the 20th century, with Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud among the most notable luminaries.

What is most interesting in the end, however, is perhaps not an obvious conclusion, have you previously been impressed with Cristopher Hitchens' own writings. For, as good a writer as Hitchens truly is, it becomes very palpable how he, along with most authors of the recent past, absolutely pales in comparison to the grandeur of thought, wit, faculties of reason and vivid imagination of these masters of our collective literary heritage.

This book, which is very appropriately named, should be mandatory reading for all humans out there, who are the slightest bit concerned with their own existence, and how they relate to this world and its continuously morphing state of affairs. This world--the only one that exists.

32 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ken
  • 18/11/2010

To think for yourself without fear

A challenge to anyone who wants to look for the truth. It is vital to hear, it is not easy to hear, it must be heard.

8 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Eric Erickson
  • 28/08/2012

Good read, terrible listen.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This is a collection of short writings on atheism. However, the Narrator reads the whole book in the same monotone. I had to constantly have to rewind and pay close attention when it switched from one author to the other. Even the commentary by Hitchens between the chapters were just plowed into by the previous chapter. This book could be greatly improved by a well placed pause or two. That being said I was very interested by the content.

4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew
  • 29/12/2013

Abridged Collection

Mr Ball has narrated an excellent collection of fantastic works when it comes to the discussion of the human mind and the answers it must create for itself when contemplating its most common spiritual questions throughout the ages. The truly unfortunate thing about this audiobook's collection is that not all of the compiled works are being narrated. With only two hours left in the second audio file I realized that I was only halfway through the book. So much of the collection is missing.

Another drawback to the narrator's performance is the fact that it is sometimes hard to distinguish the difference between Hitch's introduction to the compiled text and the text itself.

Aside from these two drawbacks, Hitchens' collection of works comes from many different eras of spiritual contemplation. Whether springing from the mind of a psychologist, physicist, zoologist, or fellow author, the works express mankind's need to find the answers to as many questions as it can, sometimes inventing what actually aren't solutions to the problem but rather ideas that raise more questions. Faith and fact are two entirely different things and the authors that Hitchens compiled in this book express that clearly.

3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Austin David
  • 22/07/2015

Frustrating setup, great selection

The good: I liked all Hitchens' choices, and his commentary. Ball was an excellent reader, keeping interest and articulate.

The bad: I greatly disliked that it was often difficult to tell when he was reading from the selected author and when he was reading Hitchens' comments.

Still, good purchase and I would recommend it to anyone interested in a primer on Atheism and what a myriad of voices in Western thought have said on the subject.

2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian
  • 11/07/2012

Better in print?

So Hitchens was a genius. His own writings are impressive and trusting him to select the writings of others for you is always going to be a good bet. This brings together a varied selection of essays and tracts from writers over a long period of history with the central theme being the non-existence of any supreme being or supernatural force. 'Nuff said really. If its an area of human experience that interests you, read this.

Some of the older works get a bit difficult to follow in audio format. There are sections that you clearly need to study over several times to get the full flow but audio doesn't lend itself well to this. So I'm glad I listened to this but will also be buying the printed version as well because there are ideas and thoughts in here that deserve to be properly understood.

The narration is ok. Its a great shame that the author/compiler doesn't do the honours himself as one of the few things more enjoyable than reading Hitch is hearing Hitch read Hitch.


2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • TJ
  • 13/07/2009

Great resource, difficult audiobook

This is an excellent book and the reading is okay, even if it is not Hitchens. The main difficulty in listening to this as an audiobook is that it is very difficult to tell when the narration from Hitchens ends and the excerpts from other authors begin and vice versa; for that reason, the print version is better as a resource. This is a book you'll want to come back to a refer to specific passages, which is almost impossible in this format. Also, I wonder if a couple of the other reviewers downloaded both parts. I had the entire book -- unabridged. If you're looking for resources in this area, Hitchens' "God is Not Great" is essential and this is a good supplement. Hitchens provides the most comprehensive discussion of atheism available.

8 personnes ont trouvé cela utile