'There's probably no God ... but I wish there was. I've got some things I need to ask him.' Based on Marcus Brigstocke's award-winning Edinburgh and West End show, God Collar focuses on the 'God-shaped hole' that opens up in Marcus's life following the death of his best friend. Exploring his own issues surrounding faith - his lack of it, his need for it, some people's waste of it and what good purposes it might serve if he could get hold of it - he rails against the holy trinity of Abrahamic religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) while atheists, agnostics and believers of all faiths get it in the neck too. God Collar is a scathing look at modern faith that will leave you laughing out loud and examining your own beliefs in equal measure. 'As luck would have it, my relationship with God is as dysfunctional and peppered with resentment and recrimination as ever, so this should make for good writing.'
©2011 Marcus Brigstocke (P)2011 Random House Audiobooks
"Sorry but I don't do 'Laugh out loud'"
Not until now anyway.
What a genuinely funny book - beautifully told and deliciously mischevous! And you can write that on the side of a bus so it must also be true...
"Funny, well read and insightful"
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book going into it, I purchased it mainly on the fact I had found Marcus very funny on Radio 4 many times and I was not disappointed. This is a funny, well read and insightful peace into someones (Marcus's) search for "god". He is sincere in his search and it explains clearly why he finds it impossible to believe in any of the Abrahamic religions. It was any interesting listen and well worth the time. I would highly recommend it for all, believers, non-believers and the unsure. There are no answers here and he makes that clear, but it challenges tradition and is funny at the same time.
For anybody who is fed up with being told what to believe by the Christians, Muslims & particularly the sanctimonious Atheists this is the book for you. As a none believer who has always been prepared to listen to others points of view, but has been frustrated by their pious response when dealing with an opinion that differs from theirs this is a breath of fresh air.
"Entertaining and Thought-Provoking"
It isn't hard to hand out plaudits to a book which so closely reflects one's own views, but Marcus Brigstocke's God Collar hits all the right buttons and had me muttering "Exactly" and "Too true" on many occasions. True, Brigstocke's book is often a semi-comedic rant, which on occasions can deflect the full force of his argument in favour of a quick laugh here and there; and his posturing about everything from i-Phones to MacDonalds can be taken with a pinch of salt and really doesn't assist or detract from his main point of being a "lapsed atheist". But overall a fine listen, hilarious at times (don't listen to the section on his safari and the lions in a public place), but I couldn't help but think that if had been written by a Professor of Humanities it would be regarded as a classic like The God Delusion. It just wouldn't be as funny.
"Thoroughly enjoyable listen"
As a fan of Mr Brigstocke's comedy style and someone fascinated with the topic of belief, I expected this would be an enjoyable listen and I was not disappointed. Brutally honest, deeply thoughtful and most importantly genuinely funny, this is a fascinating journey through one man's struggle with both his atheism and the tenets of traditional religion. With lovely personal touches and an open 'no holds barred' approach I found the whole thing incredible engaging. No doubt helped by Brigstocke's superb narration and skills with well-formed arguments (as demonstrated to his fans through years of 'Now Show' rants and 'Argumental') this book is imbued with a real honest charm.There are odd arguments that seem over-repeated or dwelled upon but overall I would not hesitate to call this a 'must listen' audiobook.
A really great book on religion. The book doesn’t set out to tell you want to think, he just talks about many of the truths of religion and lots of the things deeply religious people try and hide or ignore. All this with an angle of "I’d like to believe but what about this". If this book massively offends you then to be honest you’ve probably got your head in the sand. To everyone else it is a really well written book with lots of humour that you can agree or disagree with. Even better, it’s ready by Marcus himself.
"absolutely fantastic - loved it"
I enjoyed this book so much that when it finished I listened to it again straight away! It just sums up the ridiculous thinking of religions and makes you laugh out loud - you just can't help it. There were also points raised which made me absolutely furious and so sickening that the human race can be so cruel to its own kind whilst hiding behind the protective shield of religion.
"To much of a good thing"
I really like Marcus Brigstocke and generally enjoyed his comedy. But the book suffers a little from too much of a good thing, much of the criticism levelled at The God Delusion could be directed at the God Collar.
Maybe because he wrote and read the book it sometimes felt like a pointy fingered lecture, which I don't think was intention. But the writing is good and he had me in stitches numerous times, if you like Marcus Brigstocke and his comedy you will enjoy this book.
"Clever, poignant, puerile and very very funny!"
This is the funniest book I have read in a very long while! No one is safe from MBs withering (if sometimes very puerile) ridicule. I loved the picture of Richard Dawkins in front of the mirror saying "what an extremely clever looking chap! Not as clever as me of course, but still very bright and intelligent. I must have a word with him!"
Mostly of course the target is God, or rather the bizarre forms humans have cast Him into, and the curious rules (like snipping off the end of your penis, or an aversion to pork or condoms) He apparently insists on. If you enjoyed Brigstockes other comedy roles e.g. In The Museum of Everything, Think the Unthinkable, Giles Wemmbley Hogg, and of course the Now Show, you will laugh your socks off with The God Collar. IMHO it is his best work to date, born, as it is, of the grief at the loss of his best friend - James.
And that is what I liked - he is no strident Neo Atheist, but as confused, as the rest of us. At times, MB shows himself as sad, grieving, confused, angry vulnerable and needy - even a complete tosser, just like the rest of us.
If I have a beef, it is that he has swallowed The God Delusion, hook, line and sinker. I very much admire Dawkins, especially as a biologist, but his God is a human creation, and his theology crude. I think of God as more like the Jungian Unconscious, or the Ground of our being, of which the Bible is a very imperfect record. Our wiser, unconscious mind speaks to us in story, metaphor and dreams. So, listen to your wife more Marcus! (That only makes sense if you read the book).
In summary, this is a very funny, poignant and often puerile poke at the absurdity of our strangest beliefs. There's a lot of stuff about God and penises in it and it made me laugh out loud - a lot.
"It filled that 'god-shaped hole' for me"
A very enjoyable and amusingly satirical look at all those questions that dog all us faithless people.
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