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

あらすじ・解説

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.

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  • 総合評価
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Eugenio
  • 2010/12/30

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.

  • 総合評価
    3 out of 5 stars
  • David Wolf
  • 2008/06/05

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!

  • 総合評価
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • German
  • 2011/08/03

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.


  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Oskar LB
  • 2008/01/29

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.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ken
  • 2010/11/18

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.

  • 総合評価
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • 2013/12/29

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.

  • 総合評価
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    2 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Eric Erickson
  • 2012/08/28

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.

  • 総合評価
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Austin David
  • 2015/07/22

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.

  • 総合評価
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ian
  • 2012/07/11

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.


  • 総合評価
    3 out of 5 stars
  • TJ
  • 2009/07/13

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.

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絞り込み:
  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lawrence
  • 2007/12/27

The unheard side

Excellent, informative and essentianal reading on atheism. So much strong evidence and compulsive listening

  • 総合評価
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jonathan
  • 2009/03/21

great book

I have the book already, but wanted an audio version for planes & trains, also because the book's pretty hefty for travel. I don't know if it's just me but the narrator, Nicholas Ball has a soporific effect on me. Ideally I'd have liked Hitchens to have read it. So, for me, it's better in the printed form.

並べ替え:
絞り込み:
  • 総合評価
    1 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    1 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017/04/23

Incomplete

Unabridged my ass. This is only half the book. Of the 47 chapters, this audiobook has omitted 23. What the hell.

  • 総合評価
    2 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    2 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Stephen
  • 2017/04/20

Good book, poor narrator

The writings of Hitchens is excellent. However the audible version of this book is let down by the narrator. Admittedly challenging to match Hitchens enthusiasm and energy, this narrator is not on point.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2021/01/14

Christopher Hitchens at his brilliant best

Christopher Hitchens at his brilliant best. Captured the attention from start to finish. highly recommended if you are interested in science and rationale over superstition and religion

  • 総合評価
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jason Bromell
  • 2020/10/11

Why would you set the chapters up that way?

I own this book but have been busy so thought I would listen to it first. The narrator is great for the topic. Some of the chapters are difficult because of the era of the language, so probably delve deeper with those in the physical book. But when you have 47 chapters in the book, why would you make the audio book 10 chapters long. (10 hours equals 10 chapters maybe?- I just don’t get it) So if you want to find Mark Twain for example... well, good luck (think he is in chapter 5 somewhere by the way).
I will be giving this audio book back for a credit and hopefully they fix the chapters. Then, I will 100% re-purchase.

  • 総合評価
    1 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    1 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2019/12/04

boring

I love Christopher Hitchens but this book sucked the life out of me, and the narrator is horrible.

  • 総合評価
    2 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    2 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    1 out of 5 stars
  • ST
  • 2019/08/26

A bit dry and academic

Disclaimer: I only got 1/3rd of the way through, I couldn't get any further.
OK so I like Hitchens but the other authors in this book don't have an ounce of his panache for writing.
I'm sure they're all very important thinkers but their writing is mostly very stuffy and academic.
It felt like studying for an exacting exam on historic atheist thought.
If you're expecting witty engaging writing like Hitchens', there's not a whole lot of it on display here (unless it really picks up further in the book). I'd recommend this for someone willing to engage with academic writings on atheism rather than someone looking for a well-paced, engaging read.
Furthermore, this is a heavily abridged version.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Priti Duffield
  • 2018/03/12

Essential source of wisdom for those who seek it

Whilst perhaps a tad overlong - it is thus comprehensive. Hitchens has done the heavy lifting of worthwhile entry points to further reading. I wish this book had been around in the early 70’s!