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  • The Portable Atheist

  • Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever
  • By: Christopher Hitchens
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Ball
  • Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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The Portable Atheist

By: Christopher Hitchens
Narrated by: Nicholas Ball
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Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

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

What listeners say about The Portable Atheist

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Incomplete

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

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8 people found this helpful

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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.

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Incomplete book

The last 4 (large) chapters of the book are missing. This is an incomplete audiobook.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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

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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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boring

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

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  • ST
  • 26-08-2019

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.

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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!

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