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I'm not a fan of Dawkins' views on religion, but as editor of this book he has done a fine job; it clearly makes a difference that he is writing about topics he knows and likes, and his introductory pieces to each extract are informative and often self-deprecating.

I was less sure that the book actually works as a concept. The selected pieces are necessarily extracts rather than complete works, and the result feels more like a scrapbook than an anthology. Certainly none of the pieces is bad, and several of them made me want to seek out more by that author (from the sublime - Albert Einstein's thoughts on God - to the ridiculous - Francis Crick's advice to avoid gatherings of more than two Nobel Prize winners). But the nature of the book means a succession of changes of pace, some of which are rather jarring. This contains a number of chunks out of various excellent books about science but doesn't quite end up being one itself.

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