I have the distinct privilege of being back on the book review wagon this month. Mary Eberstadt's The Loser Letters: A Comic Tale of Life, Death, and Atheism was simply the Best Way to begin again. You must read this book. Period.
"Witty satire" doesn't even touch what Eberstadt does in this series of letters from "A.F. Christian" (as in, "A Former") to the "Brights," her term for the Hitchens, Dawkins, and other spokesmen of the so-called "New Atheism." A.F. is the self-proclaimed numero uno convert to atheism, although she has some issues with the way these spokesmen market it to the masses. Her ten letters are intended to point out atheism's weak spots in order to improve the Bright influence.
Along the way, she addresses sex (!), Christian converts from atheism, the problem of families and children, abortion, and that nagging human guilt-complex. A.F. takes shots (albeit admiring shots) at famous Dulls (aka, Christians) from George Weigel to GEM Anscombe, from Whittaker Chambers to GK Chesterton, from John Paul II to Michaelangelo, all the while actually showcasing their genius. She draws directly from current culture (although the book is already dating itself with references to Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell--oops!) and makes hilarious use of BFF, LOL, and TTFN, etc.
Even the chapter titles are hilarious: "Chapter One: The Trouble With Experience" and "Query: Do Atheists Know any Women, Children, or Families?"
But the best part is, or course, finishing for the first time. I laughed out loud for eight chapters and then cried uncontrollably (could have been the hormones, but I think not). You will have to read it to see why.
Teasers: Discover whether Jesus or Satan is a midget! Find out why I want to be Mary Eberstadt someday!
This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company, and the reviewer received a free copy of the text in exchange for her opinion. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on The Loser Letters.