B la Bartok and Sally Jessy Raphael are among the damned in Warren Allen Smith's Celebrities in Hell, the follow-up to his Who's Who in Hell. Like the earlier volume, this book catalogues and celebrates atheists, humanists and other kinds of heretics, this time focusing on an idiosyncratic group from the last two centuries, from Douglas Adams, Richard Avedon and Debbie Harry to Mira Sorvino, Sir P.G. Wodehouse and Frank Zappa. In brief encyclopedia-style entries, Smith describes the worldview of each unbelieving artist or writer or showbiz type, and provides a thumbnail bio. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Drawn from the author's Who's Who in Hell, this edition focuses on celebrities artists, musicians, authors, actors, and those in the entertainment world whose beliefs are a bit out of the mainstream, embracing atheism, humanism, and skepticism of all sorts with a unifying antireligion theme. Each entry describes both the individual and what he or she has written or produced that could most aptly be categorized as freethinking. Though some entries are quite detailed, others are brief and seem a bit questionable. For example, there is a slight entry on Bo Derek, whose only claim to being a freethinker is that she once told Larry King that she is not in the least spiritual. She may in fact be due a spot here, but the entry isn't convincing. All the same, this is a fascinating reference work for a few reasons. First, it provides an intriguing compendium of people who might never be linked otherwise. Second, it provides a basis for comparison and a touchstone for skeptics everywhere who now have proof that they are not alone. An excellent starting point for research into any of the individuals included, this is recommended for large public and academic libraries. Manya Chylinski, Ctr. for Business Knowledge, Ernst & Young, Boston Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
A collection of brief biographies and quotes from celebrities who do not believe in hell. Famous non-believers include Dick Cavett, Heather Graham, Joe Hill, Stanley Kubrick, James Taylor, and Peter Ustinov. The alphabetically listed entries range from one paragraph to four pages long. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)