It is finished

December 1, 2014 • 2:28 pm

Or should I say “Jesus wept”?

Proofed, corrected, and scented with all the perfumes of Arabia:


Into thy hands I commend my book.

For those who asked why it won’t be out till May 19, this is nothing unusual. There are all kinds of decisions involved, as well as technical matters like printing, further proofing, and so on. In fact, I’m surprised it got through so early; usually it takes a year from submission until sale.



99 thoughts on “It is finished

  1. Is the May 19th publishing date international or just for the US?

    I am rather looking forward to reading it!

  2. Good to hear! I will save the congratulations for when it actually hits the shelves. (Yes. It is superstition.)

  3. Jerry – I’m looking forward to reading your new book – I’ve already placed my order on Amazon – so you have at least 1 sale already! I really enjoyed your previous book, WEIT.

  4. I pre-ordered my copy of “Waking Up” by Sam Harris through his website and received a specially bound and autographed version for doing this.

    Just saying …

  5. Hail Ceiling Cat!

    Now there is just the long wait wondering how I’m going to be able to get Jerry to autograph my Kindle copy, let alone if there will be a secret phrase for a cat drawing…

    1. Yeah, so key. Hate to say this, but my copy of The Better Angels of Our Nature has a typo in it. I’ve found errors in various books, one of the more recent ones being The Lighthouse, by the dearly and recently departed, PD James.

      1. The worst book for typos that I’ve read recently was The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity by Bruce M. Hood

        I don’t know what happened there but I wasn’t the only one to notice. I wonder if it was rushed & just not proofed very well. It’s a shame because I thought it was a pretty well-written book despite the grammar & typo errors.

        1. Unfortunately, the worst I know of is the complete set of the Aubrey/Maturin novels by Patrick O’Brian, distributed by W. W. Norton (5 beautifully turned out HB volumes).

          There are many and many fans have complained of it. However, I find I can instantly see the intended word and substitute it almost without a pause.

      2. Just started Dispelling the Darkness by John Van Wyhe (about Alfred Russel Wallace). Jerry is mentioned in the first chapter, but there is also a typo:-(

      3. I think it’s rarer to find a book without typos, these days. Perhaps publishers have gone too far with the necessary belt-tightening, now that traditional books are on the endangered species list.

  6. Congratulations! All this cheering from the commenters is a welcome relief from the usual drama, rage, and recrimination* around here!

    * – In case it’s not obvious, that is a jest.

  7. Look forward to reading it. (Must admit I have not read WEIT, though I have read multiple other defenses of Darwin. My father read WEIT and thoroughly enjoyed it, but is less likely to be completely convinced by the Albatross.)

    Interestingly, of the three Bible verses quoted by Prof Plafond Chat above there is an entire Wikipedia article on the phrase “Jesus wept”

    The most interesting tidbit to me- when Stephen King was a lad in Sunday school students were asked to memorize a Bible verse. SK chose this one- in English it is the shortest.

    1. Try the WEIT audiobook available at I listen to books on the train and in the car, randomly switching between real books and brain rot (Rex Stout, Dick Francis, etc.) I always hear something new when I re-listen WEIT.

    2. In Catholic skool in England in the early 80’s, we had a nun who would make us memorize whole paragraphs of “the” bible.

      We found a great system – tear out the page and stick it to the back of the person in front of you (can’t remember what we stuck it with, thankfully).

      Worked a treat. Collective action!

  8. Conga rats! The cheeses have been swept!

    Say…if one wanted to pre-order a copy and have it shipped to a certain UC professor, what are the chances it might get forwarded on to a final destination accompanied by a suitable illustration and signature…?


    1. Indeed. Aunts and uncles note: your niece or nephew has already read Oh! The Places You’ll Go! Give them something that will actually help them, you know, go places!

  9. Yeah, Thanks, Prof CC! I will have to rearrange my library for this new one. Lacking a bit of space right now.

    (BTW, would a pre-stamped envelope and me sending you my copy of WEIT allow me to get it signed? I’ll add a few French/Polish recipes along if bribes need be taken. And if push comes to shove, kitty pictures as well.)

  10. Congratulations Jerry. Looking forward very much to reading it upon release.

    How difficult was it to write compared to WEIT?

  11. “. . . scented with all the perfumes of Arabia,” plus a whole lot of blood, sweat, and tears–given the background literature you had to wade through to birth this tome.
    Mazel Tov!

  12. Are you going to narrate an audio book? As I recall, that was how I “read” WEIT on a plane to the Seychelles.

  13. Can’t wait to read it! Hope you’re ready for the backlash though. The straw man, cherrypicking, misquotations – you know, the full Sam Harris treatment…

    1. And of course the “but clearly Prof Coyne has not read X on Y”, also known as the argument from one more book >_<…

  14. Looking forward to it. Prof.CC writes in a very accessible & direct manner that will be a great way to analyze “sophisticated theology”.

  15. Ì weep (slightly) for the galley slave robots who (which?) ProfCeilingCat has usurped by diligently performing the robotic tasks of a proof – reader.
    In these days of electrons-to – ink I see no pretence that the galley pretends to the print version. For those readers who may be considering publication themselves, it may be interesting and informative to see the manuscript -> printer -> galley -> ink process worked through. If only to help people to avoid common errors.
    For example, without disrespect to PCC, it is a racing certainty that there was a sentence / argument which seemed clear to PCC but the editor red-penned because it needed clarification for the intended audience.
    DISCLOSURE : I have just brought two books written by a friend about (details) and am curious about the level of involvement of conventional publishers compared to “vanity” publishing.

  16. Jerry–any chance at all for an audio version narrated by the author? I understand that professional narrators can do a better job technically, but I’d rather listen to may be imperfect, but authentic narration…

  17. I am inordinately pleased to find out that I have the exact same kind of keyboard as does Prof. Ceiling Cat!

    Oh yes, and the book has been pre-ordered.

  18. Excellent Jerry and many congratulations 👍.
    Placed my preorder with Amazon UK, looking forward to it 😊.

    Are you at liberty to share how many copies the first print run will be? Or is that an executive decision by the publisher yet to be taken?

  19. Congratulations!

    And yes, 6 months from completion to release is pretty damn quick. Very efficient publishing there.

  20. Your book will be out until May 19? You want to make sure it is correct and replete of errors?you want to make sure that it is factually correct?

    Sounds so much like the Bible, it’s freaking eerie. Lol

    I will be looking forward every day for the next five months for your word on high! Kind of like a Christian, but not so much.

    Seriously, can’t wait.

  21. Congratulations Jerry! The feeling of finishing a large difficult project, and knowing you have done well, is a good place to be.

    Really looking forward to reading this one. I must confess that I am also really looking forward to the reactions of various people / types of people on both sides of this issue. I foresee interesting things.

  22. Officially pre-ordered. I hope you continue to write and produce many more books. I love your style and the colorful language you use to describe your thoughts with profound clarity and efficiency. Nabokov comes to mind for comparison. You should have begun a writing career long ago!

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