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Mortality Paperback – May 13, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
If you're familiar with Hitchens' writings, you'll certainly recognize the trenchant approach here to becoming a resident of "tumortown." In this brief book, composed of essays he wrote for Vanity Fair, Hitchens explains what it feels like to be dying, yet doesn't feel sorry for himself or for his lifestyle that may have contributed to his cancer. (His father died of the same cancer as well, so part may be genetic.)
You'll read this book in an hour or two, but you'll also want to come back to it from time to time. While the chapters are composed - these are articles, not journal entries - there is a spontaneity throughout them, as his condition worsens, and as hope seems to recede.
Hitchens again shows with his words that cut like scalpels that he was one of the finest voices of his generation, and we're not likely to see another like him for a very long time.
Others were less charitable for in some quarters at the onset of Hitchens illness produced a vicious form of schadenfreude not least amongst his many enemies in the Christian right where his strong opinions on religion had provoked and outraged those not prepared to countenance any debate. He quotes an opinion from an religious blog that viewed his throat cancer as "Gods revenge for him using his voice to blaspheme him".Read more ›
What makes this book worthy to add to your bookshelf is the final chapter, the unpublished scribblings of Hitchens which give us a window not only into his final thoughts, but perhaps how the master crafted his essays...first as an idea, then a polished quip or two. For me, these classic one-liners and Hitch-slaps are worth the price of the book. The final tribute, by his wife Carol, gives us more insight into the private man than he allowed himself in his memoir, Hitch-22. If there is one error, it was made by Hitchens himself, who lamented that he might not live to write the obituaries of his villains--Kissinger and Pope Benedict. In fact, he had already done so in his canon of work, from "The Trial of Henry Kissinger" to "god is Not Great." In these works, he managed to in fact, have the final word on Kissinger, Catholicism, and many other sacred cows that are "dead enough"--as he might have quipped. He now joins the pantheon--pardon the word--of past great critics, from Twain to Mencken. For the literate, he will always live on. Overall, A moving, swift read that will linger in your mind long after the last page.
Honestly, I feel bad docking the author's review on this...he wrote a great article. But I wish another reviewer had done the same and had pointed out the length (they may have more recently; I checked the reviews shortly after the book came out and didn't recheck before buying). I would not have bought the book had I noted the length - my mistake but I just didn't think a major publisher would do such a thing. I won't do it again.
To anyone wanting to read Mortality - it's touching and brilliant and deeply honest. A great read. But don't get the kindle edition!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Have been following Hitchens writing for years, and this book was a disappointment. This really should have been a short magazine article, and not a book.Published 3 days ago by alice cooper's sister
Very short but in Christophers usual fashion quite succinct. His death is a loss to the worldPublished 29 days ago by Robert W. Finlay
Awesome. Short book. Read it in less than three hours. A must read for anyone with any critical thinking skills at all.
5 stars to Christopher Hitchens.
I read this book for the first time when it appeared a few years ago. I felt morally obligated to pick it up and read it again to honor Christopher's honest and brave last days. Read morePublished 1 month ago by S. Zales
IT WAS INTERESTING TO READ HOW AN INTELLIGENT PERSON LIKE HITCHENS
COPED WITH HIS LAST DAYS. WELL WRITTEN BY HIM.
Like patti, a widow who posted four years ago, I'm responding to the book's description. As a cradle Catholic, I'm not at all certain about the truth of my faith, which has given... Read morePublished 1 month ago by David Wilmot
Christopher Hitchens was a phenomenal speaker and equally phenomenal speaker. His now legendary debate performances are bound to be studied and analyzed for decades to come. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Joe Foot
As self aware and honest while "living dyingly" as he was when simply living, Hitchens leaves us with a final bed time story.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer