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Mortality Paperback – May 13, 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,327 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Dealing unflinchingly with bodily ravagement, reflecting on life's beauty and remaining rakish about his ideological foes, Hitchens proves that great writers are truly immortal."
People, 4-star review

"Remarkable . . . The book's power lies in its simplicity, in its straightforward, intelligent documenting, its startling refusal of showiness or melodrama or grandeur....The great polemicist, essayist, conversationalist, provocateur, arguer, has done something extraordinary in this book. He has created yet another style, another mode, another way of being and thinking and dreaming, on his death bed; he has written in many ways an un-Hitchens-like book, eluding proclamations, resolutions, mastery, wit, at-easeness with opinion, in favor of unnerving directness, of harrowing documentation. He has allowed his dismantled confidence, his undoing to breathe, and to live in the pages, in a way that is startling and new and an achievement unlike his others, different in kind, yet equally ambitious and relentlessly honest."
Katie Roiphe, Slate.com

"Like virtually everything he wrote over his long, distinguished career, diamond-hard and brilliant . . .vivid, heart-wrenching and haunting - messages in a bottle tossed from the deck of a sinking ship as its captain, reeling in agony and fighting through the fog of morphine, struggles to keep his engines going . . . a final, defiant, and well-reasoned defense of his non-God-fearingness . . . It is, however, sobering and grief-inducing to read this brave and harrowing account of his 'year of living dyingly' in the grip of an alien that succeeded where none of his debate opponents had in bringing him down."
Christopher Buckley, New York Times Book Review

"This trenchant, sassy, tragically posthumous little black book earns a proud spot on the end-of-life shelf, along with Julian Barnes' Nothing to Be Frightened Of, Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, Leo Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Joan Wickersham's The Suicide Index, Saul Bellow's Ravelstein, and Philip Roth's Everyman and Exit Ghost, to name just a few."
NPR.org

"A book driven by his desire to look death squarely in the face and provoked by detractors who were certain he would turn to religion when confronted with it. He did not... [MORTALITY is] full of humility, a humility worthy of kings."
Newsday

"The melancholy irony of 'Mortality' is that it gave our best essayist - I can't think of someone who comes even close - the chance to grapple with the most intractable subject, to wrestle with the angel of death in a battle we will all have to lose at one time or another.....The voice is gone. The words remain."
The New York Daily News

"These essays are brave and fitting final words from a writer at the end of his journey."
Bookpage

"There are no clever pitches to diminish the horror vacui of oblivion. He offers no self-pity or special pleading. The book is tough-minded . . . poignant, but the poignancy is ours, not his."
Wall Street Journal

"Mortality is a crash course in lived philosophy....bracing."
Salon

"Stark and powerful... Hitchens's powerful voice compels us to consider carefully the small measures by which we live every day and to cherish them."
Publisher's Weekly (Starred)

About the Author

Christopher Hitchens was a contributing editor to Vanity Fair,Slate, and the Atlantic, and the author of numerous books, including works on Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and George Orwell. He also wrote the international bestsellers god Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Hitch-22: A Memoir, and Arguably. He died in December 2011.

Product details

  • Publisher : Twelve; Reprint edition (May 13, 2014)
  • Language: : English
  • Paperback : 128 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1455502766
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1455502769
  • Item Weight : 3.52 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,327 ratings

An Amazon Book with Buzz: "The Four Winds" by Kristin Hannah
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
1,327 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries

Aamir
4.0 out of 5 stars Of the wide world I stand alone, and think Till love and fame to nothingness do sink. (Keats)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 6, 2017
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mimday
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic, poignant book. Probably the best book I've ever read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 4, 2016
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Mike N
5.0 out of 5 stars RIP to a great man
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 26, 2018
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Starr Scream
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 29, 2015
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Sam Quixote
5.0 out of 5 stars The words live on
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 8, 2012
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