It flows better than the essay compilation books. This is my personal favorite as well. I actually just reread it last weekend. Quick read, only about pages. His collection of essays are great as well. Letters to a Young Contrarian is probably my personal favorite. He also reads the audiobook. I haven't read any except for Arguably, which is a collection of his essays and short-form articles.
It's difficult to get through due to the varied content and his eloquence, grammatical style, and liberal use of historical and literary references. That said, I enjoyed it. Cake Day. Looks like you're using new Reddit on an old browser. Which is the best book by Christopher Hitchens? Thank you for the help! See 1 question about Arguably…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4.
Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Feb 07, David rated it it was amazing Shelves: unexpectedly-terrific , read-in OK, so if like me you start this collection with the notion that there was something iffy about this Hitchens bloke -- I mean how can one dude's stuff be everywhere you look, Vanity Fair, Esquire, The Atlantic, all over the damned internet -- and he had that whole British obnoxiousness down to a T, and if you're predisposed to find a reason to dislike him, let me point you to the one demonstrably brain-dead essay of the hundred or so in this collection.
It's on page , it's called "Why Women OK, so if like me you start this collection with the notion that there was something iffy about this Hitchens bloke -- I mean how can one dude's stuff be everywhere you look, Vanity Fair, Esquire, The Atlantic, all over the damned internet -- and he had that whole British obnoxiousness down to a T, and if you're predisposed to find a reason to dislike him, let me point you to the one demonstrably brain-dead essay of the hundred or so in this collection. It's on page , it's called "Why Women Aren't Funny", it's as stupid as it sounds, and it makes Hitchens seem like a complete tool.
Upon reading it, you may be tempted to engage in a little confirmation bias, remembering a certain perceived shrillness in his contribution to the whole God debate thing.
And wasn't he the guy who trashed Mother Theresa? Slow down there. Time for a reality check. Think about that for a while. When was the last time you came across a nonfiction collection with those kinds of numbers? But, to an impressive degree, it's only when provoked. Frankly, this surprised me a good deal, because it didn't square with my preconceived notion of Hitchens as a kind of super-erudite arrogant asshole. He is indeed super-erudite.
He can be a contrarian - it's a position he obviously enjoys. But he is not a jerk; quite the opposite, on the basis of these essays, at any rate. I recycled that sentence from my review of Zadie Smith's essay collection, but it's true a fortiori in Hitchens's case.
Among these essays, my clear favorites are those in which Hitchens discusses the work of other writers. These essays benefit not only from Hitchens's apparently boundless erudition lightly worn , but from his obvious desire always to educate the reader about the best qualities of the work under discussion. I cannot imagine a better introduction being written. To anything. Unless there's divine or demonic intervention. Maybe not even then. At the time, I didn't pay all that much attention to Hitchen's death. Reading these essays has made me understand that it is a considerable loss.
He will be greatly missed. View all 11 comments. Jul 05, Darwin8u rated it it was amazing Shelves: aere-perennius , To impossible certainties of rectitude they ally tedium and uniformity. Or hate him. God I miss him. He was one of those journalists and public intellectuals yes, that is a tired phrase that constantly made me feel I needed to up my game a bit.
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I would read a no I will NOT use an Hitchens article in Vanity Fair or Slate or about anywhere and realize that I hadn't read enough, thought enough, and certainly not crafted my thoughts well enough. Tail between my legs I would strive to do better.
Christopher Hitchens bibliography - Wikipedia
I didn't always agree with Hitchens, but reading him was like watching a master be masterly. A lot of these essays I've read before on the internet or in some glossy magazine profile. I was always amazed at the voracity of his appetite. He consumed books. He fed on ideas. He was a humanist at the very highest level of human.
I don't mean that to sound like I'm worshiping him or unglued. He had his faults. Many of them. But his biases and bigotries were informed by his love of people and ideas. Often those who thought they were on his side would find him pounding at their door asking for an explanation or exposing their hypocrisy. He would attack sacred cows Mother Theresa He reminded me of some weird love child of George Orwell doesn't every English public school educated journalist want to BE George Orwell's love child?
He was Orwell in his defense of the defenseless.
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What does this mean? How does this work? Why is this happening? These are questions that left no one safe.
Not even friends Martin Amis. Reading this selection of his later essays was like walking through a neighborhood I frequented a lot in my thirties. He was a major voice of my growing up. I would watch him debate someone on YouTube and be amazed at how well he could do completely drunk. I miss the lush. I miss the brain. I miss Hitch.
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View all 13 comments. Feb 26, Ted rated it really liked it Shelves: have , reviews-most-liked , religion-mythology-rationalism , lit-british , essays , lit-crit. Barbarism is not the inheritance of our prehistory. It is the companion that dogs our every step. Just a few words here, condensed from the following Wiki articles: Hitchens , Political views and New Atheism.
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He was born in England in , died in the U. Twenty-six years later he became a U. Hitchens had a very successful career as an author and journalist. He was also well known as a polemicist and debater, and for his criticisms through three books of Mother Teresa, Bill Clinton, and Henry Kissinger. Political views view spoiler [ In his twenties Hitchens joined the political left, partly over his anger about the Vietnam war.
He began describing himself as a socialist and a Marxist. It is this affair, in which Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie, which enraged Hitchens and of course so many others. He supported globalization, and was seen by some as having adopted many neoconservative views.