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Hitch 22: A Memoir [Kindle Edition]

Christopher Hitchens
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The acid, hilarious, confessional, provocative bestselling memoirs of our greatest contrarian, and the author of god Is Not Great.

In this long-awaited and candid memoir, Hitchens re-traced the footsteps of his life to date, from his childhood in Portsmouth, with his adoring, tragic mother and reserved Naval officer father; to his life in Washington DC, the base from which from he would launch fierce attacks on tyranny of all kinds. Along the way, he recalled the girls, boys and booze; the friendships and the feuds; the grand struggles and lost causes; and the mistakes and misgivings that have characterised his life.

Hitch-22 is, by turns, moving and funny, charming and infuriating, enraging and inspiring. It is an indispensable companion to the life and thought of our pre-eminent political writer.



Product Description

Review

Christopher Hitchens is one of the great conversationalists of our age and his wit, style and erudition are brilliantly deployed in this glittering autobiography. Hitch-22 sparkles with funny stories, treasurable quotations, witty apercus and deft descriptions. --Sunday Times

A pert yet elegantly written memoir. --Sunday Telegraph

A fascinating account of the influences - political, cultural and philosophical - on Hitchens's intellectual development... A funny, sad, incisive, and serious narrative... He is our son and one of our most gifted writers. We should take pride in that and be busting our guts to get him back. --Spectator

Review

"'If Hitchens didn't exist, we wouldn't be able to invent him.' Ian McEwan 'Razor-sharp... Outstanding' A.C. Grayling, Independent on Sunday 'Thank God for Christopher Hitchens.' Mark Warren, Esquire 'A grand rhetorician' Christopher Hart, Sunday Times 'One of the most formidable polemicists writing in English today.' John Cornwell, The Tablet 'If you are... invited to debate with Christopher Hitchens, decline. His witty repartee, his ready-access store of historical quotations, his bookish eloquence, his effortless flow of well-formed words... would threaten your arguments even if you had good ones to deploy.' Richard Dawkins, TLS"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2612 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1843549220
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (20 May 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003ZUXXCY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,615 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) was the author of Letters to a Young Contrarian, and the bestseller No One Left to Lie To: The Values of the Worst Family. A regular contributor to Vanity Fair, The Atlantic Monthly and Slate, Hitchens also wrote for The Weekly Standard, The National Review, and The Independent, and appeared on The Daily Show, Charlie Rose, The Chris Matthew's Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, and C-Span's Washington Journal. He was named one of the world's "Top 100 Public Intellectuals" by Foreign Policy and Britain's Prospect.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
157 of 164 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
I chose this book as my holiday read. And what a good choice it was too. Hitchens is a man who usually polarizes people into one of two camps - you either love him or hate him. I try not to engage in such ideological flag waving, suffice to say, I would consider myself to be one of those who he seems to have left on 'the left' ....so to speak. His memoir takes us through his early years, with chapters devoted to his father and mother ( who i hadn't realised met with such a grizzly end). He treats us to his stint at Oxford, his experiences of the sixties, there are chapters devoted to other great loves in his life such as James Fenton, Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie and needless to say Edward Said.
Hitch elucidates upon how he first had misgivings about his ultra-socialist leanings, and he provides us with insight as to his dismay at the tendency of some 'comrades' to ignore the rather brutal underpinnings of the spread of the socialist revolution, and how the obvious warts were seen as beauty spots by 'the party faithful'. He has a chapter on his burgeoning love affair with all things American, which is a little rose tinted it has to be said. He seems to refuse point blank to consider that any behaviour of the USA might, in part, explain the attacks of 9/11, which for a man who easy fillets others for such naivety, is quite surprising. His chapter on Edward Said angered me a little, as the late great professor is no longer with us to defend himself to the charges Hitch lays at his door. But it is his memoir, so his rules. His attempt to defend his seeming volte face to the right, reads like the worlds longest excuse. He portrays it as if he was able to find that which Hans Blix wasn't and he refers to being a conscious part of history making as quite an 'intoxicating feeling'.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something approaching awe 6 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
While sending out review copies for my book about China, I warned readers they might find its content polemical, controversial, "politically incorrect," etc. Two reviewers replied `not to worry,' - they liked oppositionist perspectives and were admirers of Christopher Hitchens. I thought, `Christopher who?' Incredibly, I didn't know who Hitchens was (in 2011, no less), though I knew of his book God is Not Great, which didn't appeal to me because, pompously perhaps, I reckoned I didn't need to read an argument I already supported and a conclusion I had already arrived at. Like many, I familiarized myself with Mr. Hitchens through Youtube and found myself learning heaps about politics and history and more than I expected to about religion (I had never thought of religion as the original tyranny, for example). And then I chanced upon a copy of his memoir.

Hitch-22 is the best memoir I've ever read. Better than any biography, too. From a startling account about his mother's suicide to a Socratic declaration of how little he knows (the spur which kept him learning and reflecting on his positions and beliefs), Hitchens's crisp, articulate prose courses through 400 pages, drawing you in, propelling you on, causing you to reflect, and urging you to learn more about the many subjects, historical events, themes, and memes he scrutinizes and dissects. It also sends you to the dictionary, a healthy exercise, surely.

And it's not a conventional memoir. Apart from the section pertaining to his youth, there is little straightforward or chronological autobiography, and there is limited mention of things there should be: his wife and children, for instance.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gone but certainly never forgotten 26 Sept. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a memoir first published in 2010. My copy is the 2011 edition that includes a forward by Hitchens having earlier that same year been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. He died in December 2011.
Christopher Hitchens was an author, journalist, essayist, pamphleteer and superb orator. His debating skills, honed at Oxford, were sharp, insightful and could leave his opponent feeling like they had undergone ten rounds with Cassius Clay.
To my utter shame I didn't start taking an interest in Christopher Hitchens and his writings until around 2005. My introduction to Hitchens was through my love of the works of George Orwell. I stumbled upon Christopher Hitchens biographical essay `Orwell's Victory ', (known as `Why Orwell Matters' in the USA), in a second hand bookshop. Not only was `Orwell's Victory' a superb piece of literature and a cracking read but it had the effect of wanting to know more about Mr. Hitchens.
Hitch 22 details his relationship with his parents, loving, beautiful but distant mother and uncommunicative, stoic but heroic father. Names are dropped within the book like so many autumn leaves; Salman Rushdie, James Fenton, Richard Dawkins, Martin Amis etc etc. But, this is not an attempt by Christopher Hitchens to show off or communicate to the outside world about his highly influential friends. Each name is `dropped' to illustrate a point or to help frame a chapter and give it context.
There have been many superlatives used to describe Christopher Hitchens, erudite, witty, passionate and rhetorically astute. It is not only hard to think of new ones but it is difficult to disagree with any of them.
Hitch 22 is 422 pages of the English language in perfect harmony. His writing style is the language equivalent of the Taj Mahal or the Potala Palace in Tibet: beautifully constructed with no superfluous building materials.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Curate's Egg
This is, in some ways, an odd book. Beginning with reflections on his own demise spurred by an inaccurate photo caption (this was shortly before he was to receive his diagnosis of... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Norpois
4.0 out of 5 stars He may have changed teams at half time but at least he never found...
"A gin soaked popinjay!" or words to that effect is what George Galloway said on Hitchens a few days after his death, which is a fair and accurate enough point, but I know... Read more
Published 1 month ago by keen reader
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Hitchins memoir, so 5 stars
Super. Absolutely super. I miss this guy so much.
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Sam Loud
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
so good i read it twice. and will read it again.
Published 2 months ago by John Scouller
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Top book for top critic - a breath of fresh air.
Published 2 months ago by Ashbee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Read
Published 2 months ago by Miss lee
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hitch in time.
The first short chapter alone is worth the price of the book. This is one of those books that you think I'll just read one more chapter then I really will go to bed etc etc.
Published 2 months ago by Steve Hann
5.0 out of 5 stars A naturally good writer whose prose just flows
A naturally good writer whose prose just flows. A pleasure to read just for this reason, but full of the content of a man on a mission -- a man who took life full on and achieved... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A man of our times
Fascinating autobiography of the great journalist and essayist Christopher Hitchens, especially his young life where we meet his mother. Read more
Published 3 months ago by PatriciaBookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love the book and love Christopher Hitchens. A beautifully written memoir.
Published 3 months ago by Matthew Richards
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