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4.4 out of 5 stars
Hitch-22: A Memoir
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2011
Let me start by saying I adore Christopher Hitchens. His memoirs show a keen whit and a truely independent spirit. I have followed his career for many years, and while I don't always agree with his politics, he is invariably a pleasure to read. At 400 pages+, this book left me wanting more - in a good way.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2012
I was initally absorbed in this book, BUT, Hitch - The Man began to "grate" on me and so I put it aside with the intention of finishing it some day !!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2011
A superb read, honesty with a style of prose that makes for compelling reading. Hitch is a sharp commentator and a wonderful storyteller.
Dont miss it.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 December 2011
I am a big fan of Hitch and expected this to be good. I was not disappointed. He is delightfully self-deprecating, but never falsely so, and shows his erudition lightly (unlike S Fry) in a way that amuses and pleases. Perfect bedside book, because you can dip in and out.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2013
Memoirs of Christopher Hitchens. An interesting read but you need dictionary alongside you to read it! Enjoyed it all the same.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2012
Good packaging, wrapped up nicely. Arrived on time! Just what I wanted. Can't fault it in any way at all.
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14 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2011
I have read very little of Hitchens' work apart from a few Vanity Fair articles in which he confronts the cancer he has been diagnosed with.

I know him more as a media "personality" and member of the London literary club of authors - Rushdie, James, McEwan, Amis etc - who love to write about each other when not writing about themselves.

Hitchens has marketed himself well and is now a regular on the US media trail.

He has also cleverly raised his profile by using atheism as a weapon to attack Moslem fundamentalists and the religious right in the US at the same time.

This enamors him to his politically correct Guardian and NYT-reading fans and allows him to keep up his leftist credentials.

The fact is that he is a product of the English public school system and got where he did through his contacts among the Establishment he claims to oppose - Cambridge, Oxford, BBC etc.

Read a few pages of this and you will see that he certainly did not achieve his present position through his writing talent. This memoir is so tedious, badly written and overlong that I abandoned it half way through.

Hitchens is an egoist who is under the impression that the reader is interested in everything he has done, everywhere he has been and everyone he has ever met.

He boasts about jokes and put-downs he made, obscene doggerel verse he wrote, what he said in school debates almost half a century ago and even claims that Margaret Thatcher spanked him with a parliamentary order-paper.

He is so self-centered that he spends several pages dissecting the differences between "Christopher" Hitchens and "Chris" Hitchens.

For all this, he comes across as a buttoned-up product of his class who has difficulty in expressing his emotions other than in a flippant way.

One wonders if an editor saw this manuscript before it was published or if the publisher rushed it out as a celebrity product rather than a serious piece of writing.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2010
I am two thirds of the way through this book and I am really enjoying it. I have been granted a view into a world I would never see in my day to day life and it's has made me want to be a more engaged person as a result, read it and be changed forever
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17 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2010
I'll say first that I came on here to order this book and have not yet read it. However I felt the need to make some sort of reply to Mr Clark's comments.

Firstly, Mr Hitchens and Mr Dawkins's assertions that we came from nothing (if indeed these authors would accept this rather negatively worded view of our origins) are on safe ground thanks to the theory of evolution, which has as yet withstood every attempt to falsify it, while a mountain of evidence has been accumulated to support it, and the big bang theory, not yet as robust as the theory of evolution but still supported by the vast majority of cosmologists.

However, the fundamentalist Christian belief that we were created as we are within the last 10,000 years, against all evidence, and the liberal Christian belief that evolution on this planet was set in motion so that we (God's chosen creatures) would emerge 3 billion odd years later stretches plausibility to breaking point.

I wouldn't say that it is narrow-minded of Mr Hitchens or anyone else to dismiss explanations of our origins offered, without evidence, by the religious when we have an explanation of the origins of humanity supported by all relevant branches of science. I would also add that the universe is under no obligation to make us feel all warm and fuzzy, and that honest reflections on the realities of nature and life can lead one to be less than positive.

Secondly, minus Islamic belief, was 9/11 really ever possible? The hi-jackers themselves asserted that it was their religious beliefs that drove them to commit the atrocities. I agree whole-heartedly that they were crazy and were deluded by warped views, but (and I am not comparing all religious people with these lunatics) their warped views were inspired by their belief in a divine creator, and a holy book which, like all holy books, is supported by no reliable evidence and must therefore be believed in only by recourse to faith. Why should a peaceful Muslim's interpretation of the commandments laid out by Allah be thought superior to a fanatical, murderous Islamists version?

It seems that when believers act well it is due to their faith, but when they act in a evil way some other reason must be responsible. Atheists have committed evil acts too and we are free to admit this. No belief system it would seem is free from its sadists and mass murderers.

Lastly, it is true that there are certain biblical passages which promote love and goodwill to all men, and many religious people are truly loving and compassionate people, but many people throughout history have seen no contradiction between belief in god and acting anything but lovingly towards their enemies. In less secular times, being a non-believer or a believer in the wrong sect of a certain religion, or of a different religion, meant being very uncertain of being allowed to live your life unmolested or indeed unmurdered in some cases, by the dominant variant of faith. There are a multitude of countries which have been torn apart by the conflicting religious beliefs of its communities. I hope it will not offend Mr Clark if I suggested that the troubles in N.Ireland are inspired, or at the least influenced, by religious differences.

Given all this I look forward to receiving Mr Hitchens's latest book, (there is nothing better than being a convert being preached to), and I hope I will enjoy it more then Mr Clarke.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2011
A fascinating account of one man's mind and thoughts detailing his intellectual and political development with clarity, wit and a sense of ending.
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