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A Hitch in Time,
This review is from: Hitch 22: A Memoir (Paperback)
The audiobook is a sad reminder of what a voice, and what an actual voice, we have lost. I approached it with some trepidation as his reviews and essays are among his best writing. I wondered if a reflective autobiography would have the same qualities. I also had only heard his books read by the excellent Simon Prebble. I need not have been concerned on either count. The volume is peppered with reflections and considerations expressed with his usual eloquence and clarity. The death of his mother for example leads to a meditation on suicide, a mistaken death notice to a disquisition on premature obituaries. Hitchens was a master of the footnote, from the pithy and acerbic “Everything about Christianity is contained in the pathetic image of “the flock”” on page 10 to the extensive one on page 143 that embraces both the Goebbels, Sir Oswald Mosely, three Mitfords, Mrs Simpson (as he tellingly calls her even after her marriage to the Duke), the Duke of Windsor and Auberon Waugh. Few readers will empathise with all the twists and turns of his changes of nationality and belief, I had more in common with the early than the late Hitchens. However the story is always interestingly told. Chapters are thematic, with sections on his travels, on Rushdie and on Martin Amis, so it is hard to know what period of his life he is writing about at times. Unlike many autobiographies it is also furnished with an index, useful if you want to cross refer to his essays. All in all a book I am quite sad to have finished.