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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Swansong-Memoirs in living memory, 5 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Hitch 22: A Memoir (Hardcover)
In politics, there are sometimes rare people who seem to reach their pinnacle just before their death and hence are saved an ignominious downfall.
An example that springs to mind is British Prime Minister Disraeli, who said of himself that he'd "climbed to the top of the greasy pole", but was lucky enough never to have to slide back down it (like many before and since).

Hitchens in this book has gone out as he wanted to and I feel that his diagnosis with cancer will see to it that this book stands as a good summary of his career and life.
In it he explores first of all his parents (including his mother, who committed suicide), then moving through his school and university days and moving onto his work all over the World as a journalist.

The narrative is fairly chronological, though it gets quite blurred towards the end of the book and makes the strange omission of talking about his wife (bar one passing reference).

Although I think it's what Hitchens wanted, I don't think it does nearly enough justice to his life and work.
A lot of themes are left unexplored and questions go unanswered - the most obvious one's being the stories behind the photos in the book (e.g. the rather suggestive picture on page 340 of him "With Angela Gorgas"), why he doesn't ultimately want truth to prevail over the falsity of religion and why he disagrees so intensely with George Galloway.

But maybe this was intentional - to leave some mysteries in his wake. In truth, up until the penultimate two chapters, this book satisfactorily answers a lot of questions about his views on Iraq and his relationship with his brother and I actually found this book ended a literary dry spell I was having.

I suppose we aren't meant to know all his secrets, but at least this book gave Hitchens the opportunity to reveal some interesting insights into his charactor, albeit on his own terms...
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