I am a fan, albeit a disagreeer, of Hitch. I thought this book was great in terms of production and the yielding of his psyche. That said having also just finished The Faith of Christopher Hitchens I have many questions for both authors. Unfortunately Hitch is unable to respond to my inquiries.
Hitch's indelible wit and intellect come to life in this book. From moving tales of his mother's suicide to amusing anecdotes about friends, Hitch provides an intimate look into one of the world's most interesting lives and minds.
Hitchens is always a pleasure to hear. his gentle voice and wonderful turns of phrase make for a delightful journey into the sixties seventies eighties and nineties.
I had already read the book and listened to the audio version before purchasing the audible version. I decided that I wanted to have all of Hitchens' audio books (specifically those he narrated himself) at the push of a button. So this became a must-buy. As ably as some of his other works have been treated by other narrators, there is simply no replacing that voice. Having discovered the brilliance of Hitchens only after his death, my dismay will only ever be slightly assuaged by my gluttonous consumption of the gloriously copious body of work he has left behind.
With my slight case of hero-worship now safely if embarrassingly out of the way, I can now provide a wholly inadequate review of the actual content. His voice provides an extra level of detail as compared to the written word. And although it is true that perhaps only a fellow Hitchensien, perhaps also "full of brio and self-confidence", will find the details of his life as interesting as I did, his wit and delivery make the journey thoroughly engaging even for those who [wrongly] don't count him amongst the most powerful intellectuals and orators of our time. (I know, I promised my excess of reverence and veneration were over--I lied!)
I particularly enjoy best the pseudo-monotone he sometimes employs, often to hilarious effect. I think he could have stood in for any Python sketch without missing a beat. The content is captivating, and the delivery impeccable. Buy this audible book, you won't regret it.
I would say that the text version of the book might be better, as references can easily be looked up. Hitchens maintains his charm, but this narrative was rather rambling, and he didn't entertain, "the juicy bits" as much as I would've liked; much of it could be discovered through other research, besides personal anecdotes and snippets that wouldn't normally be uncovered, so it's definitely worth it to listen to the man himself, even if it isn't as revealing as would be wanted.
Yes, he is very clean and precise, and he recommends or brings to light so many events, people, and perspectives that it can become overwhelming at times to keep them in line - albeit a wonderful sort of overwhelmed, and then he pulls it back and becomes more of a narrator, which is nice. His writing is of great form and substance.
I thought the delving into bisexuality was interesting and the pieces about his love of Orwell were fine. He really had quite... almost too much of a life jam-packed with travel. The part in the beginning about his mother is overbearingly vivid at one point; it was lovely.
It forced me into a branch of research I wouldn't have done otherwise, a grand exploration of history and modern characters of whom I had no idea.
I love just a few things... Family, Drumming, Baseball, and Intellect.
Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography
I just love his voice and am thankful he recorded this memoir so future generations can hear in his own words what made this great man develop into the juggernaut he would become.
The Making of a Juggernaut of Reason
I would listen to the book through a headset, Christopher (he hated the shrinking of his name to Chris) using inflection in his voice to convey meaning and feeling. Some of the inflections are drastic and can get lost in a room with ambient noise.
While I'm a biased fan I still would recommend this to anyone. Hitchens wit and observations when applied to his own life create a fascinating and reflective story. Made all the better by his reading of the book.
For fans of the late, great Christopher Hitchens, this will be quite a treat. Hitch narrates his own words with typical gusto, recounting his various exploits and stances he's taken.
We miss you, Hitch.