I won't be deleting this off my iPod anytime soon because the contrarian advice is something I want to soak in more than once so I really absorb it. There were times that Hitchens is way too well-read and smart for me to fully grasp all his references, but the book is concise and witty enough that it was easy for me to get past these parts. Sure, he can be smug and condescending but when done with wit, these traits can be fun if used against sacred cows and the powerful.
The book makes you want to speak up for righteous causes even if doing so makes you a bit of a bore. And it makes you not want to be a conformist because then you'd be an even bigger bore.
The book has the feel of something that will be read 100 years from now. Here's hoping Hitch has more life in him before the cancer takes him -- even if he doesn't write again -- because the world is a better place with him in it.
P.S. The narrator is good. He doesn't get in the way of the prose but is merely a conduit, as if Hitchens were reading it himself.
In the same line as his God Is Not Great, but shorter, funnier, to the point. Some very fresh insight from Hitchens. I also listened to Hitch-22 and this is much more enjoyable. A better listen.
This audio book, like most of Hitchens???s work, is packed full of gems. I wish he had narrated it, but I am thankful that he wrote it. It generally takes me about ten times of listening to an audio book to completely absorb it, but this is quite easy to do while running, driving, or working out. As with much of Hitchens???s work, if you do absorb it, your mind will be expanded and you will be better off for it. Hitchens really gets you thinking.
Let???s hope that ???Love Poverty and War??? comes out on Audio soon.
We love Hitchens for his erudition, but he's an intellectual rock star by way of his wilting oratorical pugilism.
So a vocal performance of Hitchens' memoir poses a special challenge of interpretation.
Sadly, to admire Adams for his effete, rather shallow aristocratic impression of Christopher would be to lend too much to Chris's bravura hauteur at the expense of his ideas.
Phony smarty-pants emoting betrays prose; apes the tone; while glaringly failing to convey comprehension of the material.
Audible needs to find people who know about the authors; know what they're actually reading about. Otherwise it's like watching community theatre: cheep incompetent nauseating corruption.
This is the most stoning book I've read lately, it is curious how somebody like Hitchens was out of mi sight. I'll buy and give away this book to many young contrarians I know
This is the 3rd Hitchens audiobook for me and it's my favorite. The "letters to" format works particularly well in keeping the topics flowing. The writing is his best. The range of topics makes this a good primer book. Agreement with the author is not necessary to appreciate it - although I agreed with more than I expected. There's just something about impeccable writing with just the right words chosen for clarity on intellectually stimulating topics. A few passages I returned to a few times because they really made me think. One passage I returned to repeatedly around the 1 hour mark regards an "AS IF" strategy of surviving troubling "Real Politik" with historical examples - wow - good stuff. Hitchens as narrator I would have preferred. This guy is a close second though - his tone and timing is right on for the author's work.
This is delightful listening, and even if you are not familar with Hitchens, this is a great introduction to his thought. I think I took him for granted while he lived and now that he is gone, I was grateful to get these insights into his thoughts. He makes you think. He doesn't ask you to agree with him but you had better be quite logical in defending your ideas. And, he can be so funny. We are poorer without him but at least we have his writings. I highly recommend it.
Russell James Garner
Having consumed Christopher’s other works first; I see that it was the origin of much of the substance in his more popular titles. However, I feel this incarnation was the highest possible form as he shared his thoughts and subject matter expertise on being a dissident, provocateur and general pain in the ass to any person or idea on the receiving end of undeserved respect.
As always, Christopher displays charm, unsurpassable mastery of the English language and a rapier wit which will make you laugh out loud multiple times through the book. His use of the letter format is subtle and elegant making his prose more active and engaged. This work stands shoulder to shoulder with the best books I have read in my life.