1st I am a big fan of Mr. Hitchens I have read most of his books and many of his articles and essays.
However I remember in my 1st encounter with him many years ago, I thought, here is a man with a rapier wit, I surmised a thirst for scotch and a heavy smoker....and also imagines perhaps low self esteem and even a self destructive bent!. In his memoir he validates all of these issues. And with the knowledge of him mothers suicide, I can only (or perhaps not) imagine his demons.
So I am very biased towards applauding him. However it must be noted, many times it is better to see you mentors from afar as getting to close make all of the "blemishes” highlighted.
Much like sausage and laws, many times so it the man, you are better off experience the result and not hot it has been made. But based on all of this, he has a life well lived, he has added much to the world and to society at large. I have always thought that we would soon hear of a heart attack, cancer or perhaps even suicide or death as a result of his travels and or lifestyle.
I was deeply saddened to hear of his cancer and treatment, as I fear we will lose a bright light of reason and clarity in a world full of so much noise.
This is not so much a memoir as it is a chronology of his life and then branches off to the numerous people he has known and the some of the influential thought and reflections of the time. While we learn much of his early life and family and some diversions into bi-sexuality, we learn nothing about his marriages and relationships with his children, nor do we learn of any epiphanies along the way or his general learning experiences. It is much more like a 2 way mirror into the observations he has had at the time. While it is always a delight to hear him read and to speak his mind, I was hoping for some greater insight and revelations of his life, passions love and yes even demons.
Regardless of this, Mr. Hitchens is always worth listening to. I wish him a speedy recovery.
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