Over the course of his 60 years, Christopher Hitchens has been a citizen of both the United States and the United Kingdom. He has been both a socialist opposed to the war in Vietnam and a supporter of the U.S. war against Islamic extremism in Iraq. He has been both a foreign correspondent in some of the world's most dangerous places and a legendary bon vivant with an unquenchable thirst for alcohol and literature. He is a fervent atheist, raised as a Christian, by a mother whose Jewish heritage was not revealed to him until her suicide.
In other words, Christopher Hitchens contains multitudes. He sees all sides of an argument. And he believes the personal is political.
This is the story of his life, lived large.
©2010 Christopher Hitchens (P)2010 Hachette
I'm a fan of Hitch and, though I have this book in print, I decided to get its audio format to listen to on my commute to work. Sadly, the narration that Hitchens gives is sometimes completely unintelligible. His bass voice, combined with the way he loudly emphasizes parts of some sentences, means that some of his sentences go from crisp and assertive speech down to a low mumbling of inaudible mush. I had the same issue with God is Not Great, but evidently didn't learn my lesson.
As for content, I found myself in equal parts enthralled and bored. The enthralling parts were wonderful and I found myself laughing out loud at some of his stories, but when I was bored, I all but tuned out the narration, at times contemplating whether to give up and listen to something else. Whether it's noteworthy or not, I thought I'd mention that I found that much of my boredom coincided with parts of the book where the narration reached those all-but-inaudble points of undecipherable mumbling.
Christopher Hitchens narration is impenetrable. His diction is terrible and his inflection is non-existant.
It was a terrible decision to allow him to narrate. Beyond that, his endless name-dropping and self-aggrandizing is tedious in the extreme.
Don't bother. I have added one star only because the form cannot be posted without a minimum of one star.
Love C. Hitchens, enjoyed his previous book and this one but it is almost unbearable to listen to his voice. But great book otherwise and please get well CH.
I was expecting a little more depth and certainly more subtle analysis of politics and philosophy. He is certainly a clever and well read man who can verbally joust with the best of them--unfortunately for me I didn't find any remarkable insight that could justify the length of this book.
If you are liberally minded you probably will enjoy his (not too original) skewering of the usual suspects. You also might enjoy his relating of some very silly and juvenille word games for which he is quite fond--that is if you have the mind of a adolescent--embarassing and definitely not my cup of tea.
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