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.
©2011 Christopher Hitchens (P)2011 Audible Ltd
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"Mostly enjoyable, definitely good value"
I will listen to it again. Like previous reviewers I found it difficult to reconcile the two versions of Chris Hitchens, the young idealist, and I'm not quite sure what he became at the end. A second hearing might help. Plus I loved listening to his voice, and I enjoyed the book in general, which was stranger than fiction in some places. He uses language really well, and I was never once bored.
His stay in Cuba, which he reported without much comment or opinion, just described what happened.
He has a very soothing, if quiet, voice. In general I like audio-books where the author is the narrator.
The death of his mother.
I couldn't decide whether I should give this 5 stars or 4, as it did in my opinion, tail off a little towards the end. As a previous reviewer commented, I would have enjoyed it more if I had stopped part way through. However at over 17 hours for one credit (if you are a member), I thought I got my money's worth in this instance and opted for 5 stars.
"Wonderful book and audio performance"
If you ever enjoyed the writing or TV appearances of Christopher Hitchens then I cannot recommend this memoir enough. It is a wonderful journey through his life, the development of his political thinking, his friendships and his family relationships. For those who know nothing of Hitchens then this book is an enjoyable and accessible way to learn about one of the great political minds of recent times.
The performance by Hitchens of his own writing is exceptional. I'm struggling to think of a narration I have enjoyed more; in itself, the narration is worth the price of the audiobook.
This book should be a cold shower shock to most people who read it. The depiction of a life lived at full speed with a humbling thirst for truth and progressive thought is orated beautifully by the man himself. As this paragraph is meant to be a book review and not an opinion page about the mans politics as some below have cheaply used, I would advise that if you are intrigued by the beginnings and origins of one of the worlds greatest minds and writers, then this is simply unmissable. The combination of integrity and eloquence make this a book I was heartbroken to have reached the end of.
Great narrator with an interesting upbringing & provocative ideas.RIP a good thinker even if you don't agree with him.
"A clever mans clever biography"
Reading any biography must be coloured by the reader’s opinion of the subject and I will admit that I liked Mr Hitchens and had read a few of his books before this one. I haven’t always agreed with the author’s views (though, more often than not, I did), but I loved his colourful, clever and often confrontational style.
Hitchens in this autobiography is, as he always was, expert at getting to and focusing on the point. In this case, getting to the stuff that made him tick and editing to a minimum, the fluff, and I was fascinated from the first to the last word. Like many I will miss the biting intellect and the sharp delivery he made his own. This is one of the most enjoyable autobiographies I have read, ever!
"A varied memoir on a varied life"
I came to Hitch 22 only knowing the late Hitchens from his excellent book 'God is Not Great', and from having watching some of his famous public debates.
The book is neatly divided into two halves, the first deals with Hitch's first 20 years, and so includes his highly privileged school and university life, and his far left political beliefs. He was a Marxist and Troskyist, and even lived in Cuba for a while to help build Castro's new communist country. There's interesting stuff here for sure, and it's told with conviction and honesty. There's plenty of anti-American feeling too, all of it logically justified, which makes the second half of the book all the more confusing.
The second half deals with Hitch's love affair with America, and his shift in politics from the hard left, to the hard right. Following a trip to New York Hitch decides to emigrate to the US where upon he becomes a dreadful apologist and sycophant. It's hard to imagine how the Hitch from the first half of the book, could have transformed into the Hitch from the second half. He lives the high life, dining with the rich and famous, and moves his writing from political UK publications to a US celebrity magazine. To say this makes him appear a sell out, would be an understatement.
Then an even more bizarre change occurs, as Hitch decides to support the invasion of Iraq and so allies himself with George W Bush and Paul Wolfowitz. He defends these two vigorously, bizarrely believing that their invasion is a pure and just action designed solely to topple an evil dictator. Hitch does allow himself a moment of regret when he is confronted by the parents of a dead US soldier, but it doesn't last.
Hitch's parents get a fair chunk of time, and are interesting characters, but his religious Daily Mail columnist brother gets only a tiny mention. Sadly for one so fond of language Hitch's prose is littered with lazy Americanisms and slang, and is very poorly read by Hitch himself.
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